Anna Tsybuleva (piano)

The audience at Cockermouth Music Society’s October piano recital will long remember the night when Anna Tsybuleva, winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition came all the way from Moscow to play for the town. A slight elegant figure with the poise and profile of a young ballerina, this pianist proceeded to exude incredible power, amazing dynamic control and superb understanding of the music. A Bach Largo arranged for piano gave us an introduction to what was to come with a beautifully managed account of Bach’s sonorities, followed by a breathtaking performance of Schumann’s First Sonata which did full justice to all the emotional nuances and ideas of the composer, spot on accuracy never compromised by the power with which it was played.

Baroque music from Rameau followed the interval, such a contrast in styles to which Anna switched with ease; clarity and beauty in every line, particularly in the piece which calls for tremendous cross-hand dexterity and aptly named Les Trois Mains.

The concert finished with a selection of Debussy Preludes and L’Isle Joyeuse, where there was enjoyment in every line. Anna has the ability to portray each piece in the way she moves to the music which adds to the picture she paints on the piano. General Lavine strutted convincingly, we could hear the wind in the plain and Feux d’Artifice (fireworks) shot dazzlingly across the sky in the most satisfactory and breathtaking way. No wonder the audience rose to their feet to applaud, which elicited an encore, La Campanella. Sparkling and joyful, this was the perfect ending to a brilliant performance which will long be remembered by all who were priveleged to be present.