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Stas Venglevski’s Brilliant Recital

Mar. 7, 2017
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On Sunday afternoon at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, I was able to hear a recital by the brilliant local bayan player Stas Venglevski and Tatyana Krasnobaeva, a Belarussian cimbalom player making her American debut. A cimbalom is a hammered dulcimer, an instrument with a long tradition in Belarus. It has a harpsichord-like tone, but with more ring, with a silvery sound. 

I never expected to hear a virtuoso cimbalom player, but Krasnobaeva is certainly that. She has astounding technique, which became clearer as the concert progressed. She plays with mind-boggling speed, so evident in transcriptions of music by Giuseppe Tartini, Pablo de Sarasate, Manuel de Falla, Camille Saint-Saëns, and an intricate piece by Venglevski himself, “Musette Caprice.” 

Venglevski played more a supporting role, artfully keeping his volume down, supporting the light-toned cimbalom. This was a wonderful combination of players, each matching the other with artful ensemble and highly expressive playing.

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