We opened the season with an amazing recital from Vitaly Pisarenko on Saturday 13th October.
Friday was spent organising lighting and seating to create an intimate space in which to fully immerse ourselves into the piano sound world that Vitaly was to create. The piano was central in the hall and lit atmospherically, while the seating was arranged in 3 sections, one behind the keyboard to have a view of the pianist's hands, one on the other side for a different perspective to view his expression and concentration, and the other in the traditional audience position.
The pre-concert talk by Andrew Ball was nearly cancelled due to illness from Andrew Ball who suffers from Parkinson's Disease. A bit of time was spent calling other possible speakers to see if they could save the talk, but fortunately Andrew rallied round and was able to come and give a fascinating insight into the concert world of pianists from Liszt and Clara Schumann to the 20th century giants of the piano such as Rachmaninov, Cortot, Arrau and Gilels. The audience asked some interesting questions and it was enjoyed all round.
Vitaly's recital was a huge feat of pianistic strength, incredible beauty and phenomenal virtuosity which had the audience literally gasping and enraptured. The intimacy of the space allowed the audience to feel so close to Vitaly's journey through the programme. The opening depths of Rachmaninov's Morceaux de fantaisie op. 3 were followed by a performance of Prokofiev's Ten Pieces which were full of character, humour and scintillating sound worlds which delighted the enthusiastic audience. After the interval came the little known Images oubliees of Debussy and his very popular deux arabesques in which Vitaly created kaleidoscopic colours. Finishing the programme with Liszt Ballade no. 2 and Hungarian Rhapsody no. 10 with formidable pianism, always with wonderful sense of artistry and line, Vitaly Pisarenko firmly imprinted on the audience a memorable evening which would be talked about for a long time to come.