Polish folk flourishes in hands of Kazakh piano queen

Kazakh pianist Dina Duisen's debut album, Mazurkas from Chopin to Ades, recorded at Kings Place, London, is out now.  Photo by Alex Ralph (AKR Photography).
Kazakh pianist Dina Duisen's debut album, Mazurkas from Chopin to Ades, recorded at Kings Place, London, is out now. Photo by Alex Ralph (AKR Photography).
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ALBUM REVIEW: Mazurkas From Chopin to Ades, Dina Duisen, Piano

It is a shame that Kazakhstan-born pianist Dina Duisen, a guest performer at South Holland Concerts three weeks ago, has made her debut album public in springtime.

It takes time to develop a relationship (in a musical partnership and) you have to stay sensitive all the time

Kazakhstan-born pianist Dina Duisen

When simple things add up to something very special

The soothing piano chords of Mazurkas from Chopin to Ades make more perfect listening when the clocks go back an hour, rather than forward as they will this weekend.

Mazurkas, a series of Polish folk dances which began in the countryside around Warsaw from about the 16th century, take on a life of their own in the hands of the Master of Arts in performance graduate from London’s Royal Academy of Music.

The album itself is made up of 26 piano pieces composed by a collection of famous and not-so-famous names, from Frenchmen Chopin, Debussy and Liszt to Russians Anatoly Lyadov, Alexander Scriabin and Anton Arensky.

But in Dina’s hands, these individual works become far more than just a series of bite-sized piano recitals fit for putting your feet up in front of a coal fire.

As befitting someone whose musical education spans three countries, Dina adds new freshness and vitality to both familiar and more unfamiliar works. During her visit to Spalding, Dina said: “I have been working with Alessandro Ruisi (violin) for the last two years, but it takes time to develop a relationship.

“You have to stay sensitive all the time as when we played together at a coffee morning in King’s Lynn last Friday.

“We were really excited about playing three very important and very enjoyable works in chamber music (by Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart) in Spalding.”

Review and interview by Winston Brown

Pair to bring piano craft with strings attached too