On Saturday we had a trip out to Holmes Chapel to hear Nickolai Demidenko performing at the Music Society there. We turned up on spec - our local music society often suffers from poor numbers - things were rather different on Saturday - we guessed that there isn't the musical competition that there is within Macclesfield - and the closer link to Manchester. We were put on a waiting list until they checked that full season ticket holders didn't seem to have turned up. So we were lucky!
It was an all Schubert recital the Impromptus D899, the 3 Klavierstücke D946 and the C minor sonata D958. Concentrated interior pieces (maybe that goes without saying with Schubert). I used to attempt the Klavierstücke and they're very strange works with stabbing chords and rhythms, there's a set of podcasts on the Guardian Website from Paul Lewis which are worth hearing. Both the middle one of the Klavierstücke and the last Impromptu have excursions into the wild key of Ab minor, Demidenko played these works with a intimacy and control. Then the C minor sonata which I remember for the seemingly endless loop of the finale - Beethoven looms large here (throughout the sonata) but it's taken in Schubert's own direction and the finale almost manic obsessive rhythms were powerfully communicated.
Demidenko played the same concert at the Wigmore Hall last night - the Independent review is here - I don't find exuberance in that final movement - and we got an extra (3rd!) encore of a Glinka Farewell - all the encores having a Russian connection.(A review from the Guardian has now appeared)