3 Aug 2010


A concert at 3.00 pm on a Sunday afternoon is such a civilized idea -
especially when it is a Chopin recital by a Polish pianist on an Erard
grand in the splendid surroundings of Dunkeld Cathedral. Dominika Eska
had travelled all the way from Krakow to put Dunkeld on the map as far
as Chopin2010 is concerned. It was her first visit to Scotland - the
first of hopefully many. She is a young professional who has an
impressive c.v. already ranging from competitions and concerts from
Japan to Paris. She has already played Chopin programmes in Poland at
Szafarnia and at the Chopin statue in the Lazienki royal park in
Warsaw. The Dunkeld audience was privileged to hear this artist playing
on the Erard grand which was Chopin’s favourite make of piano. The tone
is bright in the top register and warm and resonant in the bass without
the full power of a Steinway. Fine gradations of tone are possible, and
indeed the delicacy of her opening nocturnes had the audience holding
its breath, though later the bravura and speed of the Eb Valse
Brillante was a joy to hear with her amazing clarity of phrasing. The
first half ended with the ballade in Ab major and here she conveyed the
freshness of the improvisatory style yet without a note out of place.

The second half began with a set of Mazurkas Op 17 and the quirkiness
of the phrasing was well caught here. The programme ended with a
mercurial performance of the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise in
Eb major. As an encore we were treated to a performance of 3 short
pieces for piano by Dominika Eska herself, and these were poetic and
poised, the work of an assured pianist and composer.

Before returning home, Dominika is playing
in Edinburgh at St Mary’s RC Cathedral (9thAug)
and St John’s Church Hall at the West End (10th & 12th Aug)
she will accompany Barbara Misiewicz, a fellow Pole and cellist.

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