Pianist Maya Irgalina from Minsk Belarus has been a regular guest at St. Peter’s Burnley. Burnley and Pendle Music Society called a halt to its independence last year and St. Peter’s
concerts are trying to extend the life of music in the town by establishing events on Sunday afternoons. Maya was first in line and drew a good attendance.
She began with J.S. Bach from his second book of Well-Tempered Clavier, the Prelude and Fugue in E flat. Maya explained that she regarded Bach as being an apostle of the Old Testament. Beethoven was from the “New.” The name of his “Tempest” sonata may not have been his choice, but it
is appropriate. It is turbulent from the outset. It stops and starts with heights and troughs. To maintain the musicality it must at the same time flow. You must keep your bearings to
achieve this. Maya held the course. Beethoven’s “Rage over a Lost Penny” is a show-off piece, hands running up and down the keyboard. Execution was immaculate.
After the interval, Tchaikovsky’s “Seasons” were the fare. They were written as though observed from afar. Maya played October, November, February, March and April. They are
most delicate and a contrast to the Beethoven. Arkady Volodos who has played at Ribble Valley arranged a Melody” for voice by Rachmaninov for solo piano. Nikolai Kapustin, a Russian now in his eighties has always had trouble with the authorities because of his jazz-inflected ways. Maya played three items; “Variations,” a Paraphrase and an Etude. The runs were perhaps European, the rhythms distinctly jazz. They were lively, extrovert and much appreciated. Maya Irgalina not only finds all the notes and in the right order, but presents them in such a way that the audience feels drawn into the music, an admirable talent.