Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3
& Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Essential Work BBC Music Magazine (UK)
Artistique 10 Technique 10 ‘What a pianist! Denis Matsuev is a phenomenon. Here he proves that he can associate his virtuosity with a real sense of style and aesthetic'
Valery Gergiev, Denis Matsuev
01 Feb 2010
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The Mariinsky label’s fourth release features the acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Matsuev joining Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra for recordings of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
Since winning the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998 Matsuev has established a reputation as one of Russia’s greatest and most dynamic pianists. Over recent years he has begun to perform regularly on the international scene and recorded for BMG Russia. He has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras and gave his first recital at Carnegie Hall in 2007.
Matsuev is particularly renowned for his interpretations of music by Russian composers and has collaborated with the Sergei Rachmaninoff Foundation. He was chosen by the Foundation to perform and record unknown pieces of Rachmaninoff on the composer’s own piano at the Rachmaninoff house Villa Senar in Lucerne.
This recording was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Andrei Cheglakov.
Denis Matsuev piano
Valery Gergiev conductor
James Mallinson producer
John Newton, Dirk Sobotka and Mark Donahue engineers
Recorded February 2009, Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
Notes in Russian (Cyrillic), English, French and German.
Catalogue number - MAR0505
UPC - 822231850526
Essential Work BBC Music Magazine (UK)
Artistique 10 Technique 10 ‘What a pianist! Denis Matsuev is a phenomenon. Here he proves that he can associated his virtuosity with a real sense of style and aesthetic'
'Here, for once, is the level of artistry that the work needs. Denis Matsuev's phenomenal deftness is such that he can launch into the finale at an eyebrow-raising speed which he then has no trouble sustaining. And for all his seemingly endless reserves of technical power, he never makes an ugly sound ... The Paganini Rhapsody is another memorable experience, with Matsuev and Gergiev darting unerringly between the music's extremes of fantastical virtuosity and tight-reined lyricism'BBC Music Magazine (UK)
'As one might expect from someone hailed as Horowitz’s successor, Matsuev holds that most titanic of piano concertos in a passionate embrace, lavish with his rubato, devastatingly certain in his articulation, sensitive to colour and balance, aware of how to pace and thus make coherent the architecture of this massive work. Importantly, for all his physical power and energy, he never makes a hard sound. There’s commensurately sympathetic playing from the Mariinsky, who also match Matsuev’s deft, vibrant musicianship in the brittler Rhapsody' Sunday Times (UK)
Read the full review here
'Denis Matsuev is an amazing pianist. He shapes the Third Concerto's fistfuls of notes with consummate mastery. The work's opening theme has an easy elegance that's very beguiling, and Matsuev shapes the more massive of the two cadenza alternatives with great power. In the finale, the opening theme never sounds merely scrambled, and the massive chordal second subject builds in huge crescendos, but Matsuev never bangs or loses control. With the Paganini Rhapsody, each variation has shape and character, and the closing few really do offer a clinic in virtuoso keyboard artistry. The variation in triplets right before the famous 18th is particularly noteworthy: very ominous, louder, and darker than usual' ClassicsToday.com (US)