REVIEW: pianist Sofya Gulyak

Pianist Sofya Gulyak
Pianist Sofya Gulyak

Piano transcriptions are usually difficult and only played by pianists with the musical integrity and physical capacity to perform them.

Sofya Gulyak began with Ferruccio Busoni’s transcription of JS Bach’s Chaconne in D minor for solo vilion.

Technically demanding, she gave a masterly performance of clear counterpoint and ringing sonority.

Rachmaninov’s lyrical Elegy No 1 with the right hand melody dominating was also included.

Andante Spianato and Polonaise is perhaps not as virtuosic as some of Chopin;s major works but the lyrical Andante movement was well contrasted with the rhythmic drive of the Polonaise.

Cesar Franck’s lovely Prelude, Fugue and Variation was part of the programme. The organ score transcribed for piano by, pianist Harold Bauer, this music belongs in the half light and soaring acoustics of Notre Dame d Paris. Played by the organist on thecathedral’s famous Cavaille-Coll organ, magical.

La Vaise is Ravel’s comment on the turnoil and frenzy of World War One.

He decided to look back to happier times with the cascading notes and fast tempo of a swirling ballroom waltz.

A picture in his mind of couples dancing in an Imperial ball.

Sofya Gulyak is a brilliant pianist, composed and assured. She is capable of playing almost anything in the piano repertoire.