wed 21/08/2019

Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

State-of-the-art pianism from a young Russian in Schubert and Shostakovich

Alexander Melnikov: A thoroughly modern pianist who makes you listen to him, if not always the composer

How important is it to hear “the composer’s intentions” at a concert? Maybe only the interpreter’s intentions are possible. The young Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov challenges the golden rule of faithfulness to source with the resources of today’s piano - not the ropey old Soviet thing Shostakovich would have had, or the limited piano Schubert would have known, and last night at the Wigmore Hall delivered an ear-opener of a recital all about modern pianism at its most fascinating and provocative.

What Melnikov makes happen with a top-class, lovingly nurtured instrument is Titianesque in colour and grandeur

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It's also perhaps worth remembering that Melnikov has tackled Brahms (superbly) on a Boesendorfer of 1875. How I would love to have heard this. I do actually think he beds his soul down with Rachmaninov, at any rate, in the Etudes Tableaux and songs.

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