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DINOVA PIANISM CHARMS SATED AUDIENCE AT J-B MARIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 20, 2022
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OTHER REVIEW
J-B Piano / Sunday, November 20, 2022
Halida Dinova, piano

Pianist Halida Dinova

DINOVA PIANISM CHARMS SATED AUDIENCE AT J-B MARIN RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Russian born and Cleveland-based pianist Halida Dinova has had many engagements with the J-B piano emporium in San Rafael, and she returned there Nov. 20 for an afternoon recital of mixed and shorter repertoire.

Performing on the small stage and surrounded with 60 grands for sale or rent, Ms. Dinova opened with the popular Myra Hess transcription of Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. The tempo was extra slow and set the trend for much of the concert – careful and deliberate pace with close attention to pianistic details.

Two Scarlatti Sonatas followed, the first with many arpeggios and sonic clarity, and the second the work Tausig transcribed. Ms. Dinova played it with brisk strength and though not fast, with a left hand inner voice.

An odd choice was Beethoven’s F Minor Appassionata Sonata, not odd because of the selection but odd that just the first movement was offered. The playing had the expected drama and passion and a large tone and was perhaps too loud for the space. Energetic applause followed and the pianist spoke at length to the audience of 55 regarding the coming Debussy Prelude, The Hills of Capri, which she played with a tarantella rhythm that brought out the folk character.

At most recitals the reception to meet the artist and enjoy food comes at the end, but at J-B events it is often at intermission, as it was here. Tables of edibles and glasses of champagne and wine were eagerly consumed with a party flair, and the auditors returned to their seats in an obviously genial mood, ready for a big dose of Russian music.

Ms. Dinova obliged with one of the recital’s highlights, Medtner’s Canzona-Serenata, Op. 38, from the Forgotten Melodies composed in 1920. It was played with perfect nostalgia and lovely voicing, an entrancing look back to old Italy from Ms. Dinova’s elegant pianism

Rachmaninoff’s early five pieces from Op. 3 came next, performed with romantic flair reminiscent of Anton Rubinstein’s short works but also wrapped in Tchaikovsky’s melodic garb. The famous C-Sharp (“Bells of Moscow”) was played powerfully and quite slow with negligible ritards. The artist’s rhythmic command was on display throughout, but the J-B stage piano lacked the penetrating bass register that makes these pieces so potent. The Prelude in D from Op. 23 was played with a serene touch and had a nocturne-like quality.

The program closed with Scriabin’s D-Flat Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9, and the pianist projected the marvelous and simple theme handsomely. The trills were continuously even and she broke the last chord, with its big stretch.

This lovely performance generated an encore request, and Ms. Dinova responded with a judicious tempo playing of the Chopin C-Sharp Minor Waltz. It was an aristocratic interpretation.