Pavel Kolesnikov review


Barber Institute *****

The Birmingham International Piano Competition was launched with splendid aplomb by the young pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, being the first to give a public performance on the magnificent new Steinway concert grand, recently purchased for the Barber Concert Hall by The Henry Barber Trust.
What a treat! This instrument can demolish a hall full of listeners with roaring fortissimos and conversely with whispering gentleness, certainly a challenge for any performer to be truly 'in charge'.
Beethoven seemed to be the obvious choice with his expansive Piano Sonata no.4 Op. 7.
Kolesnikov certainly entered into the spirit of introducing this splendid addition to music at the Barber Concert Hall with contrasting solo works by Brahms (a triptych of lullabies), Louis Couperin's courtly romantic early 17th century lute-style music - poignant with "beautiful dissonances" (admired by numerous contemporaries) - delightfully piquant.
Irresistible Tchaikovsky comes with moving tales of the six year old Pyotr tapping out rhythms on a pane of glass which eventually broke - hence lessons from then on for one small boy. History relates that he composed at the keyboard - but soon adding his unique slant on music. The concert finished with five short pieces from pianissimo familiarity, to a foot tapping rustiqhe polka and Dumka.
A lengthy encore sent us home full of curiosity, but delighted to be part of this enthusiastic musical occasion. Watch out for this
talented young soloist visiting Birmingham again to play with the CBSO.

Maggie Cotton

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