Presse
The Times (London). 12.01.1996
The Daily Telegraph (London). 13.01.1996
The Sunday Times (London). 14.01.1996

The Review. The Observer's Political, Cultural
and Literary Weekly (London). 14.01.1996

Independent (London). 17.01.1996
Pro Musica (St. Petersburg). Feb. / März 1996
Musikal'noje Obozrenije (Moscow), Mai-Juni, 1996
Resonanz. Zeitung der Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt"
Weimar. Ausg. Nr. 03. 30.06.1996
Leipziger Volkszeitung. Delitsch und Umgebung. Di, 20.12.2005

YOUNG RUSSIANS UNITE

Yana Polyanovskaya and Irina Feoktistova, both graduates of the St. Petersburg Conservatoire, have been playing as a piano duo for ten years, and it shows. Not only is the ensemble perfect, but they have completely mastered the art of tightening and relaxing rhythms in unison, as well as instinctively setting foreground detail against background accompaniment, swapping roles imperceptibly as the music demands. All this was evident in Rachmaninov's Suite # 2, a warm, effusive performance, utterely Romantic. So unscanny was the precision of ensemble, effected with a minimum of gestures, that one empathised with a shadow of frustration that flickered across Polyanovskaya's face at the one chord in the recital that was not quite together. A similar mastery was demonstrated in Valery Borobikov's transcription of Schnitke's Gogol Suite, where the irony was at once entertaining and unsettling. Geoffrey Poole's The Impersonal Touch, receiving its world premiere, offered multiple opportunities for sophisticated interaction between instruments. The Russians emerged triumphant.
Barry Millington

The Times (London). 12.01.1996

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CLASSIER COSI GOES BACK TO COLLEGE

There was plenty of refinement to be encountered at the Purcell Room this week, which has been resounding to the sounds of the generation of musicians in the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series. As always, the repertoire is entirely from the 20th century, though Rachmaninov's Suite # 2 for Two Pianos of 1901only just qualifies. This formed the climax to the recital given by the Russian duo Yana Polyanovskaya and Irina Feoktistova.
Although only 25 this year, they have been performing together for nearly 10 years, and it showed in a stunning display of pianism and unanimity of purpose, both here and in the extracts from Schnitke's Gogol Suite with which they began. In between came the première of The Impersonal Touch of Geoffrey Poole, a telling development of the two-piano medium that bucks the trend and plays the two instruments off against each other, rather than treating them as a single, enlarged piano.
Matthew Rye


The Daily Telegraph (London). 13.01.1996

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THE PROMISE OF SPRING

… Yana Polyanovskaya and Irina Feoktistova from St. Petersburg were the piano duo, and what an accomplished, seasoned interpretation of Rachmaninov's Suite # 2 they offered. …
Paul Driver


The Sunday Times (London). 14.01.1996

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BRILLIANT MISTAKES
The PLG concerts are all about performance. The artists approach them as if making their debuts in the capital, which many of them are, and the atmosphere is tense. The week's stars were the Russian two-piano duet Yana Polyanovskaya and Irina Feoktistova who were so desperate to perform here that they had paid their way twice from Moscow for both the audition (which the judges applauded spontaneously) and the performance. The were nervous but brilliant.
They made perfect sense of their compatriot Alfred Schnitke's 1976 Gogol Suite as they tossed virtuoso solo parts back and forth to each other across the bellies of their interlocking instruments. You don't get that effect on recordings either. They made light of Schnitke's polytonalities, fun with his strident dissonances and a show of his special effects. At the zenith of a huge climax, Yana stood up and, with mock solemnity, placed a piece of paper under the strings of the piano, preparing it in the John Cage way, silently, as if doing something ritually mundane like laying the table.
Jones R.


