A program of beautiful music for violin and piano was presented on September 25 at the Benalla Art Gallery by Marklyan and Oksana Melnychenko.
These two outstanding musicians were recommended by Melbourne Recital Centre and with the assistance of generous sponsorship by RACV, music lovers in Benalla had the great good fortune to hear outstanding, and at times spectacular, musicianship.
Mr Melnychenko made an instant connection with the audience with his knowledgeable introduction to each of the five items on the program.
He began with Mozart’s lovely and tranquil Adagio and Rondo.
Here, his mellow tone and contrasting dynamics made for a very pleasant listening experience for all.
This was followed by Beethoven’s quite lengthy Op. 12 Sonata for piano and violin.
In the first and third movements the piano came to the fore, with some terrific playing by Oksana demonstrating that Beethoven was writing for the two instruments as equals.
The limpid middle movement was also equally shared between the two instruments.
The final three items were terrific show-pieces, two by Pablo Sarasate separated by a 20th-century composition by Schedrin ‘‘in the style of Albinez’’.
This latter, although written as recently as 1973, demonstrated all the fire of Spanish music of an earlier time.
Sarasate’s Malaguena and finally his Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) were typical of the composer: dramatic melodies mixed with musical pyrotechnics.
The two performers played these difficult pieces brilliantly, the violinist not missing a note and the accompanist following the abrupt changes in tempo and sound with ease.
It is worth noting that at the conclusion of the concert, while enjoying afternoon tea with audience members, pianist Oksana made the unsolicited comment that this was one of the best pianos she had had the pleasure of playing.
There will be another concert at the Art Gallery on Sunday, October 30 at 4pm, featuring the Sutherland Trio (piano, violin and cello).
Patrons are requested to purchase tickets in advance, at the gallery or online at trybooking.com
Tickets cost $25 ($20 with seniors’ concession; school-age children free).