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REVIEWS - Olga Stezhko at Wigmore Hall (London) – Lucid Dream

Something special happened here at the Wigmore Hall. The elegant Belorussian pianist Olga Stezhko slipped onto the platform almost unnoticed, such was her lack of ceremony, and that same attractively quicksilver and elusive music-making typified what followed.

Her intelligent and personal programme-note explained the whys and wherefores of a quick-fire series of works almost exclusively from the early part of the 20th-century, from composers who were principally Russian but peppered and contrasted with the work of Debussy. The pieces were predominantly miniatures, and Sofia Gubaidulina’s Musical Toys rushed by with some sections just a few bars long. But the exquisite journey we were taken on gave Stezhko the maximum opportunity to demonstrate her wonderful powers of characterisation as well as an extraordinary will-o’-the-wisp delicacy in much that she played.

With much that may have been unfamiliar territory, there was a particular joy in Lev Abeliovich’s Tarantella (1984), which combines elements of perpetual motion with wildness, a similar angular joy so typical of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.

Stezhko’s more muscular side came to the fore with the various Scriabin elements, all late works and ending with the massive build in intensity that typifies Vers la flamme. The enthusiastic audience left to the echo of Stezhko’s return to Debussy (‘Serenade for the Doll’ from Children’s Corner) before she disappeared from view having been an extraordinary presence and a supremely delicate master of her instrument.
— Stewart Collins / Classical Source
The playing was assured and spirited. In Debussy’s Images, Books I and II, Ms Stezhko produced a full range of colours and moods so carefully contained in the music.
Scriabin’s Five Preludes Op. 74 and Vers la flamme Op. 72 were among the last works he composed ... it was here that Ms Stezhko showed her full mature mastery. This was a recital where her delicacy and power were equal bedfellows... enthralling artistry.
— Edward Clark / Musical Opinion

Link to the event HERE /// Link to the review HERE /// Read Olga's programme notes for this concert HERE

GramophoneReview

 

 

4 star **** review of Olga Stezhko's debut album 

 

Eta Carinae in The Independent  newspaper

The Independent 4 star review for Olga Stezhko's album Eta Carinae

Concert Review, Barometern, Sweden

Kalmar

The Kalmar Chamber Music Society has the rare chance to present a special performer in its programme. A nearly packed Grona Hall at Kalmar Castle welcomed and enjoyed a phenomenally talented pianist. The young Belarusian Olga Stezhko has already been praised by international experts and she showed her extraordinary skill at the concert.

Olga Stezhko’s concert programme was both substantial and varied. With finesse, she introduced four of the classical music masters. First was Claude Debussy and his Images 1 and 2, and Olga Stezhko elegantly captured the tricky sounds and harmonies.
Johannes Brahms’ 6 Klavierstücke was interpreted magnificently and the famous Intermezzo in A major was presented with great sensitivity and affection.
In  Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 4 in C minor Olga Stezhko emerged a piano soloist with with a great feeling for the composer’s metamorphosis of tempos and nuances and elegantly transitioned between a quiet and a bright tonal language.
This year marks the 100 year anniversary of Alexander Scriabin’s death. Olga Stezhko chose the composer’s Five Preludes and finished the concert with Scriabin's Vers la flamme - a  fiery end to a brilliant concert.
A standing ovation was the audience's collective tribute and Olga Stezhko thanked them in turn, with music by Vilhelm Stenhammar.

Lage Olsson, Barometern

 

 
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