Calling all young fans of classical music! I counted just a tiny handful of you at this recital. If you knew that, for less than a tenner, you could have heard a true virtuoso playing superb music, Christ Church would have been full to overflowing on Sunday afternoon, as Yuri Paterson-Olenich displayed the form that, against world-class opposition, has won him awards from the BBC and the prestigious Gramophone magazine.
The best music began the recital, but top-class pianism ensured that Schubert’s shadow did not fall over the rest of the programme. Yuri showed a natural feel for the idiom of Granados’ music, but the highlight of the afternoon was the aptly named suite of Forgotten Melodies by Medtner, a Russian pianist-composer who has been almost totally eclipsed by his contemporary, Rachmaninov. On this evidence his music is long overdue for resurrection to the concert-platform. It often sounds like that of a less lugubrious Rachmaninov, but with every bit as many notes! Medtner was less melodically gifted, but these Forgotten Melodies kept me listening for the full forty minutes and proved very palatable. The audience’s enthusiastic applause was clearly as much for Yuri’s superbly virtuosic and characterful performance as for Medtner’s music.
What a privilege to hear such a fine artist for such a modest outlay!