It is every concert organiser’s nightmare: on the morning of the concert, the phone rings and the artist apologises that he is too ill to perform that evening. Aargh!! Fortunately for Anna Hill, the organiser of Chichester’s wonderful Chamber Concert series, Alexei Grynyuk, the pianist who was to have played with the indisposed cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, offered to perform a solo piano recital instead of the planned cello–piano duo programme.
Grynyuk was a star. With only a few hours to shift gear from being part of a duo to the very different role of solo performer, he dazzled the Chichester audience. His programme was varied – Scarlatti, Chopin and Liszt. His Liszt–playing was masterful, making light of the unbelievable technical difficulties to bring out the intense drama and lyrical beauties of the works. To quote the Gramophone’s recent review of his Liszt CD: "A programme of familiar Liszt made thrillingly unfamiliar".
Let us hope that Chichester can re–engage Elschenbroich and Grynyuk, and perhaps even negotiate a deal to complete their trio with Nicola Benedetti.