‘New Faces’Piano Festival in Perivale Day 2

Sunday 12 March 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm  

8 superb pianists play their debut recitals at St Mary’s Perivale
organized by St Mary’s Perivale and Christopher Axworthy


Day two of this mini festival ‘New Faces’ saw another four pianists on the threshold of important careers.

2.0 pm Andrea Molteni

Andrea Molteni had flown in from Como and demonstrated his remarkable artistry with playing of a purity and clarity that illuminated all that he played.

A refreshing intelligence that gave new life to Chopin’s Fantasy where the indications of the composer were scrupulously observed without any adhesion to the so called ‘tradition’.From the very first note marked staccato in the score but when have we ever been aware of it?It gave such strength to the contrast of the beseeching legato answering phrases .There was a sense of improvisation too but always with a direction and ultimate goal in view.A freedom but within a certain framework.A miracle of beauty at the end with the tumultuous build up to the final Adagio sostenuto but then with his scrupulous attention to the silences that Chopin demands there followed the pianissimo yearning phrases before the final glistening stream.The rest that followed was so pregnant with meaning that the two majestic final chords came as a blessed relief.

The early Brahms Scherzo op 4 ,rarely heard in the concert hall,was played with an incisive rhythmic drive and an orchestral sense of colour.A performance of great breadth and nobility with the final ‘ben marcato’and ‘piu mosso’octaves of searing depth and sonority.Only to be dismissed in such an abrupt manner as indicated by Brahms in his quasi orchestral score.It is easy to see how the Sonata op 5 evolved after this work op 4.

The Beethoven Sonata op 110 was played with simplicity and beauty where again his attention to the indications of the composer were translated into sounds that had an overpowering force .We were swept along by this driving energy from the first to the last notes .The beauty of the left hand swirling accompaniment in the first movement I have rarely heard Beethoven’s precise indications so clearly played.The Scherzo was ‘Allegro molto’ but not so much so that it interrupted the continuous pastoral flow of one of Beethoven’s most perfect creations.Surely this and the fourth concerto must be among the most celestial creations of this tormented soul.Beethoven’s own long held pedal at the end of the scherzo was where the first chord of the Adagio was so rightly placed and created a magic atmosphere for all that followed .It was a magic that Andrea maintained to the final religiously fervent outpouring of passion and exultation.It should be noted too that Andrea did not split the final cascade of notes between the hands that would have only under minded the explosion on the final A flat chord.

Andrea,as fresh as a daisy at the end,managed much to Dr Mather’s surprise to slip in an encore .Cheekily saying that K.20 was his favourite Scarlatti Sonata and was included in the CD on sale at the door.A quite remarkable unstoppable talent that under the guidance of William Grant Naboré is growing in weight and importance under our very eyes! https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/26/william-grant-nabore-thoughts-and-afterthoughts-of-a-great-teacher/

An exciting young Italian piano talent, Andrea Molteni is developing his international profile with regular appearances in the USA, Italy, UK, Europe, Russia, China and Singapore. His latest album, Scarlatti Sonatas (that was released in January 2022), has already got important reviews from critics such as Jean-Charles Hoffele and has been broadcasted in the German radio MDR Kultur.The album “Petrassi and Dallapiccola Complete Piano Works” (May 2021) received reviews on significant music magazines (magazine Musica, December 2021; Opus Klassiek, May 2021) and it has been broadcasted in Radio Classica and in the French Radio France Musique. Winner of numerous International Competitions, Mr. Molteni enjoys the artistic guidance of William Grant Naboré under the auspices of the prestigious International Lake Como Piano Academy. In 2020, he was awarded a master’s degree Magna cum Laude in Advanced Performance Studies by the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano.



3.0 pm Maxim Kinasov 

Maxim Kinasov came on stage and threw himself into the keyboard with the same animal like ferocity that I have not seen since Richter.Infact it reminded me so much of Richter to see this young man so enveloped in the sounds that he was producing.Pulling,punching caressing the most wondrous rich sounds out of the piano.An Intermezzo dedicated to Brahms by Slonimsky opened his programme of dedications – to Brahms,Paganini,Bach and finally to the oppression of World War Two with Prokofiev’s 7th Sonata ,one of the Trilogy of War Sonatas.

Nicolas Slonimsky, born Nikolai Leonidovich Slonimskiy, was a Russian-born American conductor, author, pianist, composer and lexicographer.Born: 27 April 1894, Saint Petersburg Died: 25 December 1995, Los Angeles California.A film ‘A touch of genius’ was made for his 100th birthday https://youtube.com/watch?v=0LYSd05BbOg&feature=share.It was fascinating to read about a composer I had not heard before.I was intrigued to find out more after the overwhelming performance today.

