Label news: Yannick goes solo

Label news: Yannick goes solo


norman lebrecht

April 20, 2021

The Met conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has cut his debut disc as a pianist for Deutsche Grammophon.

It’s titled Introspection and includes works by Debussy, Chopin, Brahms, Scarlatti, Mozart, Champagne, Bach, Shostakovich, Schubert, Berio and Haydn.

Ours not to reason why (but we’re keenly awaiting Muti’s Winterreise).

Yannick says:’Playing the piano gave me an opportunity for introspection. This is something most of us – not just artists and musicians, but every human being – has had to do lately, to rebalance our priorities, our life goals, and aspirations. Now that I am a conductor, when I return to my instrument [the piano], I want to rediscover the intimacy and the soft, soothing colors, but also the painful hues. I want to explore the unknown lands where these composers have gone.’




  • John Kelly says:

    Well, he’s a very good pianist. I remember after a Philly Orch concert (which I can’t wait to get back to), he played in a Brahms quintet with four orchestra members. Pretty darn wonderful. A lot of these conductors are darn good pianists (think Levine, Sawallisch, Pappano)………..

    • anon says:

      One conductor who regards himself as a good pianist but who is a terrible pianist is Muti

      • Gustavo says:

        His piano may need tuning, but otherwise I have no objections against Maestro:

        • Martha Turner says:

          Good Lord, what happened to Muti. He looks ancient!! Years have not been kind on him it seems.

          I listened to him and the CSO at Carnegie Hall, some Berlioz fairly recently, he did not look so old on stage but it was super-boring. He should retire … and stop playing piano!

      • Chicagorat says:

        Muti recently has sent the CSO a video clip of himself playing a Schubert waltz, as a greeting to the Orchestra (not to the administration, which he despises).

        The video, shot from his home, is vintage Muti- first, Muti compares his personal collection of puppets to music critics (those he has not won over with fancy dinners like Burg), then he offers one of his fake-erudite anecdotes about the Waltz in question. Finally he proceeds to the piano to impart his “gift”.

        The waltz is very short but, if you watch it, you will be asleep way before the end.

        • Gustavo says:

          The world needs exactly these personalities with all their origin-related peculiarities.

          Without them, music as we appreciate it today would never have been created and passed on from generation to generation.

          The lonely Maestro needs an audience just as much as his musicians do.

          Leave admin aside!

        • steve says:

          well he’s more erudite than you’ll ever be 😉

          • Gustavo says:


            That is the basis of my admiration for Muti.

            Who else could teach us the secret language of Verdi?

            He gets 100 credibility points from me, no matter what his hobbies are.

            I get nothing out of what the woke yellow-labelled anti-Maestr-x have to say about music, society etc. etc.

          • Chicagorat says:

            Ask his Italian singer male buddies e.g., Salsi, Zanellato, what one of Muti’s favorite opera verses means and what the “secret meaning” really is for Verdi (Rivedro’ le foreste imbalsamate), that he keeps harping on. He will keep the 100 credibility points by you, but not by many folks who don’t like particularly enjoy baseness.

          • steve says:

            dude seriously what did he ever do to you…you seem to have a strange vendetta against him

      • Novagerio says:

        Anon: don’t worry so much about Maestro’s “shortcomings”; he has spent the first 130.000 hrs at the piano coaching singers, wich is propably more than you might have achieved in life…

        Incidentally, some almost 30 years ago, while the La Scala Orchestra suddenly went on strike, Maestro played an entire Traviata performance at the piano, in front of a sold out House – and without even combing his hair!
        Ok, he was not Benedetti Michelangeli, but on the other hand, he didn’t need to be.

        • Maurizio Cicognani says:

          So glad you bring this pathetic memory up.

          At the time, Muti undermined the Orchestra strike by keeping the show on. He was celebrated by the public and the audience as the hero for “keeping the show on” and sacrificing him himself by playing the piano. He gave extensive interviews on the Corriere criticizing the Orchestra and their labor fights. (Incidentally the Orchestra never forgot that).

          In Chicago, Muti fabricated a hero image by calling the press to be photographed on the Orchestra strike picket line, but what he wanted was really his own contract extension and he bought the Orchestra support that way.

