Alexej Gorlatch (piano)


Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire

BeethovenSonata in F minor Op 2 No 1


Bill WhelanThe Currach

BrahmsBallades Op 10

ChopinMazurkas Op 68 Nos 1 2, Scherzo No 2

Perhaps it would be niggardly to expect more from a concert pianist than superhuman virtuosity and shrewd interpretive insight. But the multiple-award-winning Alexej Gorlatch, born in Ukraine in 1988, somehow raises the bar.

Gorlatch’s happy relationship with Ireland began when he took first prize at the Axa Dublin International Piano Competition in 2009. He has since given solo recitals in Wexford, Castletown House and Dublin, and this week he is on tour around the country under the umbrella of Music Network.

His programme is largely fixed on the upper echelons of the classical-omantic canon – Beethoven, Chopin and Brahms. But Gorlatch also pays compliment to the Irish, not only by including Bill Whelan’s The Currach,but also by elucidating a fundamental affinity between this dance-motivated composition and some of Chopin’s reimaginings of the polonaise, the mazurka and the waltz.

Gorlatch leaves nothing out of consideration, with vitalising effects on the more familiar items – Beethoven’s first sonata, and (as a second encore last Friday) Chopin’s Grande Valse Brillante. The latter’s Scherzo No 2is a model of poise, while Brahms’s Ballades Op 10compel through sheer economy of expression.

With the painstaking and vision of a master designer, Gorlatch ensures that every last detail affects his hearers precisely as it should.

Beyond the regular bounds of technique and interpretation, his achievement is a thorough optimisation of the whole listening experience.

– On tour until December 3rd