REVIEW: Funtington Music Group

Tanya Ursova
Tanya Ursova
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Tanya Ursova, the Ukrainian concert pianist, was warmly welcomed back by the Funtington Music Group for the opening of their New Season Concert Programme on 11 January at the University of Chichester.

Tanya Ursova introduced the “muses” behind the foremost Russian composers from Tchaikovsky to Shostakovich, and then she played numerous extracts from their repertoire illustrating the mood of the composer at the time of writing.

Starting with Tchaikovsky she chose to play some to the “Seasons” Opus 37a which were composed at a time when Tchaikovsky was not in one of his regular moods of despair. Noteworthy was Tanya’s interpretation of the month of November where, after the melancholy month January, she beautifully brought to life, with a sense of delicacy and vitality, the sound of sleigh bells and the contrasting atmosphere of a Russian winter.

Her second composer was Alexander Scriabin. Tanya intuitively brought out the composer’s sense of excess and rapture in her performance of a number of the Six Preludes which were composed during the middle of a particular love affair. Here the music moved from dreamy romance to a crashing crescendo. She created a sensitive performance ranging from tenderness to fire, all combined with dynamic expertise and technical precision.

After a stunning performance of Polichinelle by Rachmaninov, she reinforced the audience’s enthusiastic view that she was a very talented musician, who could play a wide variety of musical genres, including the joking, boisterous range of dynamics that this particular piece required of the pianist.

Returning after the interval and moving on to Prokofiev, she chose to play the third movement of his Sonata No 6. Here she ably created an expansive and romantic experience with this movement. She had previously explained to the audience that this sonata was inspired by the composer’s love affair and new “muse” Eleanora. The concert concluded with two pieces from Shostakovich, including the Prelude and Fugue in B Flat Minor Opus 87 No 21. These preludes are perfect for a pianist to demonstrate technical and expressive talent, and Tanya Ursova did not disappoint in her concluding piece.

David Tinsley, Chairman of The Funtington Music Group, said, “Tanya is a talented and creative pianist, with a wide and erudite knowledge of Russian music and she has entertained and educated us royally this evening. What a remarkable performance both on the piano and as an entertaining speaker.”

Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, on 01 243 378900. Please visit our website at www.funtingtonmusicgroup.org.uk.

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