Denis Matsuev

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Фотогалерея

"Keeping a Star Shining Bright"

Ken Iisaka, "San Francisco Classical Voice"

May, 15, 2011

It’s difficult to be an international competition winner. Not only is it phenomenally hard to win the competition itself, it’s even harder to maintain the level of celebrity years after the competition. It seems that for every major competition winner, at least 10 competitors fade into obscurity, washed away from judges’ and audiences’ memories.

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"Musikantischer Schwung für Verbunkos und Alphorn-Klänge"

Daniel Ender, "Der Standard"

March, 6, 2011


Die Wiener Symphoniker mit Dirigent Adam Fischer

Wien - Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt und Zoltán Kodály: Vieles trennt diese drei, die jetzt von den Wiener Symphonikern in ihrem Musikverein-Zyklus gemeinsam vor den Wagen gespannt wurden. Und dennoch gibt es - trotz aller Stilunterschiede - auch frappierende Gemeinsamkeiten, etwa die Suche nach neuen formalen Lösungen oder der Versuch, Folkloristisches in ihre musikalische Sprache zu integrieren.

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"[Paris] D’un Tchaïkovski brillant aux rêveries d’Harold"

Charlotte Loriot, ResMusica.com

January, 15, 2011


Paris. Salle Pleyel. 12-I-11. Piotr Ilyitch Tchaïkovski (1840-1893) : Concerto pour piano n° 2 en sol majeur, op. 44. Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) : Harold en Italie, symphonie en quatre parties avec alto, op. 16. Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Daphnis et Chloé, suite n° 2. Denis Matsuev, piano, Antoine Tamestit, alto. Orchestre de Paris, direction : Paavo Järvi.

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"Gergiev, Matsuev and Mariinsky ignite in memorable evening of Russian music"

Wynne Delacoma, "Chicago Classical Review"

October, 13, 2010


Denis Matsuev performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra Tuesday night at Symphony Center. Put Russian conductor Valery Gergiev on a podium and the usual result is musical fireworks. Pair him with his hometown orchestra, St. Petersburg’s venerable Mariinsky Orchestra, and the chemistry becomes combustible, especially when the sensational Moscow-born pianist Denis Matsuev is a guest.

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"Grand Recital in Carnegie"

Anthony Tommasini, "The New York Times"

February, 25, 2010


Most young classical musicians feel pressure to stand out. If handled right, though, this pressure can be a productive force in an emerging artist's life.

It is not enough to play an instrument — or sing or conduct — brilliantly. You have to search within yourself and define your artistic identity. Your performances should convey what you believe in, what excites you.

Then, on Sunday evening, the Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, 34, played an all-Russian program at Carnegie Hall, capped by Mussorgsky's “Pictures at an Exhibition,” in a concert presented by Maestro Artist Management. Mr. Matsuev, who came to attention after winning the 1998 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, is an athletically virtuosic pianist. He has made his name with Russian Romantic works. From a certain perspective, this is an unadventurous choice. Still, here is an artist embracing his heritage, surely one way to be true to yourself.

Though Mr. Matsuev has played his share of diverse repertory, he has focused on Romantic and early-20th-century Russian works. By claiming this particular mantle Mr. Matsuev raises the stakes. The implication is that he brings special insight to that heritage. Over the years I have heard of lots of flashy, expressively indulgent performances of Russian repertory in the name of preserving the Russian Romantic style. Some of Mr. Matsuev's playing came across that way here.

Not at first. To begin, he played Tchaikovsky's suite of novelty pieces, “The Seasons,” one work for each month of the year. These miniatures are generally considered charming, if slight. Not so fast, Mr. Matsuev said through his engaging performance. Played complete, the suite lasts 40 minutes, and there are challenging and inventive elements in each piece.

Built like a weightlifter, curly-haired and boyish, Mr. Matsuev exudes charisma. His piano sound has depth and body, even in soft passages. He brought lyrical grace and rich detail to “The Seasons.” He then gave free-wheeling, big-toned and technically polished accounts of Rachmaninoff works: two Etudes-tableaux; a prelude; and a toccatalike Fugue in D minor, a student work.

The house was packed, and people everywhere were speaking Russian. The ovations were enormous, especially for Mr. Matsuev's virtuoso-circus-act encores, including an arrangement of Grieg's “In the Hall of the Mountain King” played with sledgehammer power. Pity the poor Steinway.

Yet you have to say that Mr. Matsuev has a clear artistic identity. And, as his Tchaikovsky showed, he is capable of refined music making.

