Thursday 18 October 2012

Natasha Paremski, the skydiving pianist

Well, have you ever seen a concert pianist jump out a plane before? Me neither. Natasha Paremski is a breath of fresh air though, and her performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto (a piece I’m thoroughly sick of) this week, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, convinced me that it might be worth hearing again, if played quite this well:

“[Paremski] rattled through it as though it was the most fun a girl could have, shrugging her shoulders and swaying in sympathy with the music’s ebb and flow. Paremski wasn’t inclined towards broadness or weight, instead ditching the pomposity to elevate the sparkling delight of Tchaikovsky’s writing. Her touch on the sustaining pedal was feather-light (even with outrageously high heels) and the delicacy of her soft playing was remarkable for its control.”

Dead good, then. That extract comes from my Classical Source review of the concert that also included Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain and a biting performance of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, complete with gritted-teeth finale rammed home by conductor Andrew Litton.

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