Monday, February 16, 2009

The two Mishas hit London

Micha and Misha - Mikhail Rudy and Misha Alperin - hit Kings Place with Double Dream on Wednesday and Friday: classical Russian meets jazz supremo in a wonderful two-piano extravaganza, composed/improvised/inspired. The performances are part of Mikhail Rudy's 'curatorship' days at the hall entitled Piano Dialogues; on Thursday he is bringing together Janacek and Kafka in Letters to Milena, a musical and literary exchange of the type I adore, with narration from actor Peter Guinness. Each evening you can also see the brand new documentary about Micha, starting at 6pm, free.

Regretfully, though, his planned late-night recitals are now not going to happen. I wonder whether this is because Kings Place, for all its excellence, is ideally supposed to help regenerate the seriously grotty bit of London that moulders away behind Kings Cross station. Good new venues should ideally be a great device to pull an area up, but this can take a very long time - it can be 20 years, or sometimes (as at the South Bank) 50. For the moment, there is nothing much at Kings Place except Kings Place itself and, though I am convinced the venue is the best thing to happen to London's musical life in decades, I could understand a classical audience not wanting to emerge into the murk after 11pm, when you tend to put your head down and leg it to the tube pdq. A pity, though, that we will not be hearing Micha play Scriabin.

Soon, more news about another Russian pianist we won't be able to hear elsewhere, for very different reasons...

Meanwhile, here's a taste of Double Dream.