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Slav Triumph

MALCOLM TROUP succumbs to
the pzazz of the Burov/Miletic Duo


London remains full of surprises. On Tuesday 28 November 2006 I attended a violin-and-piano recital in one of London's best-kept secrets, the Bolivar Hall in Grafton Way, named for Latin-America's great liberator, which we Londoners owe to the generosity of the Venezuelan Embassy (Ken Livingston, spurned admirer of Venezuela's populist-President Hugo Chavez, please note!). Minimalist a l'outrance with its stark white décor, reassuringly hardwood floors, a single luridly-painted canvas to focus attention on the platform, it provides the ideal launching-pad for the household names of tomorrow. And who better to answer to that description than Dimitar Burov, violin, and Mina Miletic, piano, whose powerful combined artistry already clamours for an equally outsize auditorium. Dimitar, Bulgarian by birth, is of the same sturdy string stock as Mincho Minchev who so electrified Londoners when he won the Carl Flesch Violin Competition back in the 80s -- like him, Dimitar studied with the late Yfrah Neaman and was superbly partnered by the Serbian pianist Mina Miletic, herself Bulgarian through her mother.

The Burov/Miletic Duo - Dimitar Burov and Mina Miletic. Photo © 2006 Tijana Miletic
The Burov/Miletic Duo - Dimitar Burov and Mina Miletic. Photo © 2006 Tijana Miletic

That the first item in their programme, Mozart's early KV296, still belonged to the transitional category of Sonata for Piano and Violin rather than the other way around was proved by the fact that Mozart tried out all his best tunes under Mina's sparkling fingers first before letting the violin take a shot at them. The result was purest delight, with a melting Andante sostenuto of the 'Home, Sweet Home' variety -- more Victorian than ancien regime -- and a buffo, Papageno-style rondeau by way of finale. Dimitar is like a taut violin-string himself, releasing his pent-up energy by riding up on his toes and stretching himself out as tension mounts within him -- rhythmic verve, control and virility being his strong points rather than emotional outpouring.

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Copyright © 5 December 2006 Malcolm Troup, London UK


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