For a pianist obsessed with the pure and physical sound of the piano, St John’s Church in Hackney is the perfect venue. Lubomyr Melnyk tells us he’s very pleased with the sound, and he’s right to be.
His continuous piano music (a concept which he says he’s unable to explain, but calls a “universe of beauty, the very soul of the piano”) is a form he continues to explore on his new album Rivers and Streams, and he treats us to a few cuts from that, alongside other long form pieces from his vast repertoire.
Typically performing as a solo pianist, tonight he treats us to more collaborations than usual – displaying astonishing elegance in duet with guitar, as well as with female voice in two other pieces.
For simple prettiness, long-standing favourite "Butterflies" remains a standout. Playing in duet with a recording of himself, tinkling notes fall through the gaps in overlapping piano runs to shimmering effect, drifting towards a well-deserved standing ovation at the show’s close.