Music & Wine St Luke’s Brighton 15th October 2021

Allowing us deeper into Dinara

Dinara Klinton - square - blue dress space top & right Apr15
 Benjamin Ealovega - Compressed.jpgHer image has resembled a slavic warrior. Long black hair in luring waves beyond the shoulders. Darkish brown eyes in sometimes piercing gaze. Smiles brief and rationed. Frowns fleeting but frequent. Speech quick and penetrating.

Her most-feared weapons? A quiver-full of Liszt Transcendental Etudes and Prokofiev Sonatas, all 19 arrowheads tipped with a lethal dab of Chopinesque power and poetry.

Her trail of destruction? First, a summoning from the International Chopin Festival, by the world matriarch of explosively unsurpassable piano performance, Martha Argerich, to perform and demonstrate her deadliness at her Lugano Festival.

Second, a CD smelted and fired in the Mendelssohn-Salon of the Leipzig Gewandhaus (those 12 Liszt Studies) that had Sir Andràs Schiff and Stephen Kovacevich (once Argerich’s husband), BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month and other prestigious reviewings saluting the presence of a new force in that demanding and exacting repertoire. Specific recruitment by Schiff for his elite squad of outstanding new young artists attacking recital venues in Berlin, Frankfurt, Zurich and New York.

Next, a CD bequeathed to series The Fryderyk Chopin Institute of Complete Works on Contemporary Instruments.  Now her new release of all nine far-ranging Prokofiev Sonatas, forged and nailed in a Netherlands recording studio, further piling up her potent reputation among critics and soothsayers.

Is this young woman the leader of new breed of Brünnhildan Valkyries? Or is all this more realistic than operatic scenario? Is her training backstory – Ukrainian girl goes to Moscow Central School of Music, then the Russian capital’s Tchaikovsky State Conservatoire; London’s Royal College of Music and Britten Fellowship in Britain – a mere librettist’s concoction? It’s fun viewing through that lens, but I’ve nearly finished.

Dinara Klinton’s next concert in Sussex looks deceptively like voluntary disarmament. Having rained her arsenal onto the musical establishment battlements, and gained an assistant piano professorship at RCM as a prize scalp, she’s shedding her helmet and armour.

Her confiding programme of disclosure at Music & Wine series at St Luke’s Queen’s Park in Brighton on Friday 15 October (7.30) will be warming enlightenment for a westerner assuming Russian piano repertoire to be barely undetached in soul from in its concert-hall persona of hard-hitting, big-scale, virtuosic emotion-dumping, or else vintage ironic and sarcastic ideological obedience or subversion, with the odd film or ballet score protruding.

Dinara Klinton herself tells us what she has in store, and where her artistry has lately arrived:

“I welcome you to spend this Friday evening with me, enjoying not just the wine, but my taster for you of the most exquisite Russian musical bouquet. Some of my samples will be lesser known to you, but not any less delicious.

“These little pieces will walk you through the fruitful blossom of Russian romanticism with a futuristic aftertaste. From soft Lyadov Prelude on to racy ‘Lark’, herbaceous Medtner and beefy Taneyev. Then after a little social pause we’ll have smoky Scriabin, then heady Rachmaninov to end the evening.

“Come with your senses and prepared to be delighted!

The sensible advice seems to be: think not about chainmail , helmets or breastplates. Bring instead your hearts, palates and finer feelings – and uncover kindred Russian feeling!

Richard Amey

Dinara Klinton is an associate artiste of The International Interview Concerts



Maidstone Symphony Orchestra Mote Hall 9th October 2021

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Rarely have I watched a performer who exuded as much palpable pleasure in the music as Mayumi Kanagawa playing Bruch’s first violin concerto. She smiled several times at the leader during the piece and rocked appreciatively during the orchestral passages. Perhaps, since this was MSO’s first concert for 20 months, she was as delighted to be playing live as the audience was to be there.

Technically pretty impeccable, Kanagawa gave us some fine cross string work and double stopping and, later, dug out lots of romantic richness in the allegro moderato. The orchestra, meanwhile, accompanied her warmly. I occasionally hear in colours and perceive G minor as a navy blue key. Kanagawa’s simple dark blue outfit reflected that so perhaps she does too.

Her showstopper encore, Paganini’s The Hunt, was very welcome icing on the cake. Played with expert insouciance and lots of colour, her flamboyant double stopping and “impossible” leaps certainly impressed this indifferent amateur violinist.

The concerto was sandwiched between an incisively dramatic account of Beethoven’s Coriolan overture and, after the interval, Mendelssohn’s third symphony “Scottish”. I was pleased to note that Brian Wright took the whole symphony more or less attacca so that there was no space or temptation for audience applause between movements. It makes the work so much more cohesive than if it’s chopped up. Despite occasional fragments of raggedness, it resounded with melodious energy. The management of dynamics un the opening movement created a lot of lively interest and I liked the way Wright let the wind interjections, especially bassoon, shine through the texture. We were also treated to an elegantly understated second movement and as for the adagio … a conductor I was working under once commented: “This is one of the most sublime melodies ever written but you musn’t milk it”, MSO didn’t … but I still felt something in my eye at the end.

Yes, it’s utterly brilliant to see MSO in action again. They still sit at separate stands which makes page turning difficult for string players and the distancing changes the sound slightly but it’s hundreds of times better than the long, long silence we’ve all been through.

Susan Elkin