Pavel Kolesnikov, piano & the Dover Quartet

Audience as a Critic - Audience as a Critic


Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8 PM

Joel Link, Bryan Lee, violins
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola
Camden Shaw, cello

BEETHOVEN: Seven Bagatelles, Op. 33
(Mr. Kolesnikov)

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Op. 59, No. 1 “Razoumovsky” (Dover Quartet)

SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

Kolesnikov – Most delightful. Each Bagatelle was a perfect short story – sometimes fingers moving at lightning speed, and sometimes a breathtaking, gentle cantabile – with clarity, and with perfectly poised rests and fermatas, and always the right dramatic point. Dover Quartet – Beethoven: Perfect timing, perfect blend of parts, each great musician working for an even greater whole – combined with fantastic music. Can it get any better? Shostakovich: Rich harmonies and big contrasts, all handled with ease and finesse. Wonderful sound. Great to hear, and obviously enjoyed by five extremely talented, young musicians. (V.H.)

Exquisite. Overwhelming musicality of the performers. (Anon)

Enthusiastic, sensitive playing by a group of musicians dedicated to the music and each other. I got a new “feel” for Beethoven! The Bagatelles: Perfecto! Thank you! (Anon)

Shostakovich – Compelling, engaging, I need to hear this again! (D.L.)

Fabulous, but too much for one evening. To start the second half at ten minutes to 10:00 is just too late, especially for out of town patrons. Start the young artist at 7:45 ?? (K.C.)

Wonderful music-making. (D.W.)

Wonderful program! Great blend and togetherness. Dover has to be one of the world’s best string quartets! Pavel is a pianist extraordinaire with sensitive body language and amazing fingers! Excellent idea having The Young Artist Program. Sean’s cello playing was not out of place!

Harry, you did it again! Great evening! Excellent Pianist and soulful Quartet. Thank you. (Anon)

Whatever you do, you must bring them back again! (Anon)

Dover Quartet: Beethoven – Dynamic, but much too long! (Anon)

Here are remarks from two of Harry’s senior students in his “Psychology and the Arts” course who were invited to attend:

Student #1. To start off, I would like to discuss the atmosphere of the concert itself. I thought that the complimentary refreshments before and at the break really energized the crowd, and was refreshing to say the least. I was impressed with the professionalism of the volunteers in the hallway, and impressed with the seating arrangements inside the theatre itself. Before the concert even started, I would say that the experience was pretty phenomenal at this point. For the performance itself, I did not know what to expect coming into the concert. I have never attended a concert like this before and therefore my expectations weren’t extremely high. But, WOW, Pavel Kolesnikov was absolutely amazing. It is hard for me to define a musical experience such as this because I got lost in the piano playing itself. Sorry, I don’t have words to explain what I was feeling, I just got lost in the music. I am a big fan of “darker” music, rather than the happy-upbeat kind, so Pavel’s music was more influential on me then the Dover Quartet’s piece. The final piece was extremely interesting because it combined Pavel and the Dover Quartet along with a “darker” piece, which sparked my musical imagination even further. There has been some emotional stuff occurring in my life at the moment, so listening to the music yesterday gave me a sense that everything will be alright. But music has that effect, the power to heal or evaluate certain aspects of your life, almost like music is a therapy? But, this is my first concert of this nature, so at the very least I’m sure this will be the beginning of my musical journey as I move forward in life and I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend such a concert, it was fantastic. Next time Virtuosi hosts artists that play darker-toned music (I don’t even know if that’s the proper term for it, so forgive me) let me know, I would love to go and bring my girlfriend! Thanks for the ticket and the experience!

Student #2. The Virtuosi Concert is not something I originally thought I’d enjoy; I did enjoy it but didn’t find myself emotionally moved. The pianist, Pavel Kolesnikov, was very playful and expressive with the Beethoven. Listening to the piece played by the quartet (I closed my eyes), I was transported into what I can only describe as a place of Disney. I could see scenes from many different movies from my childhood and was left feeling like I wanted more. The whole concert in itself was an experience, although it was the Shostakovich quintet that I enjoyed most. Here I am, writing this review, and I’m listening to the same quintet online. The thought of that piece has pervaded my life and I have found myself thinking about it on multiple occasions in the days following the concert. Listening to the music right now – for only the second time in my life – I can honestly say my mood has been lifted. Suffice it to say, I will be listening to more Shostakovich – something I never thought I would say in my entire life.

(Compiled by Jeremy Strub)