Review: Dinara Klinton, Buxton International Festival & Fringe Showcase 

Buxton has been blessed this summer with a series of piano recitals by established, world class musicians. 

This performance by Dinara Klinton gave us the opportunity to hear one of the new generation of pianists. Ukrainian-born, Dinara’s second CD of music by Franz Liszt got a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine and it was the work recorded there that was at the heart of this recital.

She began, however, with Beethoven’ Sonata No 28 in A major, op 101 which comes from the beginning of his ‘late’ period and includes some of the tenderest music that he wrote. The range of sounds and emotions in the Sonata is demanding of the pianist – requiring not only technique but sensitivity. Fast fingers but also a nimble mind. Dinara passed the test with flying colours and it was, incidentally, an opportunity to hear the excellent new Opera House grand piano fully extended.

Dinara played six of the Liszt Etudes d’execution transcendante – and this is fearsomely difficult music to play. There is sometimes a sense with Liszt that he never quite knew when or where to stop – the notes and chords pile up relentlessly. Playing this music seems impossible enough but to play it with such clarity and conviction is remarkable. No 4 in the set – Mazeppa – for example requires a lot of cross handed playing to create what has been described as a “galloping” effect.

This was “big” music – in terms of scale, dynamic and emotional range. At times it seems to be very masculine music – the elements of bravura writing and demands made of the musician seem to me unimaginable from a woman composer. 

Whatever your judgement Dinara was in control, she was interpreting the music, she was not being dictated to.

This recital was presented by the Fringe in association with the Buxton International Festival as a showcase for emerging performers. Dinara seized the opportunity with both hands and I hope that she is able to return to Buxton.
By Keith Savage