Hamilton Recital

What: HCMS: Oleg Marshev. Works by: Brahms, Liszt, Chopin and Scriabin Where: Wel Academy When: Saturday, July 12 Reviewed by: Andrew Buchanan- Smart
Hamilton was privileged to hear the brilliant virtuoso Russian pianist Oleg Marshev. His sense of oneness with the music was demonstrated with consummate artistry; a nuanced blend where technique served the music, always proportioned and balanced.

In apparent simplicity he brought all the complexities of the music to the fore, at times the gradations so subtle that the parts appeared perfectly voiced.

Brahms’ Sonata No1 Op1 was given an opulent and colourful reading where the thick textures were never allowed to become heavy, and Brahms’ youthful exuberance simmered on the surface.

Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody is a set of very free variations on the traditional Spanish melodies La Folia and the Jota Aragonesa. These are extensively ornamented pieces, framed by massive introductory flourishes and no less dramatic conclusion. Its nature is rather staid and noble where the opening flourishes were very grandiose. Three Chopin Waltzes Op 34 and Ballade No 4 Op52 heard Marshev with both soulful expression and virtuosic brilliance.

The ballade, considered by many to be the most musically intense and technically demanding of Chopin’s compositions, requires exceptional pianism to delineate the cumulative transformations, decorations and intense countermelodies. The complexity of the musical structure which provided tension and the bravura Coda was beautifully characterised.

Scriabin Two Mazurka’s Op52, Two Poemes Op32, and Vers la flame Op72 added another harmonic texture to the concert, which must be labelled as stunning, and finally closed after four encores, by R Strauss, Von Sauer, Prokofiev and Chopin.