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Denis Matsuev to perform Grieg on "Culture" TV channel

November, 28, at 17 30 there will be a concert broadcast on “Culture” TV channel:  Denis Matsuev and the National Philharmonic of Russia headed by Vladimir Spivakov will perform Grieg Two Elegiac Melodies for Strings, “Heart Wounds” and “Last Spring”, and also Piano concerto in A minor. The concert was recorded in Svetlanov hall of Moscow International Performing Arts Centre in 2011.

New videos added to Denis Matsuev's YouTube channel

Denis Matsuev and the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia headed by Gorenstein perform Strauss “Burleske” at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire

Easter festival opening 2011. Artistic leader Valery Gergiev. Denis Matsuev and Mariinsky orchestra headed by Valery Gergiev perform Stravinsky “Capriccio”

DenisMatsuev and the Moscow Philharmonic, conductor Yuri Simonov, perform Rachmaninoff piano concert no.1 at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow

“Collected executions”. World elite of Russian piano school. Denis Matsuev at the Great Hall of Moscow conservatoire performs "Unknown Rachmaninoff": suite,variations on a theme of Corelli, fugue

Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Spivakov, Tatjana Vassiljeva perform Shostakovich “Trio” at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire

Presentation film of "Crescendo" festival art director of which is Denis Matsuev

Music festival "Crescendo". Report of TV channel"Kultura" from Paris

Denis Matsuev: Rachmaninoff, piano concert no.2. Part of the documentary by NTR: company(the Netherlands)

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New publication added to "Media" section: "Maestros et virtuoses russes à Annecy", the French translation of the article published in "The Moscow Times"

De nombreux musiciens russes sont mondialement connus et jouent un rôle important dans la vie musicale de chaque continent. Quelques Russes s’occupent également de la direction artistique de festivals étrangers. Mais trouver un riche homme d’affaires russe qui accepte d’être le principal sponsor d’un festival de musique hors des frontières de la Russie est probablement unique.

L’idée d’organiser l’Annecy Classic Festival est née à l’été  2009, alors que le pianiste Denis Matsuev faisait une apparition dans un autre festival français, non loin de Paris. Pascal Escande, directeur du festival, pianiste et enseignant, annonce alors qu’il met un terme à un autre évènement de moindre envergure qu’il organisait depuis dix ans à Annecy. Matsuev, qui avait joué à Annecy et trouvait ce lieu particulièrement adapté la musique classique, a exprimé ses regrets et proposé de présenter Escande à un ami qui pourrait éventuellement financer un festival plus important dans la ville.

L’ami en question est l’homme d’affaires moscovite Andreï Cheglakov, pionnier dans le domaine des logiciels en Russie qui s’est ensuite lancé dans le développement de voitures russes de luxe. Les deux hommes se sont finalement rencontrés plus tard en 2009, suite à un concert de Matsuev à Genève. Cheglakov connaissait bien Annecy car il y avait acheté un chalet près de la ville quelques années auparavant. Et c’est sans trop d’hésitations qu’il a accepté de soutenir ce projet de festival.

Ainsi, grâce à Matsuev et Escande qui remplissent le rôle de co-directeurs artistiques, une aide complémentaire du département de la Haute-Savoie et d’autres financements des autorités françaises, le premier festival a vu le jour à fin août 2010. Matsuev était bien entendu l’une des principales attractions, avec le violoniste Vladimir Spivakov, l’altiste Iouri Bachmet et l’Orchestre philharmonique de Saint-Pétersbourg, sous la baguette de son directeur artistique de longue date Iouri Temirkanov.

Le contingent russe, présent pour la deuxième édition du festival, était une fois de plus composé du Philharmonique de Saint-Pétersbourg de Temirkanov, ainsi que de son rival originaire de la même ville, l’Orchestre du Théâtre Mariinsky, dirigé par Valeri Guerguiev, avec Sergueï Krylov au violon, Sergueï Dreznin au piano et à la composition, et quatre jeunes talents russes d’origine moscovite dans les cordes. Parmi les autres musiciens, deux célèbres paires françaises : les sœurs pianistes Katia et Marielle Labeque, ainsi que le duo composé du violoniste Renaud Gautier et de son frère violoncelliste. Sans oublier Jean Guillou, le plus connu des organistes français.

