The Art of Ivan Pochekin

I first got to know about him through the cat eyes of his younger brother Mikhail. There is no better letter of introduction than that one of a brother who admires you and respects you, someone who really cares. Since that snowy Sunday morning when I met Mikhail, I knew that the art of Ivan Pochekin had to be something extraordinary. First there were the comments of affection, then the recordings that Mikhail gave me so that I could listen to his brother play the viola and the violin. A year went by until I finally could meet him in person. Before that I had already met the mother and the father of these two musical brothers: Elena and Yuri. They are all a family where art and music flood everything. I saw Ivan for the first time when Mikhail presented his recording of the six Bach’s Partitas & Sonatas for violin solo at Ateneo in Madrid. Ivan and I did not exchange many words back then, but Mikhail had already instilled into me that sincere admiration you feel when you face the artisan, the artist, the true musician who not only plays an instrument, but who also understands music and conveys its in-depth message to anyone who can listen to it. Then some more months went by, maybe half a year, until I saw him again in Madrid. It was Christmas time. Ivan, Mikhail and I had embarked for nine months on a charity adventure to raise funds for the benefit of ACTAYS and the children with neurological diseases at Hospital del Niño Jesús in Madrid. Both brothers offered a concert which will remain in the minds and hearts of all those people who went to the Sony Auditorium in Madrid on that Saturday, 21 December 2019.

Then I had the chance to get to know Ivan a little better. And I realised that in the artist you can also find an easy going and friendly man. Just like I do —and this is something we both “dangerously” love— Ivan loves good food and a good conversation over a good glass of wine. Ivan is human! Many times we are dazzled by an artist of Ivan Pochekin’s virtuoso calibre. You can see him slide his left hand up and down either on a violin or on a viola neck with an astonishing finger precision while his right hand conjures the bow drawing the strings with bewitching movements that create sounds, from the most horrible and piercing to the most beautiful and extraordinary, without apparent effort. Ivan Pochekin combines the colours and hues of his sound palette with exceptional mastery and creates those musical canvases in melodious oil paint which move and touch the deepest of the listener’s soul. Ivan transforms the stage into an artisan’s workshop where the entrails of sound are forged and the work of art emerges.

Great Music & Performers - Ivan Pochekin - Shostakovich

Now, the last thing of Ivan that I put my hands and ears on is the recording of the two violin concertos by Dmitry Shostakovich. The music of Shostakovich is not nice. It’s pungent, hopeless, breathtaking and only sometimes beautiful. Surely, there will come musicologists and specialists who will write about this album and about the art of Ivan Pochekin. They will give their opinions and they will make it big or ignore it according to their musical tastes and knowledge. As far as I am concerned, the sincerest homage I can pay to the artist is to say that the words of admiration, respect and affection that one day his younger brother Mikhail instilled into me are given sense anew today, because Ivan Pochekin’s recording of the two Shostakovich’s violin concertos will be, for years to come, the recording of reference.

Michael Thallium

Global & Greatness Coach
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