Demidenko delights in Yarmouth

Nikolai Demidenko, Piano Recital at the Hippodrome, Great YarmouthNIKOLAI Demidenko gave an absorbing piano recital on Sunday afternoon. This third concert in the second Great Yarmouth International series was a delight from beginning to end and the Russian pianist revealed the awe inspiring characteristics of compositions by Beethoven and Chopin.

Nikolai Demidenko,

Piano Recital at the Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth

NIKOLAI Demidenko gave an absorbing piano recital on Sunday afternoon. This third concert in the second Great Yarmouth International series was a delight from beginning to end and the Russian pianist revealed the awe inspiring characteristics of compositions by Beethoven and Chopin.

Three Beethoven sonatas were played in the first half of the concert. The Sonata in C minor, given the name Pathetique by the composer, opens with thrilling passages which create a wonderful sense of grandeur. There are marvellous lyrical moments in the second and third movements and then the conclusion returns to the dramatic style of the sonata's opening bars. The short charming sonata Fur Therese, dedicated to Countess Therese Brunsvik, was followed by the Moonlight Sonata.


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It did not matter that the opening movement's rippling triplets are so well known, Nikolai Demidenko's playing revealed a calm inner peace. The second and third movements contained a succession of pleasurable interludes concluding with a dramatic finale, all played with great aplomb by this distinguished, world renowned soloist.

The second half of the programme was devoted to works by Chopin, very appropriate since 2010 marks 200 years since the composer's birth. This year there will be around 1,300 Chopin concerts performed worldwide and this concert provided the large audience with an insight into what singles out Chopin as a virtuoso composer for the piano. There were marvellous emotional moments in the Polonaise Fantaisie in A flat Major op 61 and the Two Nocturnes op 48.

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And so we were fully prepared for the Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor. This work, like Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, contains some very familiar music, namely the haunting funeral march which is so often played in an orchestral version at state funerals. Nikolai Demidenko's playing held the audience spellbound. The presto fourth movement provided a thrilling conclusion to the concert. Warm applause was rewarded with three encores, two Nocturnes and a Polonaise.

By Margaret Willis

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