Annecy ne manque pas de lieux pouvant accueillir un festival de musique. Elle abrite notamment plusieurs sites historiques comme la cathédrale Saint-Pierre datant du début du XVIème siècle ainsi que le musée-château d’Annecy qui domine la ville et fut érigé entre les XIIème et le XVIème siècle, ou le luxueux hôtel Imperial Palace et la gigantesque église Sainte-Bernadette, qui ont été construits plus récemment. L’acoustique est excellente dans chacun de ces sites.

Les concerts du festival offraient une musique de très grande qualité. Matsuev a une fois de plus interprété de manière éblouissante le concerto pour piano n°1 de Tchaïkovski et a fait preuve d’une sensibilité hors du commun dans un concert de musique de chambre composée par Tchaïkovski, Sergueï Rachmaninov et Béla Bartòk. Temirkanov a dirigé son orchestre dans une interprétation remarquable de symphonies de Tchaïkovski et Johannes Brahms. Une soirée marathon de récitals offerte par quatre jeunes pianistes largement salués fut quant à elle particulièrement mémorable, et ce grâce à l’interprétation élégante par le Japonais Kotaro Fukuma des études de Franz Liszt, qui sont rarement jouées, et la reprise magnifiquement fougueuse de la sonate en si mineur du même compositeur offerte par la Géorgienne Khatia Buniatishvili.

Le troisième festival de musique classique d’Annecy devrait avoir lieu à la fin du mois d’août prochain, probablement avec la présence, tout au long de l’évènement, d’un orchestre renommé, et sans doute avec la participation de Matsuev ainsi que d’autre grands noms russes qui continueront à occuper une place importante sur la scène classique mondiale.


This article is a translation into French of the original by Raymond Stults published in "The Moscow Times"
The original French publication is available on the official web-site of the newspaper "La Russie d'Aujourd'hui"

"Maestros et virtuoses russes à Annecy"

Raymond Stults, "La Russie d'Aujourd'hui"

November, 18, 2011

De nombreux musiciens russes sont mondialement connus et jouent un rôle important dans la vie musicale de chaque continent. Quelques Russes s’occupent également de la direction artistique de festivals étrangers. Mais trouver un riche homme d’affaires russe qui accepte d’être le principal sponsor d’un festival de musique hors des frontières de la Russie est probablement unique.

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"Crescendo" festival ended with jazz show

The music festival "Crescendo" in Kuzbass, an outstanding event in the region's cultural life, is over. Following the tradition, the final event of the fesitval was a jam session involving celebrities as well as the musicians who usually associate themselves with classics. Denis Matsuev, the creative director of "Crescendo", presented the concert and, of course, played the piano.

You can watch the video by "Vesti-Kuzbass" TV channel here.

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A new publication is added to "Media" section: "Russische Wucht. Das Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in Zürich"

Author: Thomas Schacher

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Date: 28.10.2011

Die Ausgangslage war spannend: ein französisches Orchester, sein Chefdirigent, der in St. Petersburg studiert hat, ein Solist, der den ersten Preis beim Tschaikowsky-Wettbewerb in Moskau gewonnen hat, und ein Programm, das ganz dem russischen Komponisten Sergei Rachmaninow gewidmet war. Das Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse war also an diesem Konzertabend der «Meisterinterpreten» in der Tonhalle Zürich mit dem Dirigenten Tugan Sokhiev und dem Pianisten Denis Matsuev fest in russischen Händen. Als Resultat dieses Nationenwettstreits schaute ein klarer Sieg für das Russische heraus.

