Returning from performing in Venice earlier in the week, there was an audible gasp as Sofia Vasheruk (looking radiant in pink) and her husband, Andrey Nesterenko took to the stage on Saturday in the Oude Markt, Enschede. The Russian born couple took us on a musical tour around the world in their open-air concert of piano music for four hands and one piano, Go Classic.
The couple clearly understand how to entice an audience with well-known classics and navigated this programme with a high degree of elegance and poise. This was a rare treat for residents and visitors alike, helping to break this barren period for professional musicians.
Helped ably by her daughter Nika who welcomed audience members with programmes, and Christain Kuyvenhoven who provided an entertaining and charming insight into the performers and their repertoire, Sofia and Andrey opened their dazzling showcase by introducing us to the world of Spanish toreadors with Bizet’s Carmen, an incredibly challenging work. The amplification of the piano really worked well in this outdoor setting as we were treated to the full dynamic range of the piano and a huge breadth of emotion. This attention to detail continued throughout as the programme showcased some beautifully quiet and sensitive playing, really drawing the audience in and holding their attention.
But it was the setting which really made this performance so memorable.
The chiming clock and pealing bells every fifteen minutes from the neighbouring churches, created amazingly fabulous and consonant harmony in the Neapolitan Dance from Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Swan Lake. The spell created by the opening scordatura chords in Saint-Saens Danse Macabre (where in the original, the violin’s top string is tuned down a semitone to an Eb) was broken, and the chiming clock added to the utter chaos of the fabulous descending chromatic scales.
Such was the enthusiasm for the performance, the audience, representing every age group right down to the immaculately well-behaved toddler who looked like she had only just started to walk, were on the edge of their seats eager to show their appreciation.
Gershwin’s Summertime literally brought the sun out. Performed with a real bluesy feel, Sofia and Andrey proved to be equally comfortable playing this jazz-infused number from Porgy and Bess.
As if not wanting to be left out of proceedings, both clocks chimed for a final time in the middle of the couple’s final offering, Devil’s Rag by the French composer, Matita. This little patch of cobbles on the Oude Markt outside St. Jacobuskerk looks lonely now. I look forward to more concerts in the future to delight us all.
@ Clare Varney
"The one-and-a-half-hour concert led to several public ovations, notably Sofia Vasheruk's interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra. The young Russian pianist was in Portugal for the first time. In the end, Sofia Vasheruk, who had been in concert with the Russian National Orchestra a few days before, was dazzled by "the emotional response of the musicians and the cohesion achieved by the orchestra", Cascais.pt, Portugal (17.03.2017)
"Undoubted concert attraction has been the performance of the young, talented, award-winning, in several international competitions, fabulous pianist SOFIA VASHERUK performing the famous "Concert for piano and orchestra" by Eduard Grieg. Impeccable technical perfection, enormous musicality and the wisdom of transmitting the best artistic emotions, are the indisputable values of their interpretations, full of positive energies and romantic respites. I would also mention the perfect performance of the accompaniment of the orchestra. Beautiful performance by Sofia Vasheruk has been completed with the "Nocturno cis-moll" by F.Chopin as a tip.", Objetivotorrevieja, Alicante, Spain 1/05/2017