The Masterful Technique of
Allowed us to listen to the similarities in Mozart's and Chopin's Styles and Schubert's Nuances

Pianist Alexander Kobrin
By Iride Aparicio

Photos Courtesy: The Steinway Society

Silicon Valley, CA -- From the auditorium of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he works as an Associate Professor of Piano, in his hour-long concert, Streamed to ticket holders of the SPRING HOME CONCERT HALL CONCERT series, sponsored by the Steinway Society the Bay Area from April 23 through 26,  Russian Concert pianist Alexander Kobrin "interpreted" a Mozart's piano sonata and a series of Chopin's  Mazurkas so skillfully, that they allowed  his online audience to become aware of the similarities in the composition's styles of  these two composers who belong to different Musical Eras.

More interesting for musicians, however, was Kobrin's interpretation of Schubert's piano Sonata, one of the last sonatas written by Schubert before his death in l828, where Kobrin's masterful piano's technique made the audience experience Schubert's pathos, in the sound of his chords, arpeggios, dynamics and Rubattos.

Pianist Alexander Kobrin Started his concert playing Mozart, Piano Sonata No.2 in F Major, K, 280 in three movements: I Allegro assai, II Adagio, and III Presto, and we can say that from his very first notes, Kobrin's light touch and perfect fingering, which allows every note to be hear clearly, made Mozart's music sing. His interpretation of Mozart's Allegro was so well paced, so elegant, so fluid, and so graceful, that it was easy for some of us to imagine that we were listening to Mozart playing the piano.

And if his Allegro was sumptuous, his Adagio (Slow) was expressive. Every note was impregnated with feeling as each one of his fingers touched the notes softly, but made them sound clearly, at times using the pedals to emphasize a note which needed to be emphasized, or softening another to inject expression to Mozart's music. his hands' cross overs were seamless.

In the Presto (a musical term meaning very fast) movement, Kobrin changed the mood.  His playing of the music became lively, bringing to our minds the sounds made by a group of children laughing, sharing their happiness with one another.  High notes climbing over high notes over an ostenato sound of a chord. but never loud, always gentle, and always elegant and sounding majestic. We ought to remember that Mozart composed his music and played to entertained the nobility, who may have paid for it, and as we listen to Kobrin's interpretations  of Mozart's music, he makes us remember the detail.

Alexander Kobrin

Chopin Mazurcas Op. 24 in G Minor, (lento) C Major (Allegro non troppo) A Flat Major )Moderato con anima) and B Flat Minor (Moderato)

The Mazurka may be described as a Polish Musical form based on stylized folk triple meter dances. Their tempo is usually fast, lively with their character of the music defined by the prominent "Masurs," as the strong accents unsystematically placed on the second or third beats at called.  The name, Mazurka, is also applied to the Polish dances, which the Polish consider "gypsies' dances,"and where their tempo is written either 3/4 or 3/8 time, and, when danced, t danced very fast, with stamping of feet and clicking of hills, to mark the forceful accent on the second or third beat.

When playing the Chopin's Mazurkas, in the second part of his three-piece recital, Kobrin allowed his audience to listen, in Chopin's compositions, the many similarities with Mozart's melodic compositions: the elegance of their themes, the way the themes are introduced, their clarity in sound, and other similarities. And because the purpose of the pianist in his concert, was to allow his audience to be able to compare the similarities in the composition's Styles between Mozart and Chopin, listening to a Mozart's Sonata first, and then to the Chopin's Mazurkas, all the Mazurkas that Kobrin selected for comparison, were played at tempos which allowed his audience to detect the similarities.

But the listeners to Kobrin's concert who were able to detect these similarities, were probably those who were paying close attention to Kobrin's  playing  Mozart's music (1756-1791) followed by Chopin's music (l8l0-l849) and focused their attention in Kobrin's "Interpretation,"  of their music, thus, comparing the Elegance in both the composers'  Styles, their similarities in tempos, in their notes' ornamentations, in their  phrasing, their dynamics, to name a few, which Kobrin made obvious by emphasizing them while playing them.

He ended his concert with Schubert' Sonata in C minor, D 953, Allegro, Adagio, and Minuet. A piece which allowed the pianist to interpret, in his playing the  different pathos' nuances of a composer, who at still a young age, was aware that his life was soon to end and was writing sonata after sonata.

His Schubert Sonata began majestically with a doleful-sounded theme which may be interpreted as a loud cry in the background. It is silenced by loud chords and fast arpeggios. with the melody played with the right hand and on the left hand loud chords that seem to be shouting louder and louder in the background. The theme repeats and the melody moves to the high notes as the left hand's chords, like the unstoppable destiny, get louder and louder as the melody get softer. The Sonata is a marvelous contrast of dynamics with a theme changing, at the pace of a butterfly trying to fly with, a hurt wing, from the right hand to the left hand. And the then the time changes, the Dynamics change, and the music enraptures us as we actually get caught in its turmoil. Kobrin did a superb job interpreting this Sonata. In fact, his interpretation was so masterful, those who are sensitive enough did not hear the music, they felt it.

The Steinway Society provides online pre-concert lectures for this concert and past and future concerts at: To Order tickets for the next concerts in the Home Concert Hall Performances go to: For questions contact their box office at (408) 300-5635.