Matsuev erfüllt sämtliche Klischees, die man mit einem russischen Tastenlöwen verbindet: Er ist technisch mit allen Wassern gewaschen und fühlt sich erst dann richtig in seinem Element, wenn es möglichst schnell und laut zugeht. Rachmaninows zweites Klavierkonzert bildet dafür ein ideales Tummelfeld. Betreffend Virtuosität und Kraftaufwand blieben da keine Wünsche offen. Allein, dieses Konzert weist auch intime Seiten auf, beispielsweise im Adagio, und hier wollte sich lange Zeit keine Ruhe einstellen; erst bei der Reprise gelang dies, als das in den Violinen wiederkehrende Thema von Arpeggien des Klaviers begleitet wurde.

Auch der Dirigent forcierte die wuchtigen Aspekte dieser Komposition und liess das Orchester immer wieder mächtig aufdrehen. Am Schluss des Finales ging da sogar der Solist, obwohl er sich auf seinen Tasten wie ein Herkules gebärdete, in den Klangwogen des Orchesters unter.

Ein differenzierteres Bild boten Rachmaninows Sinfonische Tänze op. 45, das letzte sinfonische Werk des Komponisten, in dem er sich mit drei Stationen des menschlichen Lebens auseinandersetzt. Hier zeigte Tugan Sokhiev plötzlich viel Gespür für ganz unterschiedliche Stimmungen: Ungebrochene russische Sinfonie-Tradition drang im ersten Satz aus dem Orchester, ein Walzer mit schrägen und ironischen Elementen war im Mittelsatz zu hören. Und im Schlusssatz läuteten die Röhrenglocken einen Totentanz ein, der nach einem «Dies irae»-Zitat im Blech tosend zu Ende ging.

Online broadcast from festival “Vladimir Spivakov invites”

Right now you can watch online broadcast from the Moscow music festival “Vladimir Spivakov invites”. The video was made on October, 28 in Svetlanov hall of Moscow International Performing Arts Center where Denis Matsuev was playing with the National Philharmonic of Russia headed by Vladimir Spivakov. The video broadcast is available on http://nfortv.ru/

A new publication is added to "Media" section: The Moscow Times writes about Annecy music festival

Annecy Classical Music Fest Gets Russian Rescue

Russian musicians, Russian artistic direction and Russian money have combined forces for the past two Augusts to present a lavish festival of classical music in the French Alpine resort town of Annecy.


Russian musicians are no strangers to the rest of the world these days and play an important part in musical life on every continent. A few Russians also provide artistic direction to foreign festivals. But to find a wealthy Russian individual acting as principal sponsor of a music festival outside of Russia is probably unique.


What is called the Annecy Classic Festival had its genesis two summers ago, when pianist Denis Matsuev appeared at another French festival not far from Paris. The festival director, pianist and teacher Pascal Escande, mentioned that he was closing down a smaller-scale festival that he had run for a decade in Annecy. Matsuev, who had played in Annecy and thought it particularly beautiful place to make music, expressed his regret and offered to introduce Escande to a friend who might be willing to support a festival there on a larger scale.


The friend in question was Moscow businessman Andrei Cheglakov, a Russian pioneer in computer software now engaged in developing a luxury-class Russian automobile. And the introduction took place later in 2009, following a concert by Matsuev in Geneva. Cheglakov knew Annecy well and a few years earlier had acquired a chalet not far from the town. With little hesitation, he agreed to give the proposed festival his backing.


With Matsuev and Escande as its co-artistic directors, and additional support from the Department of Haute-Savoie, of which Annecy serves as capital, and other French government sources, the first festival came into being during the final days of August last year. Matsuev, of course, was one of its stellar attractions, together with violinist Vladimir Spivakov, violist Yury Bashmet and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of its long-time artistic director Yury Temirkanov.


