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Label news: Kissin cuts a deal

June 9, 2017 by norman lebrecht

17 comments.


After an absence of quarter of a century, the Russian pianist has returned to Deutsche Grammophon with a new contract and a Beethoven sonata set.


photo: DG/Johann Sebastian Haenel

press release:

After a break of 25 years, legendary pianist Evgeny Kissin has signed a new exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. His discography already contains landmark recordings for the Yellow Label, critically acclaimed collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado among them, and the association between artist and label resumes with the release of a new Beethoven album in August.

The double-disc set, its programme personally chosen by Kissin from recitals given over the past decade, includes Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas No. 14 Op. 27 No. 2, ‘Moonlight’, No. 23 Op. 57, ‘Appassionata’, and No. 26 Op. 81a, ‘Les Adieux’. It also comprises the evergreen 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80 and a profound exploration of the sublime two-movement Piano Sonata No. 32 Op. 111, the composer’s final work in the genre. The album, Kissin’s first solo recital recording in more than a decade, represents a major addition to his Beethoven discography and an essential document of his artistic development.

“These recordings were made in the moment of performance,” observes Kissin. “Live recordings always surpass studio albums for me, because I feel more inspired when playing for an audience. It means a lot to me to be able to share the spirit of that live experience with others.”


Comments (17)

  1. Olassus says:

    Good.

    Prokofiev’s Second Concerto, please, with the Russian National Orchestra and Pletnev.

    1. Ungeheuer says:

      His recording of the work for EMI, with Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia, is excellent. It is coupled with the 3rd.

  2. Ungeheuer says:

    Great news

  3. George says:

    How old is Kissin now? 45? 15? His James Levine/Itzhak Perlman-esque fro always makes it hard to tell.

    1. Olassus says:

      Tacky.

    2. M2N2K says:

      He certainly is under no obligation to you or anyone else to be regularly adjusting his looks in such a way that makes it easy to tell his age. That’s what Wikipedia is for.

  4. boringfileclerk says:

    I wish that he will do a complete Stockhausen Klavierstuck cycle on the label, or perhaps some William Schuman. Heck, I’d even settle for some Ralph Shapey from him. Does he even play any contemporary music anymore?

  5. JOHN MCLAUGHLIN WILLIAMS says:

    Beethoven, again? Ennui. Music being such a found treasure, one would think that with such time away his interests could have found richer quarters.

    1. Olassus says:

      A cycle would be a first for him, I believe.

    2. Bruce says:

      Ah, these famous soloists and their utter, utter lack of imagination… le sigh.

  6. La Verita says:

    Some little-known facts: Kissin gave a few performances of a piano concerto of Tikhon Khrennikov, of which a live recording was issued (https://www.amazon.com/Khrennikov-Violin-Piano-Concertos-2013-09-12/dp/B01K8KGRJ4). He last played that work in Paris in 1991 (or there-about). Also, as a teenager, he performed a concerto of Andrei Eshpai. Kissin also composed (at the age of 10) a concerto for piano & band.

  7. JDUB says:

    Kissin is absolutely awesome.

  8. Mark says:

    I hope he can release some of his live Liszt – I recall his all-Liszt recital at Carnegie Hall some years ago (including the B minor sonata) that was simply phenomenal. And maybe his Brahms concertos with Levine conducting …

  9. Mark Mortimer says:

    Evgeny is an incredible boy. Best of luck with his Beethoven project.

    1. M2N2K says:

      Calling any 45-year-old person – let alone a world-class performer – a “boy” is extremely disrespectful.

      1. Mark Mortimer says:

        Uptight odd ball- who cares what you think

        1. M2N2K says:

          If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.


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