          This shows what a shameless opportunist Muti is, and how he manipulates the press and the audiences to create a personality cult that has an effect on weak, spineless minds. In Italy we see that every day. He is a clown.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        As was his late friend Carlos Kleiber!!

        • Burnham says:

          Sorry to spill Muti’s beans, but Kleiber was only “friend” with Muti because he was madly in love with his daughter, Chiara. This is well known in Ravenna.

    • Gustavo says:


      • David K. Nelson says:

        George Szell, Dmitri Mitropoulos and Bruno Walter all made memorable recordings for Columbia as pianist: Szell in Mozart sonatas with Szigeti and later Druian; Mitropoulos playing and conducting the Prokofiev Concerto No. 3 (using the transparent piano lid that Van Cliburn later acquired); and Walter in Schumann songs with Lotte Lehmann. There may be other recordings of their that I am not aware of, but it is interesting that this single record label (which was also Leonard Bernstein’s label) recorded three of its important conductors in the more-rare role of pianist.

        • UINRWR, ns mFNIDIXWNRLY Mhlwe'a Euwxkwer Liwswe qirhg says:

          Szell also recorded Mozart’s piano quartets and Brahms’s quintet with the Budapest Quartet. Bruno Walter recorded Mozart’s D-minor concerto with the VPO and NYPO , and accompanied Desi Halban in Mahler Lieder, and Ferrier in Schumann.

          Bernstein recorded Mozart concertos 15 and 17, Schumann’s quintet, and Mahler’s Rueckert Lieder accompanying Fischer-Dieskau magnificently in “Um Miotternacht” both live on Myto and Columbia studio, also other Mahler songs with Christa Ludwig and Fi-Di. on piano .

          Furtwaengler twice recorded Bach’s fifth Brandenburg on piano, and performed other Bach concertos not recorded. He accompanied Schwarzkopf’s 1953 Hugo Wolf recital in Salzburg, which is recorded.

          Karajan once accompanied Schwarzkopf in a Lieder recital in North Africa. For his conservatory graduation he performed a concerto by Pantcho Vladiguerov, who was Weissenberg’s teacher and Bulgaria’s greatest composer (of COURSE!).

        • Bernard Jacobson says:

          I’m surprised that no one seems to have thought of including Solti in their lists of conductors who were also great pianists. His recordings with Georg Kulenkampff of violin sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms seem to me to embody a gift for capturing the character of the music that goes deeper than anything I usually found in his admittedly brilliant conducting.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Here are the contentsézet-Séguin/dp/B091KKPBWZ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Yannick+Nézet-Séguin+introspection&qid=1618920892&sr=8-1

  • CSOA Insider says:

    Muti has different private “hobbies”, financed by the organization with official approval of JA and HZ.

  • Save the MET says:

    Pass. Spineless management shill.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    I suppose it has helped him fill the idle time he has had on his hands whilst unable to mount the rostrum at the MET. Not to mention financially keeping his head above water. Unlike the unfortunate members of his orchestra

  • Rudy says:

    He graduated with five Premier Prix in Montreal, one in piano performance. And he recorded a CD (Mozart) as an accompanist to a Quebecois singer.

    • Emil says:

      And also just performed a Mozart concerto (no 12) with the OM, which will be streamed next week, in addition to accompanying Joyce DiDonato on her new Winterreise CD and at Carnegie Hall.

  • Karl says:

    Maestro Kevin Rhodes the conductor of the Springfield Symphony is a good pianist. I’d like to hear him play more.

  • Christian Halstead says:

    Is there really a composer called Champagne??

  • stanley cohen says:

    Otto Klemperer told of the occasion in Vienna when Fischer-Dieskau invited him to a concert in which he would be conducting Beethoven’s 3rd and 6th Symphonies. Klemperer replied that he was sorry he couldn’t attend that evening as he was giving a recital of Schubert’s Winterreise.

    • Ashu says:

      Equally bogusly, Margaret Atwood once wrote that strangers sometimes told her that they hoped to attempt a novel in their retirement, whereto she would reply that she hoped to take up brain surgery.