On 16 June 2018 we had the great privilege of welcoming Ukrainian classical pianist Olga Zado to the Princess Alexandra Auditorium in Yarm to play a recital for us.
Her programme was:
FRANZ SCHUBERT - Impromptus:
Op. 90 - D 899
- No 1 in C minor Allegro molto moderato
- No 2 in E flat Allegro
- No 3 in G flat Andante
- No 4 in A flat Allegretto
ROBERT SCHUMANN - Intermezzi Op. 4:
- 1 Allegro Quasi Maestoso
- 2 Presto a Cappriccio
- 3 Allegro marcato
- 4 Allegretto semplice
- 5 Allegro moderato
- 6 Allegro
-- BREAK --
ROBERT SCHUMANN - Sonata No 1 Op. 11 in F-sharp minor:
- 1. Introduzione: UnPoco Adagio – Allegro Vivace
- 2. Aria
- 3. Scherzo e Intermezzo. Allegrissimo - Lento
- 4. Finale: Allegro un poco maestoso
Starting with the Schubert Impromptus. It was immediately obvious that we were in for a beautiful and inspiring evening as Olga played with her usual precision and passion interpreting the music in a way that surely would have impressed the composer. What a remarkable thing it is to be able to bring the music composed over 200 years ago to a modern audience.
The Intermezzos were initially described as less weighty pieces than his piano sonatas, but it was agreed that they went far beyond the bounds of mere entertainment for amateurs and were initially rejected by publishers because of their difficulty. However, listening and watching Olga’s performance there was no evidence of the difficulty described but that only emphasised the work and effort that she puts into preparing for her performances.
As Olga started the Schumann Intermezzi the anticipation in the auditorium was palpable. Before he wrote the intermezzi, Schumann said that it was going to be something special and that each note is going to be weighed up very carefully. How appropriate, therefore, for Olga to be playing this piece because surely one of the greatest qualities that she brings to her playing is the importance that she places on every note. Every note is played as though it is vital to the whole interpretation of the music.
Schumann‘s Sonata in F sharp minor has a variety of tempos and textures. The first movement is simple with mournful solemnity moving to the Allegro section which is lively and fiery. The Aria is the slow movement moving to the finale which is alternatively blustery and reflective. All these different moods and colours would often give the pianist difficulty to bring out the varying nuances. Of course, Olga managed this amazingly with her usual masterful pianistic ability. What a brilliant ending to her performance the audience thought.
However, this wasn’t to be the end. The audience were in for a special treat when Olga performed Chopin’s Nocturne number 8. This is a piece that she has performed many times from an early age and she brings all her pianistic ability, musical skills and magic to bear on this wonderful piece. Some members of the audience were moved to tears by this amazing interpretation of a piece composed by someone who is arguably the greatest composer of piano music.