by Daniel Hathaway & Mike Telin
To open Sunday morning’s session, Oleksandr Poliykov chose a single work, Brahms’s f minor sonata, op. 5, beginning grandly, then fading to a beautiful pianissimo. The first movement explored the whole range of emotion from the explosive to the sensitive while the rest of the sonata featured moments of stunning, lyrical beauty even in brooding and introspective passages. Poliykov can play with enormous power that never gets blurry and his sense of the spacious and expansive gesture suited Brahms well.
Beatrice Berrut began her second round set with a completely delightful journey through Haydn’s F Major Sonata (Hob. XVI:23) that was clean, touchingly lyrical and shapely. Her tone, full of color and dynamic contrasts, was readily apparent in her all-around brilliant performance of Chopin’s b-flat minor Sonata, op. 35. The third movement Marche also showed her great sense of line. These were two very well-conceived and executed performances; Berrut followed up with a winning smile at the end. [Read more…]