Katya Grineva, Pianist
Love and Water
Dedicated to the Victims of the Japanese Tsunami
Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage
Press: April Thibeault
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 22, 2011
Clair de Lune by Debussy
Barcarolle by Schubert/Liszt
Impromptu in A-flat major, Op. 90, No. 4 by Schubert
Les Jeaux d’eau a la Villa d’Este by Liszt
Jeaux d’eau by Ravel
Poems of the Sea by Bloch
Barcarolle by Tchaikovsky
Scheherazade “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship” by Rimsky-Korsakov
La cathédrale engloutie by Debussy
L’isle joyeuse “The Island of Treasure” by Debussy
I can’t remember such a delightful evening of rapturous piano solos as I heard tonight, thanks to Katya Grineva, born and trained in Moscow. For Carnegie Hall, an annual ritual for Ms. Grineva, she wore a gorgeous, full, yellow gown with a prominent black bow, looking like she stepped out of a Renoir painting, with long blond curls and a winsome smile. Ms. Grineva’s notes mention a “special and spontaneous interaction” between this pianist and her audience, and it was obvious from the moment she appeared on Perelman stage that her fans adore her. She bows modestly and smiles with radiant warmth. This is the elegant style so evocative of the 19th century salons. In fact, tonight’s program, featuring compositions of Debussy and Liszt, created the ambiance of one expansive salon. The theme, “Love and Water”, is an homage to water, and Ms. Grineva recorded the accompanying CD in Fiji. The music relates to fountains, ocean, waves, moonlit night, and love songs on the water (Barcarolles).
For Debussy’s Clair de Lune, Ms. Grineva introduces the program with slow, dreamlike phrases in scintillating sound. In the Schubert/Liszt Barcarolle, she holds the final note for endless effect, after a rhythmic, romantic piece infused with yearning and enchantment. The Schubert Impromptu in A-flat major progresses from fluttering notes, like rapid raindrops, to melancholy, deeper tones. She has an ear for beauty and projects joy, as she turns and smiles during this piece. Les Jeaux d’eau a la Villa d’Este, by Liszt, has orchestral quality sound with fullness and rapture, as Ms. Grineva travels the extent of the keyboard with animated shadings. Jeaux d’eau by Ravel is surreal and ethereal, with high treble notes transporting the listener.
Her interpretation of Bloch’s Poems of the Sea brought undulating rippling effects to the segment on “Waves”, lyrical, echoing refrains to the segment on “Chanty”, and frenzied, rolling crescendos to the segment on “At Sea”. Tchaikovsky’s Barcarolle is replete with passion, inviting the audience into the enchanting Scheherazade, by Rimsky-Korsakov. This work is quintessentially exotic, and here I saw something about Ms. Grineva’s styling. I’ve heard this piece so many times, orchestrally and balletically, but I’ve never heard it drawn out with such elongated timing or emphasis on poignancy. Ms. Grineva closed with two more works by Debussy, La cathédrale engloutie and L’isle joyeuse. The first was replete with floating harmonies, quiet bass chords, and a resounding final note held for emphasis. The final program piece, and the final Debussy, was played with a trembling introduction, swirling like snow. The encore was a quiet Satie Gymnopédie. Kudos to Katya Grineva.
Katya Grineva at the Steinway
(Shown at a Previous Concert)
Courtesy of Andre Chow