Archive | November, 2016

Valentina Seferinova at Bristol Music Centre 2016-11-08

12 Nov

As I write four days later, the haunting lilt of Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 lingers in my mind. The simple arrangement of three notes: B flat, G and F with acacciaturas creates, when handled by a seasoned and intelligent performer like Valentina Seferinova, an ineluctable sense of pleasure in the listener. Looking around at the concentration on all faces, communing with the spirit of Satie and of this unique composition, one is struck by the power of music to evoke out-of-the-body experiences.

Yes, Seferimg_20161108_202424inova can let off musical fireworks with the best of them: the Tarantella Op4 by Josef Wieniawski proved that. She can do more than justice to the old standards: her delivery of Debussy’s mysterious and viscerally powerful La Cathedrale Engloutie was adequate proof. A striking figure in dark velvet, striding the stage delivering anecdotes about the composers in her programme ( I liked the one about Wieniawski listening to a piece at a musical gathering for the first time and then performing it from memory), Valentina charmed and edified her willing audience before delivering, flawlessly, the goods.

The magic of salon concert performances is a collective experience involving bothbmc artist and audience. And as Chopin himself explained: in order to experience true art, one must abandon the great concert halls. No form of recorded music, whether disc, streaming or iPod can come near to matching this experience. The small Bristol Music Club concert room, purpose built over a hundred years ago and seating only 50-100, is a perfect setting for the magic to happen and Valentina Seferinova’s November 2016 concert a good example of the magician at work.