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Press pause every Thursday at the Muziekgebouw

March 24th, 2011

Filed under: MUSIC


Natalja Korobanjko caresses the piano

Every Thursday, for just one Euro coin (you can’t buy a coffee for less) you can be treated to a lovely lunchtime recital in the Rabobank Zaal at Eindhoven’s Muziekgebouw.

Today I took pause to sway dreamily to the technically (almost scientifically) crisp motions provided by one Natalja Korobanjko (1983), a Moscow-born Dutch resident.

I did something novel, and didn’t show up on my own – I joined an Eindhoven expat meetup group. So, I had the pleasure of swooning in concert, alongside Marie-José (NL), Kimberly (US) and Lucia (De) and then sipping on fresh mint tea afterwards in the Tweede Kamer lunchrooms above the concert hall in the Heuvel Galerie.

We discussed, very briefly, what we thought of the performance. “There was something about her presence was so impressive, that I had to close my eyes to not be distracted by focusing on her!” exclaimed Marie-José. Lucia also found herself concentrating on Natalja’s almost “scientific” demeanour. Kimberly said that she tends to focus on the hands of a pianist, but that her sports-massage training makes her get too fixated on the bio-mechanical contortions that pianists perform. She too had to close her eyes. Me? I was mesmerised by the whole package. Asymmetrical hairdo, hornrimmed glasses, a gala sleeveless dress cut on the bias and ornamented with cubic zirconias, probably. (Natalja looks much too classy for sequins). Natalja’s technique was superb, her hands fluttered over the keys at times like butterflies (so spring-like) and then others with serious depth and drama. Despite the glitches that whispered throughout, it didn’t matter. She took us on a journey that at first seemed tentative (Debussy, Pagodes Estampes) but resulted in dramatic light and shade (Janacek, Die Ahnung ( from Sonata 1.x. 1905), childlike enjoyment (Bartók, Suite Op.14.) and ended in the restraint of a poetry recital in the final piece (Metna, Sonata Reminiscenza Op. 38 Nr. 1).

Natalja, you made me pause and reflect this springtime lunchtime. I wonder what upcoming lunchtime concerts at the Muziekgebouw will bring?

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