Vitaly Samoshko

Vitaly Samoshko in The Washington Post

Posted in Press clippings by fvc on May 13, 2006

Vitaly Samoshko
Stephen Brookes
The Washington Post
The Embassy Series
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
Washington, D.C.
May 13, 2006
Ukrainian pianist Vitaly Samoshko had to run a gauntlet of terrors on Thursday night. First there was the packed audience at the Polish Embassy, freshly drenched from downpours outside. Then there was the scary portrait of piano god (and former prime minister) Ignace Jan Paderewski glowering sternly over the Steinway. And finally – most terrible of all! – there was Samoshko’s discovery that he’d neglected to pack a tie to go with his formal tails and would have to perform in dishabille. But challenges are there to overcome, and Samoshko did so with aplomb. The opening was Beethoven’s wearingly familiar “Moonlight” Sonata, which Samoshko dispatched without undue fuss, then moved on to Debussy’s charming, chimerical “Suite Bergamasque”. Samoshko took a different approach from the shimmering, gossamer-light readings we’re used to; there’s remarkable solidity and power in his playing, and he focused on the dance-like aspects of the four movements more than on Debussy’s delicate ambiguities. But it was only in the second half of the recital (the Russian half, natch) that Samoshko really set the furniture on fire. He brought blinding virtuosity to five of Rachmaninoff’s “Etudes-Tableaux”. There was barely time to recover before he unleashed Prokofiev’s astonishing Sonata No. 7. Elegant, anguished, tumultuous, beautiful – to hear Samoshko play it was like looking straight into the tormented heart of the 20th century itself.
– Stephen Brookes

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s