Adelaide Advertiser Tour 4

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Ilya Konovalov performs for Selby and Friends

Selby and Friends    Elder Hall Sunday, September 29

On this occasion pianist Kathryn Selby and her guest, distinguished concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Ilya Konovalov, presented an Elder Hall program with major pillars of the repertoire, Brahms 3rd Sonata in D minor and Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata Op 47, book ending some smaller works in between.

And here came something of a surprise. Despite a clear affinity with the big musical items, Konovalov's interpretations of Tchaikovsky's Valse-Scherzo Op 34 and Melody Op 42 positively dazzled with all the delicate rubatos, charming nuances and pyrotechnic gymnastics beloved of 19th century virtuoso violinists.

His warmth, technical brilliance and not a little sentiment in these miniatures showed a lighter side to his temperament that he clearly enjoys indulging from time to time. It certainly struck a chord with listeners.

With Beethoven's monumental Kreutzer Sonata after interval it was back to the serious business of the day, with objectivity and passion ruling in almost equal measure. Beethoven calls for great dramatic contrasts in the expansive first movement which is nevertheless packed to overflowing with incident and detail. Both Konovalov and Selby matched each other with enviable unanimity as they negotiated its volcanic craters with high octane energy,

The second movement's vacillating brooding and whimsy again found both artists on cue, portraying with admirable insight the nearest Beethoven gets to levity amid his deeply felt contemplations. They also grasped with both hands the whirlwind third movement's sense of affirming elation.

Press Reviews