mon 11/12/2017

Chopin

'Their DNA is forever ingrained in the keys' - Roman Rabinovich on playing composers' own pianos

I was recently in the UK for some solo recitals and to make my debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. One of the highlights of the trip was playing a similar programme in two very different settings: first on some magnificent period...

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Dmitri Alexeev, St John's Smith Square review - a Titan at 70

You won't have seen much of magisterial Russian pianist Dmitri Alexeev recently, unless you happen to be a student at the Royal College of Music, where he is Professor of Advanced Piano Studies (they were out in force last night, cheering enough to...

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Leif Ove Andsnes, RFH review - interior magic from a master colourist

Such introspective subtlety might be mistaken for reticence. But from the rare instances when the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes lets rip - and they're never forced - you know he's wielding his palette with both skill and intuition, waiting for...

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Roman Rabinovich, Hatchlands review - poetry from Chopin's very own Pleyel piano

What pianist wouldn't long to lay fingers on keyboards impregnated, as Roman Rabinovich put it in his introduction yesterday afternoon, with the DNAs of Haydn and Chopin? To take three of the 31 instruments in the astonishing Cobbe Collection at...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall review: Pavel Kolesnikov - Chopin takes flight

If individual greatness is to be found in the way an artist begins and ends a phrase, or finds magical transitions both within and between pieces, then Pavel Kolesnikov is already up there with the top pianists. Listeners tuning in midway through...

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Ke Ma, Wigmore Hall review - a debut of distinction

The turnout in the Wigmore’s Kirckman series of young-artist showcases was unusually high for this 23-year-old Chinese pianist. With the Op. 28 Preludes of Chopin, it became clear that many of the audience had known what they were waiting for. Up to...

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to me in art: simplicity, depth and spirituality". The...

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Janina Fialkowska, Wigmore Hall

You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either, which is sensitive and supple, always emotive and deeply idiomatic. The Canadian pianist (her father was Polish) has...

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Jonathan Biss, Milton Court

"Late Style", the theme and title of pianist Jonathan Biss's three-concert miniseries, need not be synonymous with terminal thoughts of death. This recital ranged from introspection (Brahms), radiant simplicity (Schumann) and aphoristic minimalism (...

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Jeremy Denk, Wigmore Hall

Medieval to Modern – Jeremy Denk’s Wigmore Hall recital took us on a whistle-stop tour of Western music, beginning with Machaut in the mid-14th century and ending with Ligeti at the end of the 20th. The programme was made up of 25 short works, each...

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Seong-Jin Cho, St John's Smith Square, London

It’s always heartening to see a full house for a debut recital, though when expectations run so high, the stakes for the pianist can be dangerously raised. No worries at St John’s Smith Square, though, for Seong-Jin Cho. The diminutive, young South...

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Freddy Kempf, Cadogan Hall

London foists hard choices on concertgoers. Over at St John's Smith Square last night Nikolai Demidenko was giving a high-profile recital of Brahms and Prokofiev. But since the Prokofiev CD which has had the most impact in recent years has been...

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