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Katya Grineva, Solo Pianist, Performs "Elements of Love at Carnegie Hall

- Classical and Cultural Connections

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Katya Grineva, Pianist
Elements of Love

Dedicated to Irina Grineva

Carnegie Hall
Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage

Press: April Thibeault

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 25, 2013


Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 by Chopin
Fantaisie Impromptu Op. 66 by Chopin
Waltz in C sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2 by Chopin
Swan Song by Schubert/Liszt
Impromptu in A flat major, Op. 90, No. 4 by Schubert
Boat on the Ocean by Ravel
Concert Étude-“Waldesrauschen” “Sounds of the Forest” by Liszt
Ritual Fire Dance by De Falla
”De Hartmann” “The Initiation of the Priestess” by Gurdjieff
First Gymnopédie by Satie
Third Gnossienne by Satie
Scheherazade “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship” by Rimsky/Korsakov
Poems of the Sea by Bloch

Katya Grineva once again appeared at Carnegie Hall for a tribute concert, this time in honor of her mother, Irina Grineva. Whereas the last Grineva concert reviewed for this column focused on “love and water”, tonight’s concert focused on “elements of love”. Ms. Grineva plays the solo piano works in an unrushed, eloquent style, bringing out the romanticism and peacefulness, as well as drama and dervish, in each of the singular works. Three Chopin works opened this program with the “Nocturne” unfolding in rapture and resonance. The “Fantaisie Impromptu” was soft, yet yearning, with trills and crescendos expanding the fervor. The “Waltz” followed with balletic tonal imagery, as the melody sparked enchantment and elegance. “Swan Song” by Schubert and Liszt, like the previous Chopin works, has been heard in one-act ballets, some as scores in Balanchine and Robbins repertoire. Ms. Grineva interpreted this renowned piece with unusual stretching of tempo and dimension, giving it emotionality and serenity.

The Schubert “Impromptu” was performed with dramatic tension and urgency, with a filmatic sense of compelling repetitions. Ms. Grineva makes the most of each inherent melody, in reverential renditions. Ravel’s “Boat on the Ocean” includes passages of rolling waves and impressionistic, atonal treble effects. Its scintillating storminess was followed by serene stillness. The Liszt “Sounds of the Forest” expanded on the mystical sense of rural tranquility, before the piano erupted in De Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance”, with its driven, dynamic, devilish musicality in motion. After intermission, Gurdjieff’s “The Initiation of the Priestess”, a rare symphonic sounding solo, opened the remaining program with impressive magnitude. Its echoing trills made it a masterful and challenging work.

Satie’s sequential “Gymnopédie” and “Gnossienne” were seamlessly and fluidly played with one even more exotic than the other, each note falling like a raindrop, with surreal placidity, holding pauses in amorphous tones. Ms. Grineva then took “Scheherazade” to new dimensions, with swirling sensuality, as if its tale was yet unfolding. The Bloch “Poems of the Sea” is exquisitely atonal and equally challenging and complex as the Rimsky/Korsakov. Ms. Grineva’s encore was Ravel’s “Bolero”, played expertly from memory with impassioned dramatization. Kudos to Katya Grineva.

Katya Grineva at Carnegie Hall
Courtesy of Andre Chow

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