In presenting the truly gifted Russian star pianist Daria Kiseleva, Artistic Director Josef Sekon has lifted the artistic bar another notch. Ms. Kiseleva’s two-hour performance Sunday, February 3, at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Aptos was beyond exhilarating.
Saint John’s Episcopal Church is an excellent acoustical and intimate venue well suited for the Aptos Keyboard Series’ highly talented artists. In the words of Roy Malan, Concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet “the most superb acoustics in Santa Cruz County” rang true.
Works performed in Ms. Kiseleva’s outstanding recital included Mozart’s Piano Sonata in D major, K.311, two Fairy Tales by Medtner (Magic Violin and Wood Sprite), Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue in D flat major Op. 87, No. 15, Brahms Variations on an Original Theme in D major, Op. 21, No. 1, and if that didn’t overload the plate, she threw in Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 82 for good measure!
Ms. Kiseleva’s inexhaustible and astonishing facility created delicate bell-like sonorities on the newly-acquired Kawai GX-7 piano. Fleet passages that spun off with exhilarating brilliance like champagne’s sparkle kept the sizable audience spellbound. Her Mozart displayed a special warmth, poise and charm in a truly fine classical taste.
Both Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit and Prokofiev’s “War Sonata” No. 6 made one’s one’s heart dance and one’s head spin in amazement. Rippling textures, superbly rendered clarity and awesome virtuosity held us spellbound. She created jolting contrasts with picturesque evocations in Ravel’s Scarbo movement, in which the mischievous goblin appeared and bounced from every nook and cranny in Saint John’s Sanctuary. Daria’s immense talent, masterful skills and deep passion were all on full display with her limitless imagination.
You can find more about Daria and see many of her performances on her YouTube page. Daria’s superb performance this afternoon was loudly and enthusiastically appreciated by all who were fortunate enough to attend. Standing ovations with cries of Brava! Superb! and WOW!! echoed the room. Many felt it was one of the finest performances offered locally in living memory. I totally agree. Daria was astonishing!
The Aptos Keyboard Series has been a great success in promoting many world-class, superbly talented artists by inviting them to perform here for our music loving community in Aptos. Mr. Sekon deserves our greatest thanks and appreciation for his significant work in this regard.
Please take a moment to visit The Aptos Keyboard Series @ St. John’s webpage (http://www.st-john-aptos.org/aptos-keyboard-series.html) for more information and schedules for upcoming concerts.
We hope to see you at future Aptos Keyboard Series concerts.