The Russian contingent on hand for this year’s second Annecy Classic Festival once again included the Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, as well as their hometown rival, the Mariinsky Orchestra, with Valery Gergiev on the podium, violinist Sergei Krylov, pianist and composer Sergei Dreznin and four very talented young string players of Moscow origin. Among the musicians joining them were two noted French sibling pairs, the duo piano team of Katia and Marielle Labeque and the violinist and cellist brothers Renaud and Gautier Capucon, plus the dean of French organists, Jean Guillou.


Annecy has no shortage of venues for staging a music festival, including, among its antiquities, the early 16th-century Cathedral of Saint Pierre and the Chateau-Museum, dating from the 12th to 16th centuries, that towers above the town and, of modern origin, the posh L’Imperial Palace hotel and enormous Church of Sainte Bernadette. In all cases, the acoustics are superb.


I managed to catch the last five festival concerts and each of them brought music-making of exceptionally high quality. Matsuev gave his usual dazzling performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and displayed a sensitivity I had never before heard from him in a concert of chamber music by Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov and Bela Bartok. Temirkanov led his orchestra in sterling performances of symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Johannes Brahms. And a marathon evening of recitals by four widely hailed young pianists proved particularly memorable for the elegant playing of Japan’s Kotaro Fukuma in seldom-performed etudes by Franz Liszt and the wonderfully impetuous reading given the same composer’s familiar Sonata in B minor by Georgian Khatia Buniatishvili.


A 45-minute drive from Geneva, Annecy sits at the northern end of a jewel-like 14-kilometer-long lake that bears its name. The Lake of Annecy, flanked by jagged Alpine peaks to the east and gentler slopes to the west, is dotted along its shores with picturesque villages and the occasional chateau. Founded at the beginning of the 12th century, some four decades earlier than Moscow, Annecy boasts a carefully preserved old town, intersected by a series of canals for which it has been somewhat extravagantly dubbed the “Venice of the Alps.” A year-round sports and holiday center, the town and its surrounding region are also something of a gastronomical paradise, featuring the famous Haute-Savoie cheeses, fresh-water perch and other fish from the lake and remarkably fine local wine.


Annecy made news earlier this year as a finalist in contention to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Along with Munich, Germany, it eventually lost out to South Korea’s Pyeongchang — and perhaps all for the best, in the opinion of many, as hosting the Olympics might well have caused irreparable damage to Annecy’s distinctive beauty and charm.


The third Annecy Classic Festival is due to take place at the end of next August, possibly with a major orchestra in residence throughout and undoubtedly with Matsuev and other eminent Russian musicians continuing to play a leading role.

Author: Raymond Stults

Source: The Moscow Times

Champion Plays Ravinia

He calls Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin “a big friend of mine.” His heroes are Vladimir Horowitz and star hockey center Sergei Fedorov. Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, who has “epic technique” according to the Boston Globe, is not shy about talking sports. In a 2009 Impromptu, he told WFMT that as a youth in Siberia, he could hardly be kept indoors. He played either soccer or ice hockey “about seven hours a day. Music was second.” Speaking with a gentle Russian growl, he laughs about breaking his fingers three times, “My parents was shocked. My parents is musician, my mother and father – all pianists.”


“Sochi’s closing ceremony…[had] piano virtuoso Denis Matsuev emerge from a cloud of smoke and blast through a Rachmaninov composition like he was playing Metallica. It was amazing.”

—Alex Heigl, People magazine

Although Matsuev chose the piano over hockey, his competitive nature hasn’t softened. In 1998, he won the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition.

During his 2009 visit to WFMT, Matsuev described receiving a challenge of a different kind from one whose name is Rachmaninoff: “It was two and a half years ago, grandson of Rachmaninoff – his name Alexander, Alexander Rachmaninoff – came in my concert at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. After my recital, he told me (very fun), he told me, ‘when you don’t smoke, I give you some present.’ I don’t smoke but maybe one cigarette after the concert…no more! I told him I never smoke, I don’t smoke, where is my present? He told me, ‘I present you new piece of Rachmaninoff – unknown piece of Rachmaninoff.’”