Max writes that I got the wrong Slonimsky,Nicolas instead of Sergei and i am glad too be corrected and to learn even more about this remarkable family https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Slonimsky

Sergei Mikhailovich Slonimsky 12 August 1932 – 9 February 2020) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and musicologistHe was the son of the Soviet writer Mikhail Slonimsky and nephew of the Russian-American composer Nicolas Slonimsky.Slonimsky died in Saint Petersburg on 9 February 2020 after a long illness.He composed more than a hundred pieces: 5 operas, 2 ballets, 34 symphonies and works in all genres of chamber, vocal, choral, theatre and cinema music, including Pesn’ Volnitsy (The Songs of Freedom, based on Russian folk songs, 1962), A Voice from the Chorus, a cantata set to poems by Alexander Blok. Concerto-Buffo, Piano Concerto (Jewish Rhapsody), Cello Concerto, 24 preludes and fugues, etc.

From the very first notes Maxim’s fingers were like limpets on the keys .His whole body was engaged in the music that was being reproduced in a voyage of discovery that was quite hypnotic and mesmerising.An outpouring lament of sumptuous sounds .A deep yearning as the variations unfolded ,a kaleidoscope of colour with trills gleaming like jewels .There was an animal like urgency of cascades of notes ending in a silence of such aching poignancy.Like an animal let loose on the keys with that same hypnotic ferocity of Richter and the same total mastery.A ferocious passion that swept all before it.

From the opening theme of Paganini it was obvious that we were in for an exhilarating performance of Brahms’s notoriously difficult variations.The beautifully shaped theme led to variations of such differing character all played with a continuous driving forward movement .Even the beautiful second ‘poco animato’ was on a great wave carrying all with it on its long voyage.There was charm too in the eighth variation that contrasted with the overpowering force of the ninth and tenth.There was ravishing beauty in the poco Andante before the tumultuous whirlwind of the final Presto.What grandeur at the end!I doubt this piano has ever sounded so ‘grand’ as in the velvet gloved hands of this giant of a pianist.

The Bach/Siloti Prelude in B minor was played with a simplicity and a magical sense of colour but there was also a certain solidity to the sound that gave it an austere reverent importance.

The Prokofiev Sonata unleashed the same unconventional ferocity that I remember from its dedicatee Sviatoslav Richter when he played it in London in 1971.I was a student in my final years at the Royal Academy and i remember being overwhelmed by a force of nature that broke all the conventional rules that had been imbued in me in that noble institution.I remember my wife thinking she had made a mistake in an acting exam and being told by a great Italian artist:’But there are no rules just convince me.’And my God Richter certainly did that as Maxim did today too.From the very first call to arms of ferocity and clarity.Through the sumptuous beauty of the Andante with it’s swirling visions of desolation in a hoped for paradise.The final brutality of the Precipitato with a driving intensity that swept Maxim on to impossible heights where the rhythms kept him afloat and notes became superfluous.The hysterical excitement of the final breathtaking pages were greeted by cheers from an audience hypnotised by a truly great artist.Headed for the heights this tormented soul finds home only at the keyboard like Richter or Beethoven even!

Chapeau Maestro I am proud to be able to say that I heard you at the beginning of your illustrious career

Maxim Kinasov is the First Prize Winner of more than 10 prestigious international piano competitions around the world, including UK ‘s 2022 Birmingham International Piano Competition and 2022 Windsor International Piano Competition, and 2019 Cantù International Piano and Orchestra Competition and 2014 Chopin Roma International Piano Competition in Italy . He also won Second Prizes in prestigious 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition ( UK ) and 2015 Gian Battista Viotti International Piano Competition ( Italy ). In 2017, he graduated with distinction from Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in the class of Sergei Dorensky and moved to the UK to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 2018, Maxim won the RNCM Gold Medal and played in the Gold Medal Winners concert at Wigmore Hall in March 2019. Also, he was selected as a Kirckman Concert Society Artist for 2019-20 and played his full-length solo debut at Wigmore Hall in October 2019. He completed his International Artist Diploma degree in 2021 at the RNCM in the class of Ashley Wass . Maxim performed internationally with the most prestigious orchestras in the UK and abroad, such as the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, RNCM Symphony Orchestra , Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice , St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra and the European Union Chamber Orchestra .


4.10 pm Antonina Suhanova

What an afternoon this was turning out to be as Antonina Suhanova stepped onto the platform.A slim young woman who would play Mozart and Rachmaninov.An exemplary Mozart played with joy and exhilaration.A beautiful velvet sound in a work that she shaped with intelligence and crystalline beauty.

