What piano recitals were like before artists listened to agents

What piano recitals were like before artists listened to agents


norman lebrecht

October 15, 2017

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

…  it would be absurd to expect Trifonov to release a conventional Chopin album of two concertos and some scattered Polonaises. What he offers here are the E minor and F minor concertos, accompanied by the Maher Chamber Orchestra, conductor Mikhail Pletnev, together with a flush of solo reflections by Chopin on other composers, and other composers on Chopin. It’s a challenging and completely original setting for the Chopin concertos and it left me pretty much jaw-dropped from start to finish….

Read on here.

And here.

And here. 




  • Alexander says:

    you have said what was at the tip of my tongue ( first I read your blog’s topic, then Toronto’s article) . Trifonov is a Chopin’s man , and all of king’s horses cannot have him get out of that way 😉 just my opinion, of course
    P.S. Exclusively for Olassus and Mr.Monster – Elena Stikhina is a total success at Boston, as far as I could understand their hint ( on their FaceBook page)- they try to find some distant parallels with La Divina – and she deserves that. In other words ( with a lesser pomp) – critics are benevolent to her and there is something to do so ( to sing Tosca at 30 is great, to sing like she does is just awesome 😉 … if someone wants to read Boston’s critiques – please go to BLO facebook page – all the references are there … Next Prodigy’s performances are to be in Mexico city ( Desdemona). Just F.Y.I.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    I find it an exceptional album top to bottom. Trifonov plays like an angel. So absorbing I can hardly listen to anything else.

  • RW2013 says:

    Great to see the charming Mompou getting an airing, but pity that there wasn’t room for Busoni’s Chopin variations.

  • esfir ross says:

    Even F.Busoni was teaching at Moscow conservatory, his piano music ignored and unknown, even to D.Trifonov

  • Dan P. says:

    Trifanov’s playing is extraordinarily beautiful, and exceptionally controlled. But just a couple comments.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the re-orchestration of the concertos by Pletnev. I like them in general but they take a little getting used to. The problem they present is in the E minor concerto where the expanded winds, together with a slowish tempo gives the opening a heaviness that works against the flow. That said, what is really odd is the variation in tempi in the first movement. The first third or so is slow and heavy-ish but then it ramps up a bit, then ramps up a bit more to the point it’s really fast. Then, at the end it slows down again. It’s really odd and I’m not sure what the structural or musical purpose of this is.

    The slow movement is unspeakably beautiful and the orchestra sounds wonderful. For this piece, one might also look up the recording by Halina Czerny-Stefanska that for many years was marketed by EMI as being by Dinu Lipatti. It’s really perfect in every way – at least to my ears.

  • Bo says:

    I liked all the variations a lot. The concerti and fantaisie, not so much.
    Wouldn’t say he is a particularily strong Chopinist either…