Saturday, May 19, 2018

Yulianna Avdeeva in Sydney

Riveting. That is the word for Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva's performance in Sydney last week. Not showy, not flamboyant, but so persuasive that she captured her audience from the moment she began playing. 

In Sydney last Monday a lot of the audience had autumn sniffles but there was not a movement or a cough during Avdeeva's entire performance, such was the entrancement. Avdeeva won the International Chopin competition in Warsaw in 2010, the second woman to win this coverted prizde (Martha Argerich was the first) and has built a solo career since then. I had the feeliing that she played exactly as the composer would have played. The last time I had that sensation was listening to Sebastian Knauer playing his Wilhelm Kempf tribute and it is a sensation one doesn't forget..

Avdeeva played Chopin then Liszt, in an intelligently curated program, with one piece melding into the next where that was fruitful. I could have listened to her all night.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Neighbours are a treasure

My neighbour ordered some bulbs and this evening she came over to offer me some. It is just the right time to plant bulbs and I am delighted to have some to plant out in the autumnal sun. They are just ready to sprout. I think I'll plant them in a pot so I can retrieve them more easily post flowering.
Pot of bulbs

My mother planted a great paddock of daffodils that flowered every year. Remembering this, I planted some daffodils in the lawn one year but they didn't thrive, flowering only one season. My mother's soil was temperate clay and fertile, while I live on an almost tropical sandbank.

Addendum (next day):
They're in the pot, watched over by Ms/Mr Kiss
The bulb container watched over my Ms/Mr 😘

Selby and Friends, in Turramurra

Concert sketch: Leppänen, Selby and Valve
Kathryn Selby is a fine pianist who chooses excellent musicians with whom to play. On Sunday it was Vesa-MattiLeppänen who is concert master for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Timo-Veikko Valve who is Principal Cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. 

Hearing these exceptional musicians in an intimate setting (the Uniting Church hall in Turramurra) is a special pleasure and word must have spread as the concert was well attended. Several attendees were in wheelchairs. I hope if I ever need a wheelchair I live near a venue visited by such wonderful musicians. 

I went with two people who are seated much more often on bicycles than concert chairs. 
The were captivated and commented,  "Oh they are so completely in time!" and 'What fun they are having - they obviously like playing together!' What fun to experience the concert through their eyes.

Selby and Friends are playing in Melbourne, Adelaide and at the City Recital Center in Sydney this week.  Catch them if you can.