Alexander the Great: Gavrylyuk
By Michael Moriarty
Last night, the grand piano’s giant virtuoso, Alexander Gavrylyuk, made it indisputably clear to me that his divinely mad and sacred genius make him the only artist I’ve experienced, in 77 years of life, that completely comprehends the profoundest meanings within all of art.
Why can I say anything that extravagant?
For one my mouth and my typing fingers are the only parts of me prone to extravagancy.
For two and ultimately, Mr. Gavrylyuk’s genius demands an over-the-top tribute!
Quite beyond his unsurpassably breathtaking technique, his soul, as shared so generously in the expressions on his face, while his eyes are intensely concentrated upon the keyboard?!
That miraculous inner spirit of his, quite beyond the endless hours of practice, both physically and spiritually, demanded by such high standards, in short, his soul?!
Whether surrendered to God or to Mr. Gavrylyuk’s own personal Muse, his soul is in direct communication with both.
Therefore, his complete and selfless surrender to that force invades us and we’re confronted with a level of excellence that goes so beyond technique and virtuosity that one feels as if a godlike force has taken over not just Alexander Gavrylyuk but the entire audience as well.
He, of course, must be, by now, quite accustomed to becoming transfixed by his own genius.
We in the audience, however, and, by all means, certainly I, will mark that particular night at the Vancouver Playhouse, May 16, 2018, as the high point of my musical life.
During 77 years of listening to the greatest of recorded classics on my childhood’s old Victrola in Detroit, Michigan, and in the many years since then, performing and attending performances in roughly half of the known world, this singularly triumphant concert by Mr. Gavrylyuk will stand above all the rest I’ve attended.
Why do I believe Mr. Gavrylyuk is “the standard”?!
I’ve already said it.
No one understands the entire and profoundest meaning of music more completely than Alexander Gavrylyuk.
How do I know that?
By spending roughly two hours with his sacredly high level of performance.
Bach/Busoni, Hayden, Chopin and his fellow Russian favorites, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff
Let’s, for example, take his wildly loving and, at moments, terrifying performance of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5!
I was not, until now, a particularly well-informed fan of Alexander Scriabin’s creations.
Because of Alexander Gavrylyuk’s interpretation of this violently romantic portrait, this musical vision of a world, not unlike the one we live in now?!
A potentially loving human race gone mad?!
With the piano, our angelically demoniacal artist, Mr. Gavrylyuk, wakes us up!
I’ve said much the same things, with much the same, wild enthusiasm, about Martha Argerich but, in the end, the solo performance of Alexander Gavrylyuk, with equally shimmering technique as Ms. Argerich displayed with her performance of the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto, offered us the very soul of Mr. Gavrylyuk’s artistry!
His physical life at the keyboard!!
Pouring out of his entire being was as nakedly transparent an image of his genius as the performance his hands, fingers and feet on the pedals were offering.
Combine those two, very different offerings from Alexander Gavrylyuk; and Ms. Argerich’s impressively self-controlled genius, much of it without her having to look at the keyboard, seemed almost unmoved by her own performance.
With Ms. Argerich, of course, my jaw dropped from being so impressed by both her technique and her artistry.
With Alexander Gavrylyuk and one third of the way into his performance of the Scriabin, I was in tears.
Scriabin’s own story, of course!
However, the profundity of Mr. Gavrylyuk’s performance gave me a wordless explanation of humanity’s present-day madness.
After that, however, came our pianist’s musical love affair with Sergei Rachmaninoff, who died 41 years before Alexander was even born! Yet no one, in my experience, seems to know Sergei Rachmaninoff better than Alexander Gavrylyuk.
Three preludes and Sonata No. 2 by the great Russian creator of the very 3rd Piano Concerto that Ms. Argerich performed so miraculously; and by the very composer whom Alexander Gavrylyuk appeared to miraculously know more intimately than any other musician, including Ms. Argerich.
As a side-bar, Mr. Gavrylyuk has performed all four of Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos.
I find the brief and surprisingly unenthusiastic entry in Wikipedia about Alexander Gavrylyuk quite disappointing. I do hope the editors and writers for Wikipedia take a second and third listen and look at the music and career of this still rather young genius.
Wikipedia, I assure you, would not regret mentioning the three gold medals that, yes, my hero, Alexander Gavrylyuk, has already won.
I guarantee everyone, judging from this performance I saw last night, that three gold medals (the 1999 Horowitz Competition, the Harnamatsu Competition in 2000 and, in 2005, the Gold Medal at the prestigious Arthur Rubenstein Competition) are only the beginning of a career that will ultimately triumph over all of his competitors.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.