Review to the concert of Kristijan Karovski and Mimi Ducheva: Concert evening with compositions for four-hand piano

It is a rare occasion to have the opportunity to attend a joint performace at the same podium of a mentor and a strudent. Such occasion was offered in the concert of the piano duo Kristijan Karovski-Mimi Ducheva within the 62nd Ohrid Summer Festival. Kristijan Karovski, after his year-long concert activity, affirming himself as a respected piano teacher and performer, with full trust, knowing Mimi Ducheva’s (student of his at the Faculty of Music in Skopje) qualities the most, has chosen her, as a partner in their joint music performance, equally sharing (the physical and sound) space of the keyboard.

Both pianists in this concert presentation, in a musical inscenation set upon the experience and already-built style from one, and the youth and current professional modelling from the other side, made their art through the compositions of the four-hand piano. In doing so, their performace was confident and clear, leaving an impression of a natural coherence, projecting thoughts at the same frequencies. Their unison, “single-pace breathing”,and mutual music acquaintance, were characteristics present in the whole concert flow, marking in a way the whole performance.

In the amarvellous ambience of the St Sophia church, the duo Karovski – Duchevska presented themselves with a standard programme for sych a type, consisted of three pearl pieces from the European Romanticism and Impressionism literature for four-hand piano. Undoubtedly, both pianists showed excellent knowledge of the scores and a detailed work on the matter, articulating several interpretative sparkles, expressed above all, in the dynamic nuancing and shaping of the music phrases.

Playing one of the most significant piano pieces by Franc Schubert, “Fantasy in F minor D. 940”, in his authentic manner of performance (four movements, without pauses), Karovski and Ducheva manifested precise and synchronized reaction, leaving a special impression in the subtle formation of the phrases in the piano dynamics. In that context, we should point out the creative impulse in the cadenze, in the piano literature valued as the best cadenze in the whole Schubert’s work, through which the duo successfully transmitted the author’s idea. Following the line of the interpretation of the Schubert’s piece, the piano duo entered the early creative period of Sergey Rachmaninov, playing the “Six pieces op.11”, in which, again, their music interconnection and impeccable communication could not be left unnoticed. In this performance, what was notable in the building of the culmination in the first piece, the “Barcarolle”, uniting the fast figurations in high registers, with the typical Rachmaninov’s powerful and full accord facture in the low, in the third, “Russian Theme” with variations on theme in the high, contrary to the fast quaver contra-punct in the low register; as well as in the last “Glory” with which variations they modelled the magnificent end of the piece.

The concert presentation, the piano duo Karovski – Duchevska finished up with the “Waltz” by moris Ravel, with technically precisely crafted rich and luxurious score, confirming the impressions got from the performance of the previons two compositions.

The choice of the Rachmaninov’s “Italian Polka” for encore, was in the spirit of the whole programme concept, in which maybe, a piece from the rich four-hand piano would fit better and, with the virtuosity of the artists, would have reached the concert’s culmination.

With the realisation of this performance, Karovski and Duchevska have seriously confirmed the entrance into the concert space in the country and the region, as a piano duo. Ohrid Summer Festival, continues its trend to nourigh Macedonian artists, as one of the key segments of the Festival actions.

Aleksandar Trajkovski