It started with a captivating performance of Enrique Granados’ Allegro de Concierto op. 46, and ended with thunderous applause. The audience wanted more; they wanted to hear the beauty of her artistry, and she delivered with every piece she played. Yana Reznik’s performance at M. Steinert & Sons proved that she is worthy of all the praise she has received.
Before her performance began, many of us wondered what she would play. No program had been provided and though we had a vague idea of the composers she preferred, we did not know what to expect. Yet the lack of program became the platform for an overarching theme of her concert: interaction. Where many concert pianists provide a program and play each piece successively, Yana prefaced each piece with an introduction and story, bringing even more life to her performance. From the story of Enrique Granados’ fear of the aquatic and how that correlated to her interpretation of his music as “splashes of water”, to her ability to relate to Rachmaninoff’s musical interpretation of the bells of Moscow; she kept the audience mesmerized.
Not only were her stories captivating, so too was her repertoire. She took us on a tour “around the world”, from Spain to France to Russia. Granados, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Chopin, and Liszt all made their way into her show, and she provided nuanced and powerful performances of every piece she played. Her rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Dumka, op. 59 was breathtakingly beautiful, whereas her performance of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12 was electrifyingly powerful. Yet not only did she breathe life to the music, she brought life to the instrument as well.
One of the most interesting aspects of the concert was the piano on which she played: the Roland V-Piano Grand. Widely considered as the best digital piano available, it blurred the line between acoustic and digital and allowed for a concert that included instrument sounds such as the pianoforte, and a piano with silver-wound strings. Her encore was a duet with herself; a prerecorded piece that the piano played while she played along on the same piano. It was a fresh new twist on the generic solo piano performance, and it was welcomed with great applause. In terms of her performance, her mastery of the acoustic piano seamlessly translated to the digital piano, and it drew the audience in to every note she played.
After her performance she sat and signed complimentary CD’s for each member of the audience. Everyone stood in line and waited for the chance to talk to her. Not only is she an incredibly talented pianist and performer, but she is also a warm and welcoming person. Her performance that night will live in memory for years to come.