But then she attacked Rachmaninov’s First Sonata with a menace and passion.A spine tingling outpouring of desperation with a cauldron of romantic sounds of burning intensity.How this young lady produced such overpowering sounds and an overall sheen is a mystery.At last there was an architectural line that gave direction to a work that I have often dismissed as overlong and over elaborate.There was a ravishing beauty of desolation to the ‘Lento’ and an energetic ride on a continuous wave of sounds in the Allegro molto.This was a truly great performance and it totally convinced me of what a masterpiece it is.Only Kantarow recently has come anywhere near the towering performance that we heard today.An unforgettable performance that literally brought tears to my eyes being totally overwhelmed by the emotional power that music can exert on some very rare occasions from the hands of a master magician,

Pianist Antonina Suhanova has performed on international stages since 2000, in venues like the Steinway Hall in New York, the Wiener Saal in Salzburg, the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican Hall in London. From 2012 to 2018 she acquired First Class Bachelor of Music, Master of Performance and Artist Diploma degrees, all with distinction, under the tutelage of the British pianist Ronan O’Hora at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During her studies, Antonina participated in numerous masterclasses of such world-renowned pianists as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Idil Biret, Steven Osborne, Matti Raekallio, Richard Goode, Robert Levin and Yefim Bronfman. Antonina has appeared as a soloist with the “ Moscow Virtuosi ” Chamber Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and other collectives, collaborating with such distinguished conductors as Andris Nelsons and Vladimir Spivakov. She has performed at renowned festivals in the United Kingdom, USA, Brazil, China, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Russia. Antonina is a recipient of the Hattori Foundation Senior Award, Help Musicians UK awards, the Drake Calleja Trust award, the William Brown prize in the Scottish International Piano Competition (2017) and a nominee for the International German Piano Award 2018. In 2018, her solo debut at the Wigmore Hall was broadcasted live on BBC Radio 3. In 2020 as the Musicians ‘ Company prize winner Antonina made her solo debut at the Southbank Centre, Purcell Room. In 2022 she became grant holder of Oleg Prokofiev Trust and was invited to perform at the Rio Piano Festival in Brazil. Since September 2022 Antonina joined the faculty of the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Antonina ‘ s artistic schedule in 2023 includes appearances with the Surrey Mozart Players, the Epsom Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo and chamber music recitals across the UK. 


5.10 pm Danilo Mascetti

There was a rhythmic freshness to this most ‘Pastoral’ of Beethoven Sonatas.A clarity and innocent purity to the sound and a scrupulous attention to detail that brought this work vividly to life.A scherzo played with the same drive and joy that was so much part of Rubinstein’s characterful playing of this sonata.Incidentally it was the one he chose for his very last performance at the Wigmore Hall in 1976.The deliciously nonchalant ending of the Scherzo was followed by the beautiful cantabile of the Minuet.The Trio in particular was played with a subtle sense of colour and beguiling character that made one understand why Saint Saens had used it as the theme for his variations for two pianos.The Presto con fuoco was a little too fast even for Danilo but he gave it such character and sense of exhilaration that any minor mishaps passed unnoticed with the ‘joie de vivre’that was being transmitted.

Danilo’s superb intelligence and musicianship totally convinced me that it was right to extract only the Allegretto second piece from the Drei Klavierstucke.It stands so well on it’s own with the simple beauty of the opening melody with the ornament perfectly incorporated like a singer into the overall phrasing.The contrasting episodes played with menacing intensity that made the return to the opening melody so touchingly poignant.

It was such a good idea after all the notes we had heard this afternoon to finish with a piece of moving simplicity.Hauntingly beautiful as the pungent clashing harmonies describe the emotional impact of a true believer.There were magical embellishments that shone like stars in the night sky as the kiss of the baby Jesus invokes such intensity and reverence.It was played with great beauty by Danilo in a meditative performance of masterly control and technical assurance.it should be mentioned that Danilo was fresh from the International Piano Academy Lake Como where he had been working with William Naboré and Dag Achatz.

Danilo Mascetti is an Italian pianist known for his intense performances and original programming, combining traditional repertoire with less known piano works. Equally at home with classical piano and fortepiano, since his debut with Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra in the prestigious Sala Verdi, Milan, Danilo performs regularly all over Europe with orchestras such as Thessaloniki State Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic State Orchestra of Craiova. From 2014 he performs in China and Japan, debuts in London at Steinway Hall, in New York at Merkin Hall, Wallenstein Palace in Prague, Rome, Russia, South Africa and Morocco, with orchestras such as the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra Hradec Králové, the Nova Amadeus orchestra, the NYCA Symphony Orchestra. Highlights from the last seasons include concerts in Turkey at the Bodrum Gu ¨ mu ¨ s ¸ lu ¨ k Mu ¨ zik Festivali; in Cambridge, with Brahms Concerto n. 1 with Peter Britton, conductor, at the West Road Concert Hall; performances of newly written piano concertos by E. Karlidag and E. Sener with the Talent Unlimited Orchestra. During the summer he presents a tour with the new programme “Contemplations” in the UK, and the premiere of three new harpsichord works at Castello Sforzesco in Milano. Exciting performances for the beginning of 2023 include harpsichord performances for Ton Koopman, a Double Mozart Concerto in Den Haag with historical orchestra, and Brahms Quintet op. 34 on historical instruments. Danilo is originally from Lake Como and is currently based in The Hague (NL) and Brno (CZ)


Thanks to the Mathers whose generosity and infectious love for all that they do has created a mecca for so many young artists at the start of their career.

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