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Zoltan Kocsis et Denis Matsuev: un duo de choc

Denis Matsuev est une nature. Un phénomène. On le sait. Mais dans le 2e Concerto et la Totentanz de Liszt, on ne peut qu’être saisi par l’adéquation entre la virtuosité visionnaire des œuvres et celle du pianiste. Matsuev fond le clavier dans le métal, l’air et l’eau, et provoque des jaillissements sonores d’un autre monde. Puissance, pyrotechnie digitale, liberté musicale: dans ce registre, le Sibérien dépasse les touches pour atteindre directement le son. Et le bonheur de son jeu est électrisant. Pas une note ne lui échappe, pas un soupir ne lui résiste. La folie instrumentale de la Totentanz semble s’effacer sous ses doigts implacables et insaisissables. On peut chercher la petite bête. La palette des couleurs, la hauteur d’esprit, une certaine délicatesse musicale. Rien ne tient. L’interprète balaie d’un revers de glissando les arguments de la raison, du style et des codes. Il arrache le piano du sol et transporte Liszt dans la quatrième dimension. La sienne, en somme…

Sur l’estrade, Zoltan Kocsis met son regard à l’écoute, et son corps, traversé de notes, répond à chaque mélodie. Il connaît ces partitions diaboliques pour les avoir jouées, lui aussi. A la baguette, cette intimité de pianiste à pianiste rend le meilleur: un accompagnement fusionnel, attentif, sensible et aimant. Suivi dans cette complicité par un Philharmonique de Saint-Pétersbourg compact, souple et engagé, le chef et pianiste hongrois peut lâcher les rênes dans les Danses slaves de Dvorák. Tout roule, tout coule, tout chante. Avec chaleur, tendresse et vitalité. La rythmique est tenue serré, les harmonies rayonnent et les mélodies livrent leur beau miel d’Est. Un régal.


Le Temps

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Annecy Music Festival

The Fifth Annecy Classical Music Festival is approaching. During these five years that have flown by so fast, the festival has already become traditional. 

I’d like to share an interesting observation from my life with you: I’ve noticed that seasons of the year sound for me like the festivals that are held during these months. And if September is Irkutsk and “Stars on Baikal” or London and “Proms”, January – “Christmas meetings” in Irkutsk, March-April - Easter Festival, June - St. Petersburg and “Stars of the White Nights”, July is Verbier, Salzburg and Ravinia, August is definitely Annecy. 

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Denis Matsuev is the featured artist in next season’s UBS Soundscapes: LSO Artist Portrait series

Fruitful cooperation of Denis Matsuev with LSO continues. "It is the great honour to me to be selected the resident artist of the new season and to perform with one of the best orchestras of the world under baton of my friend Valery Gergiev. The season will be opened with concerts at the Barbican Hall with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #2 on September, 21 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto #3 on September, 23. Two more concerts in London will take place in November, I’ll perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2. We will visit together a huge number of countries in Europe (Italy, Slovakia, Greece, France and others), Australia and Singapore. The programme includes Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2, - said Denis Matsuev - I invite all to these concerts."

Gramophone.co.uk

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Blog #26

Yesterday absolutely unusual improvised concert took place. I repeat time after time that the best concert always is based on improvisation, and this concert was a proof of that. Unexpectedly I found myself in Drvengrad, cultural oasis, created by the efforts of one man - Emir Kusturica. He really managed to create his own planet of art, which attracts creative people from all over the world. I experienced emotional upheaval of what I saw here. Every detail in this village is somehow connected to work and life of Kusturica. There is a street of Fellini and a street of Diego Maradona. The wooden town almost all is the scenery for the movie "Life is a Miracle," which was filmed here. Wooden, very picturesque, in folk style huts. It is a unique ethno village, that makes a strong impression on every visitor.

