Denis Matsuev

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Classical Review: IPO No Mere Substitute

Except for regretting Kurt Masur’s unfortunate accident that prevented him from conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert last week, there was no reason for disappointment with Doron Salomon as substitute.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s performance of Brahns’ Piano Concerto No. 1 was electrifying. He is a veritable bombshell of temperament, radiating passion, intensity of expression, and excitement. Powerfully convincing though his outbursts are, there is nothing exaggerated or showy about them. Not even the slightest fleeting detail is neglected, tempi are subtly flexible with no trace of rigidity, climactic highlights are significantly accentuated, nuances of dynamics are abundant, and technically demanding runs are meticulously polished.

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ICMA nomination

Shostakovich Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 and Shchedrin Piano Concerto No 5 has been nominated for an International Classical Music Award (ICMA) in the Concerto category. The Award Ceremony and Gala concert will take place in Milan, 18 March 2013.


The composition of the Culture and Arts Presidential Council was approved

Today the decree of the President of Russia V. Putin about the composition  

of the Culture and Arts Presidential Council was published.

58 cultural figures form it. The presidium consists of 15 members. Among them the adviser to the President Vladimir Tolstoy, the director of cinema concern "Mosfilm" Karen Shakhnazarov, the Hermitage Museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky, the president of the Moscow Performing Arts Centre Vladimir Spivakov.

Among members of the Council are the Director of the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg Valery Gergiev, the president of the Union of Theatrical Figures of Russia Alexander Kalyagin, the artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre Oleg Tabakov, the conductor Yury Bashmet, the editor-in-chief of "Kultura" TV-channel Sergey Shumakov and the pianist Denis Matsuev.

And traditionally all those members form the Board of trustees of "Kultura" TV-channel.

"Echo of Crescendo" in Kuzbass

Music festival “Echo of Crescendo in Kuzbass” is going on in the region of Kemerovo. During 3 days young Russian musicians accompanied by the Governor’s Symphony Orchestra of Kuzbass headed by Tao Lin perform world classics. Denis Matsuev played Prokofiev, piano concerto no.1. Follow the links to watch the videos by the “Culture” and “Vesti-Kuzbass” channels.


Review of the concert in Florence with Zubin Mehta

It was a wonderful evening at Florence’s Teatro Comunale, with Indian conductor Zubin Mehta really in great shape. On the program, Liszt’ Concert Nr. 2 for piano and orchestra, a work not so famous and much less performed than Concert Nr. 1. The soloist was young Russian Denis Matsuev, who plays with great virtuosity and subtleties.

Matsuev plays solidly, his sound is bright and rich in volume so that he can compete with the full sound of Mehta’s ensemble. Moreover, the young soloist looks for the right colours and expressivity, and shows a pianism rich in strong contrasts.

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El decimotercer Titán

Ciclo de Grandes Intérpretes.

No han pasado dos meses desde su última aparición en el Auditorio Nacional de Música y Denis Matsuev ya ha vuelto a Madrid para entusiasmar al público de nuevo. El pianista ruso arrancó sonrisas, bravos y enérgicos aplausos con su hercúlea interpretación.

Las estaciones opus 37a de Tchaikovsky sacaron de Matsuev su faceta más sensible e incluso delicada. Cada frase fue masticada, sentida y declamada. De todas ellas llamó la atención en particular “Canción de otoño” con la que el artista se ganó más de un suspiro entre el público aunque no podemos dejar de reverenciar la destreza con la que presentó el conjunto global de la obra. Los meses del año fueron descritos por la música de Tchaikovsky con la precisión de un pincel o un objetivo, las impresiones a las que Matsuev dio vida nos hicieron sentir calor y frío, valor, nostalgia y paz.

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Review of the Concert of Denis Matsuev in Torino

A centro serata il Secondo Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra di Liszt in un unico ‘blocco’ plurifrazionato, assai più moderno strutturalmente rispetto al Primo, pagina tuttora di sicura presa sul pubblico, nonostante certi passaggi gonfi di retorica e impregnati di vacuo trionfalismo, ritmi di marcia e via elencando. 

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Pianiste et ambassadeur

Les Ambassadeurs de bonne volonté de l’UNESCO sont des personnalités qui mettent leur renommée au service des idéaux de l’organisation. Ils acceptent d’utiliser leur talent et leur charisme pour sensibiliser l’opinion mondiale à la promotion de l’éducation, de la culture et de la science. Les activités de l’organisation deviennent-elles ainsi plus visibles et efficaces. La dernière personne investie de ce rôle est le célèbre pianiste russe Denis Matsuev. 

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Review on Denis Matsuev's Concert in London from The Guardian and The Artdesk

The Guardian

They also provided formidable support to the evening's soloist, Denis Matsuev, who delivered an exceptional account of Liszt's Piano Concerto No 2 in terms of power and brilliance. Technically commanding, he maintained beauty of tone whatever the force employed or the speed with which virtuoso passages were attacked. With Gergiev fully endorsing Matsuev's approach, this was a performance that married a barnstorming manner with real musical distinction.

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Denis Matsuev e il Mephisto Waltz di Liszt a Santa Cecilia, Roma

Ospite abituale dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, lo straordinario pianista russo Denis Matsuev torna a travolgere il romano con il suo ultimo concerto, nuovo appuntamento della stagione di musica da camera.

Ammiratissimo, prodigioso interprete di Rachmaninoff, Matsuev ha proposto la sua duplice vena artistica con un programma variegato, strizzando l’occhio da una parte al repertorio romantico e dall’altra al virtuosismo più sfrenato. Cuore del concerto è stato il celebre Mephisto Waltz di Liszt: 13 minuti di scoppiettante virtuosismo e di inquietante furore in cui il pianista ha concretizzato davanti agli occhi degli spettatori le figure di Mefistofele e Faust.

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

I was anticipating a huge, monstrously bombastic performance of the First Concerto under the fingers of the powerful and technically phenomenal Matsuev, and he did not disappoint in that regard. 

Few pianists would seem to be more adept at the sometimes quite un-pianistic writing that the 34-year-old non-pianist Tchaikovsky would create, pouring his heart into the work only to have it shot down by the original dedicatee, the oft-times thuggish Nicolai Rubinstein, who called it “worthless and unplayable”. 

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Review: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

This Mariinsky CD includes Concertos 1 and 2. The Concerto No. 1, not too popular at the first performance, has become the benchmark for today’s virtuoso display. I recently heard it live with Bronfman and Dudamel in Los Angeles; it never loses its appeal. Matsuev manages much of Bronfman’s power, but under the critical ear of the microphone, his technique is flawless and Gergiev accompanies beautifully. Only one flat horn phrase in the 2nd Concerto suggests that the Mariinsky Orchestra is almost the completed project. As such, it fares better than some of the recent Shostakovich Symphonies — same conductor, recording company, and hall.

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