World-recognised cellist loudly cheered at Saffron Hall

PUBLISHED: 14:40 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:05 22 October 2019

Jamal Aliyev. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

Jamal Aliyev. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas


The delighted audience enjoyed excellence, with Maksim Stsura at the piano, accompanying Jamal on the cello.

Jamal Aliyev. Photo: Kaupo KikkasJamal Aliyev. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

Never did I hear Saffron Hall cheer so loudly in this autumn season as at the end of Jamal Aliyev's cello performance on Sunday, October 20.

Although far from a full venue this time around, the audience enjoyed excellence, with Maksim Stsura at the piano, accompanying Jamal on the cello.

Azerbaijan-born Jamal and Estonian national Maksim both displayed great technique throughout their six-piece repertoire.

Their performance of Schumann's Drei Fantasiestucke Op. 73 showed a perfect synchronisation between them in terms of both rhythm and nuances, creating a reverie atmosphere.

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Vocalise by Rachmaninov was one of their strongest performances of the evening, being the first composition of the night in which Jamal appeared fully immersed in the music.

The emotional immersion was continued throughout Schumann's Three Romances Op. 94.

The last two pieces of the event were hard to choose from as absolute favourites, both on my part and from the audience's enthusiastic response, with rounds of applause and Bravo shouted every now and then.

In Chopin's Polonaise Brilliante in C Op. 3, Jamal let Maksim solo play the theme he had been playing while accompanied by the pianist - moments which truly put Maksim in the spotlight for his technique and constant energy.

Jamal managed to portray the cello inspiration that piano-focused Chopin got from cellist Joseph Merk. Merk was described by Chopin as 'so full of soul' and noted as worthy of his rare respect towards cellists. Certainly, Jamal fell not short of a heartfelt, impressive performance that would have made Chopin update his respect list.

The introduction to violin legend Paganini's Moses Fantasy gave a hint to the audience that the piece was violin-inspired, with some very high notes being played on cello.

There were three rounds of applause and, the second time they bowed, they held hands. An encore followed, which is always a treat for a delighted audience. They were called to the stage two more times, as no one was rushing through the door to enjoy the rest of their Sunday elsewhere - which says a lot about the impression they left in the Saffron Walden air.

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