The Review. The Observer's Political, Cultural and Literary Weekly (London). 14.01.1996

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CLASSICAL. YOUNG ARTIST SERIES / PARK LANE GROUP. PURCELL ROOM, LONDON

The two primly dressed young ladies, late of the St. Petersburg Conservatoire, may not look like the Labeques, but in style and technique these pianists are as hot as two nuclear rods. Their all-two-short recital cropped up in the middle of Park Lane Group's annual Young Artist Series - a week-long programme that unites talented young performers with music of this century. It's now in its 40th year.
The series can resemble a bran tub: sometimes you strike lucky and sometimes you don't. My first concert was a hit: the pianists, Yana Polyanovskaya and Irina Feoktistova, both born in 1971, performed together like Siamese twins. Schnitke's delightful tongue-in-cheek "Gogol Suite" was commissioned by Yuri Lubimov in 1976 for a Gogol "spectacular" at the Moscow Taganka Theatre. The eight short movements (played impressively by heart) are "classic" polystylistic confections - "wrong note" Mozart leading seamlessly to "wrong note" Tchaikovsky. Their dead-pan delivery was masterly.
Geoffrey Pool's "The Impersonal Touch" couldn't have had a more personal premiere, delicate filigree weaving breathtakingly articulated, even if two girls may have mistaken stylistically Poole's minimalism for Bartok.
Rachmaninov's Suite # 2, a full-blooded brother of the Second Piano Concerto, was a welcome cheat in PLG programming - it was written in 1900. But what a vehicle for the two to display their stunning technique and varied colours.
Annete Morreau.


Independent (London). 17.01.1996

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HARMONIE DER ZWEI KLAVIERE

Jana Polianovskaia und Irina Feoktistowa spielen im Klavierduo schon 10 Jahre zusammen. Ganz natürlich ist das sichere Einspiel des Duos, wann man nicht sehen und "fängen" einander muss, das reicht zu hoeren und sich zu fuellen. Die technischen Moeglichkeiten und der musikalische Horizont (beiden hilft auch die musikwissenschaftliche Ausbildung) duerfen schnell erlernen und die schwerste Werke spielen.
Elena Semjonowa.


Pro Musica (St. Petersburg). Feb. / März 1996

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DER DRITTEN PREIS AN DEM "1. CHAIN WETTBEWERB ZEITGENÖSSISCHER MUSIK" (WEIMAR, HOCHSCHULE FÜR MUSIK "FRANZ LISZT"). DAS KLAVIERDUO JANA POLJANOWSKAJA / IRINA FEOKTISTOWA

Der Wettbewerb fand von 26 bis 28 April statt. An dem nahmen 13 Soloists, Duos und Trios, empfohlen bei der Hochschulen Deutschlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Russlands und Frankreich, teil. Im Wettbewerb war der Vortrag der zeitgenössischen Musik erförderlich, meistens - bei heute lebenden Komponisten. Das Repertoire des Duos Poljanowskaja / Feoktistowa umfasste "Phantom" von T. Buchholz (1995), "The Impersonal Touch" von J. Poole (1995), "In memoriam" von P. Wasks (1977) und "Rewizskaja Skazka" von A. Schnitke (Fassung für zwei Klaviere).

Musikal'noje Obozrenije (Moscow), Mai-Juni, 1996

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1. CHAIN-WETTBEWERB 26. - 28. APRIL 1996 WEIMAR

Von russisch rauschenden Klangwelten bis zu Pianissimo-Tupern entwickelt sich Pooles "The impersonal Touch" fuer zwei Klaviere, das die Petersburginnen voller Temperament vortragen. In exaktestem Zusammenspiel bringen sie die Parallelakkorde bei Vasks kanonischem "In memoriam", mit Sinn fuer die Verbindung aus Alt und Neu Schnittkes der "Zauberfluete" entlehnten vierten Satz aus "Rewiskaja Skaska".
Carola Kessler


Resonanz. Zeitung der Hochschule fuer Musik "Franz Liszt"
Weimar. Ausg. Nr. 03. 30.06.1996

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ZWEI KONZERTE, EINE UBERSCHNEIDUNG

... in Schenkenberger Kirche: <...> Die funfzig Sanger des Delitscher Oskar-Reime-Chores hatten sich mutig an das schwierige Stuck /Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium - J.P./ gewagt - und brillierten. Unterstutzung gab's von Jeremias Heining und Eva Boeckenhauer an der Geige, Jana Polianovskaia an der Orgel und Uwe Dorn an den gro?en Pauken.

Leipziger Volkszeitung. Delitsch und Umgebung. Di, 20.12.2005

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