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DVD and BlueRay edition of the Closing Ceremony of Annecy Classic Music Festival 2013

This DVD-record was made at the closing ceremony of the classical music Annecy Classic Festival 2013, at which I’ve been working as artistic director for already four years, I am very pleased that this festival has such a powerful development during this time, and it really got into the elite of European festivals. I think that first of all it was due to the fact that we have managed to gather friends and create a great team. "Friends" and "team" are key words, as in everyday life, and in cultural, festival, concert life. Of course, one of the main factors of this success is the fact that for four years one of the most outstanding conductors Y. Temirkanov with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra has come to us, in Annecy, for these four years and that the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the festival. 

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Reviews on American Tour of Denis Matsuev

Pianist Denis Matsuev’s power overwhelms

Even in today’s overrun piano virtuoso market, Denis Matsuev stands out. On the evidence of his recordings, he possesses an epic technique, playing with seemingly superhuman speed, power, and agility.

At his Saturday recital in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, it was pleasant to discover that Matsuev can also produce the kind of singing tone and silvery pianissimo most pianists only dream about.

In his curtain-raiser, Matsuev responded with grace and swagger to the impish brilliance of Haydn’s Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI: 52. The masterly second movement showed Matsuev at something like his best, demonstrating suave phrasing and extraordinary tonal refinement.

Boston Globe

Seth Herbst 

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On My American Tour

I’ve just completed my long awaited American tour. These concerts were postponed, because in January I fell ill with pneumonia. For me it is, of course, was a shock, because I was forced to reschedule concerts for the first time in my life. I love concert halls both in Washington and in New York, I love American public. And I was absolutely frustrated also because I knew that all tickets were sold out, I knew that people were waiting for these concerts.

I would like to linger round the solo concert at the legendary Carnegie Hall. When people say "legendary halls", this is just about the Carnegie Hall, it was opened by P.I. Tchaikovsky. And Rachmaninoff has performed more than a hundred concerts on this scene. Carnegie Hall is a landmark place for any musician, and, of course, every appearance on this stage is a huge responsibility and a unique pleasure. My debut album was a recording of a concert from Carnegie Hall. I have over two dozen performances here, and each time I feel awe.

This year my friend, Executive and artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, Sir Clive Gillinson invited me to take part in the three concerts of a series "Carnegie Hall presents". This concert was part of a series "Keyboard Virtuosos", in which I found myself in the company of wonderful musicians performing at Carnegie Hall during this musical season. I thought over the program for this concert really thoroughly, as I was aware of all the responsibility to the American public, which I love and good attitude of which I cherish. The atmosphere at the concert itself was fascinating; I was got a lot of positive energy and emotions from the audience.

As it happens all the time after the concerts in Carnegie Hall, I got a lot of enemies. Tickets for the concert were sold out, so not all comers were lucky to get them. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do about it. In Russia, knowing how it is important for many people to come to classic music concerts, I always manage to solve the problem with tickets somehow (to get tickets to the gallery or just put the chairs on the stage that happens more and more often recently). Unfortunately, it is impossible variant for Carnegie Hall, because of the traditions and original peculiarities of the hall. Therefore, those who has not got to the concert this time, I solemnly promise to inform you about the dates of future concerts in Carnegie Hall, which will take place in January 2015, where you all are invited.

Once again I would like to thank the administration of Carnegie Hall and New York public for the incredible emotions and warm welcome!

I convey my greetings to all, I am now in Luxembourg, tomorrow - Paris, the day after tomorrow I'll be in St. Petersburg with Valery Gergiev at his festival, so this wonderful madness continues.

Concert Over Controversy

To get the geopolitical controversy out of the way first: Acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Matsuev says he does not regret signing a document that voiced support for President Vladimir Putin’s position on Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The document, which was published in mid-March on the Web site of Russia’s Ministry of Culture, and which also endorsed Putin’s stance on Ukraine in general, attracted signatures from world-famous conductor Valery Gergiev, Bolshoi Theatre general director Vladimir Urin and other members of Russia’s artistic elite, prompting some dismay within and outside the country.

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