The Yellow Label is sounding very pleased by its latest signing. Grigory Sokolov, 64, a byword among pianopholes, refuses to perform with orchestras and will not play on a piano that is more than five years old.
It has been 22 years since he last made a record.
DG will release a Salzburg 2008 Mozart-Chopin recital in January, followed (they hope) by more live sessions.
Press release below.
Berlin, 16 October 2014. Deutsche Grammophon today announced the exclusive signing of Grigory Sokolov, one of the world’s most enigmatic and visionary artists. The revered Russian pianist, born in Leningrad in 1950, is known for the spellbinding subtlety and endless variety of his tone, the vast depths of his musicianship and the spiritual intensity of his music-making.
Sokolov is also known for what he does not do: he no longer performs with orchestras, nor on pianos that are more than five years old. He makes no studio recordings and is reluctant to do interviews, feeling more comfortable expressing himself through his music. In an uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence, he always demands at least double the rehearsal time expected by his peers prior to every recital – and, as if in return, gives double the amount of encores. In short, his pursuit of perfection is all-consuming.
His first album for the Yellow Label, a recital of works by Mozart and Chopin recorded LIVE at the 2008 Salzburg Festival, is set for global release in January 2015. This will be his first new album for almost 20 years – since a Schubert Sonatas disc, recorded in 1992, came to the market in 1996. The teenage Sokolov first attracted global attention after his sensational victory at the 1966 Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition.
Sokolov’s sought-after recitals remain unique, as he performs the same programme across up to 70 concerts in a year, altering one half in January, and one in October. Encores in abundance are a speciality, and always expected from his legion of devoted concert followers.