By Umer Nangiana
Combining three works of piano literature from three masters Bach, Shostakowitsch and Chopin, the Bulgarian concert pianist Dora Deliyska enthralled the audience with her enchanting concert concept, the BACH Project.
The audience at Qatar National Theatre, comprising ambassadors from Japan and South Korea among others, was left mesmerised as the pianist’s nimble fingers recreated the magic from the three composers.
The leitmotif of the project is the letters B, A, C, and H, which are also the tonalities of the selected pieces. Dora divided the programme in four blocks and played the pieces in each individual block without intermission in such a way that the continuity influences the individual pieces into one ‘new composition’.
“During the many years, after research and study I have found a very special connection between them. It is a very deep connection for me and I always wanted to perform the three of them in one concert programme,” Deliyska told the audience.
So she created the BACH project. It is in German because the syllables are also the tonalities of the selected pieces.
“The whole idea is that I imagine the three composers meet and they influence each other and in this way there is somehow interaction between different cultures, the time zones disappear and in this way it becomes a new different composition that I play and you hear,” explained the pianist.
Every separate block lasted about 15 minutes and it consciously provoked a specific effect; melancholy, agitation, serenity and passion. In doing so, Deliyska makes the listener experience the music within a personal narrative.
“I have divided that into four sections. The next section has connection between the pieces and the strongest one is that there is one rhythm from the beginning till the end. These are three different composers but they have one beat till the end. I hope you will enjoy it,” she told the audience before the last of the four blocks.
Deliyska allows the public space to have its own interpretation and musical experience. The pianist believes that this project gives new glimpses of the piano performing arts and a very intimate connected between artist and listener.
The pianist signed off with a piece from her last CD called Dancers. “It is from different cultures and folk and traditional music and I would play for you two Argentinian dancers from an Argentinian composer,” she said while introducing the piece.
Deliyska thanked the organisers Fifty One East for the concert held under the patronage of HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali and Yamaha Music Gulf for inviting her to Qatar.
“These types of events are really important because it gets together so many different nationalities and the energy is always so positive,” she thanked the audience.
Deliyska has gained an international attention of audience and critics with her concert appearances, audio and video recordings. Due to her many recordings of works by Franz Liszt, she is considered one of the most important Liszt interpreters of the young generation.
But not only this has aroused the interest of the public: her Schubert CD released in 2013 (Gramola) was awarded the ‘Supersonic Award’ by the classical music magazine Pizzicato. In his review of it, Guy Wagner wrote: “Here, a true musician is playing, one who endeavours to penetrate to the depths of the works.
Her interpretations contain strong emotions, but the pianist does not simply unload them, but takes the listener by the hand, so to speak, and leads him with her through her circumspect performance full of wonderful tone culture, subtle nuances and consistent straightforwardness into the depths of Schubert’s music.
“So, her interpretations emanate an inner calm that becomes a lasting experience in the very case of Schubert.”
The artist’s extensive repertoire ranges from Bach to Ligeti. She is always trying to give a new perspective to the piano literature. Interesting ideas and projects, such as combining literature and piano music, making a comparison between two composers (for instance Schubert and Liszt, or Bach and Schostakowitsch), discovering unknown piano transcriptions, plenty of chamber music project, establish Dora Deliyska as one of the most interesting and intriguing young artists in the last years.
With chamber music ensembles she has performed in many countries with renowned musicians, such as Harriet Krijgh, Adrian Eröd, Luca Monti, Nora Romanoff-Schwarzberg, Benjamin Bernstein, Valya Dervenska and many more.
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