Chichester Chamber Concerts: Katya Apekisheva Piano Recital

Katya Apekisheva has an outstanding talent which impressed and delighted the Chichester Chamber Concerts’ audience.

Unnecessarily looking to the gods for inspiration when her skills were deep in her DNA, Katya demonstrated a range of musical understanding and interpretation through a wide range of pieces which culminated in a spectacular interpretation of the popular Chopin Scherzo which seemed to confirm that the gods wanted to lift her up to heaven.

Starting with a combination of delicate, clear phrasing and well defined themes Katya played three contrasting Scarlatti Sonatas with crisp attack and clean ornamentation, the whole being at a well controlled pace.

In complete contrast, the Janáček collection of four pieces In the Mists proved Katya’s complete command of the keyboard and her deep understanding of the Romanian cultural influences. This was an excellent introduction for those unused to the Janáček sound.

The first half of the programme ended with Carnival Scenes by Schumann which showed that our pianist loved to perform and loved the music. We heard a range of dynamics and quiet reflections before the finale brought a masterly performance to an acclaimed conclusion.

The audience eagerly awaited the return of Katya after the interval to perform four Chopin pieces. The F minor Fantasy, with its mysterious opening leading to expansive themes, was played with perfect technique and a clear understanding of the composer’s intensions.

Two Nocturnes illustrated a delicate touch which sang to us with assured charm and again showed Katya’s command of the emotions inherent in a musical form much exploited by Chopin. A larger piano would have helped here to bring out the full tonal quality of the pieces.

But the Scherzo No 2 in B Flat minor was worth the ticket price alone. This much performed and often overworked piece came alive in the hands of this diminutive artist who brought new insights and interpretations while giving a spectacular demonstration of pianistic skill. Surely the combination of the gods and DNA had been witness to this amazing event.

David Tinsley