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Katya Grineva and Byron Duckwall Present "Romantic Favorites" at Weill Hall
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Katya Grineva and Byron Duckwall Present "Romantic Favorites" at Weill Hall

- Classical and Cultural Connections

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Katya Grineva, Piano
Byron Duckwall, Cello

Romantic Favorites

Dedicated to John Duckwall

Weill Recital Hall

Press: April Thibeault

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 26, 2018

See a Review of the Grineva-Duckwall CD:
Soirée…French Masterpieces

Rachmaninoff: Vocalise Opus 34 no. 1
Tschaikovsky: Autumn Song (from Les Saisons)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade Op. 35 (arr. by K. Grineva)
Massenet: Méditation from “Thaïs”
Chopin: Nocturne no. 2 Eb major Op. 9
Chopin: Nocturne no. 19 E minor Op. 72 (posthumous)
Chopin: Nocturne no. 8 Db major Op. 27
Chopin: Fantasie-Impromptu Op. 66
Brahms: Cello Sonata no. 1 E minor Op. 38

It was lovely to see and listen to Katya Grineva once again at the Weill Steinway. Katya has been favorably reviewed for years on these pages, with recitals at Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium for Holiday concerts and benefits. Byron Duckwall, on cello tonight, performed on piano-cello duets for the above linked recording. They create gorgeous music together. Tonight’s concert included four Chopin works, as well as sumptuous pieces by Rachmaninoff, Tschaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Massenet, and Brahms in musical solos and duos.

The Vocalise by Rachmaninoff, a duo, included a soulful cello theme, fitting in this tribute concert to Mr. Duckwall’s father. The piano backdrop plays like raindrops. Tschaikovsky’s Autumn Song was imbued with languid yearning, with autumn perhaps a metaphor for reflection in a lifetime of memories. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade is a spellbinding work often scored for ballet and presented in gala vocal events. Tonight Ms. Grineva added dynamic drama and poetic tonal narrative to her elegant solo. Massenet’s Thaïs solo, usually performed on violin in ballet excerpts, was exquisite tonight on Mr. Duckwall’s cello. The pace chosen by the cellist was more dervish than I’d heard it before, a danceable, spellbinding theme.

The three Chopin Nocturnes were a testament to Ms. Grineva’s seasoned talent. The Eb Major, no. 2, has been scored for numerous ballets reviewed on these pages, for its intrinsic, wistful romanticism. The E minor, no. 19, is one of the most challenging on solo piano, with rapid waterfalls and instantaneous, dancing notes. The Db Major, no. 8, is theatrical and eloquent, as well as balletic. Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu, so evocative of the tune based on its theme, “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”, was performed by Ms. Grineva with warmth and refinement. I recall that this was one of my own mother’s early Chopin works on her piano. The Brahms Cello Sonata no. 1 in E minor was a lovely finale, with both Ms. Grineva and Mr. Duckwall onstage. Both artists maximized the moment with this colorful, vigorous, impassioned work. Encores ensued.

Katya Grineva and Byron Duckwall at Weill Reception
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at