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"National Symphony Orchestra highlights Russian composers in its concert"

Anne Midgette,The Washington Post

February, 19, 2010


The opening of the Rachmaninoff was no less exact: Matsuev touched each chord with thoughtful precision, enhancing the piece’s effect of approaching from a great distance and bearing down upon listeners. He is quite a player, for whom technique is no object, but who also understands Rachmaninoff is most effective when played without goopiness. Matsuev didn’t shy away from laying on plenty of pedal; and he lingered over the notes, coming in on the back end of the beat. But he also demonstrated a basic sobriety: Rather than pathos, he played with emphasis; rather than banging, he kept sight of the core of the music, so the loud, showy passages were organically, sonically related to the quiet ones, with the same warm core of sound. That slightly drier approach allowed the music to show colors and dimensions that are frequently obscured.

To follow up that fundamentally tasteful performance, he offered a dessert of an encore that was pure, delightful fluff — his own arrangement of “Largo al factotum” from “The Barber of Seville,” showing breathtaking virtuosity, a keen awareness of the original vocal line and slapstick humor worthy of Bugs Bunny.

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"CSO shows no signs of sadness"

Janelle Gelfand, nky.cincinnati.com

January 8, 2010


A day after announcing that he will leave at the end of next season, Paavo Jarvi led the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the kind of electrifying performance that has defined his tenure for the past nine years.

Even though some orchestra members later expressed a feeling of sadness at Jarvi’s decision, their playing was truly impressive in the varied program of this morning’s concert.

It was just the kind of program in which Jarvi has excelled: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 — with a “thunder and lightning” Russian pianist Denis Matsuev — Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony, and the orchestra’s first performance of Messiaen’s “Le tombeau resplendissant,” an extraordinary find.

Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor is one of the masterpieces of the piano repertoire. Its fiendishly difficult virtuosities are matched against moments of lyrical beauty and Russian soul.

From his performance on Friday, it is clear that Matsuev is a giant of the keyboard. He projected a powerful sound, yet he found warmth in every phrase. Even the most treacherous passages were tackled with clarity and precision.

Rachmaninoff’s romantic themes were deeply felt, and he illuminated the melodies through the thickest textures. Indeed, his control was impressive — his touch, tone and how he was able to color a moment. But it was also wonderfully spontaneous. The first movement cadenza, for instance, was supercharged, and he summoned such massive sonorities, you half expected strings to start popping out of the piano.

Then to have such power tempered with the serene beauty of Jasmine Choi’s flute, or Thomas Sherwood’s horn — it simply doesn’t get much better than this.

The slow movement was impassioned, and the tarantella-like scherzo at its center flew like lightning. The finale, too, was adrenalin-charged. As he climbed mountain after mountain, it became a feat of endurance — but also one of stunning musicality. In the final surge, the pianist seemed ready to fly off the edge of his seat.

Jarvi, often turning to watch his hands fly across the keys, was with his every note, and swept up the strings gloriously


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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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Reviews on CD Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no. 3, Symphony no. 5 - Matsuev, Gergiev

Classics Today: Matsuev and Gergiev Offer Impressive Prokofiev

I have no criticisms whatsoever regarding the Third Piano Concerto. Denis Matsuev is dazzling wherever digital dexterity is required, which is everywhere, and it’s incredibly refreshing to hear a performance of the work at tempos under nine minutes for two out of the three movements–closer to the composer’s own version. Gergiev and Matsuev beautifully capture the brittle wit of the first movement’s second subject, with its dry castanets, and in the second movement the allegro giusto fifth variation is among the best you’ll hear. The finale also has both an unusual degree of excitement plus a welcome unity thanks to Matsuev’s refusal to let the music languish in the central lyrical interlude. It’s a tremendous performance, gripping from first note to last.

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Blog #23


This blog is about how we recorded the disc that is to be released in February 2014. This is our third work with Maestro Gergiev and the Mariinsky label. The two previous CDs with records enjoyed great success. The first record included Rachmaninoff's the Third Concerto and Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. The second - two Shostakovich’s concertos and the Fifth concert of Shchedrin. And here we are with V. Gergiev decided to record these two concerts by P. I. Tchaikovsky. Along with the famous First Concerto you will enjoy less known, but not less beloved, the Second Concerto. Maestro Gergiev shares my opinion that this outstanding concert, undeservedly forgotten and unfortunately rarely performed, must become famous. Therefore we have decided to present these two concerts to the public in such a bundle. Immerse yourself in these moments the recording, that was made a year ago in the concert hall of the Mariinsky.

Director and camera - A. Matison, cameraman - V. Ivanov, sound - I.Muraviev, P. Nedel, design - A.Proshin

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Blog #22

Please, forgive me for keeping silence these days: I was under the impression from what happened here. I am in Sochi from the day of the opening of the Olympic games. I am overwhelmed with emotions right now, and I want to talk about what I see here.

To begin with, the Opening Ceremony made a huge impression, because it was the case when everything turned out perfectly well: the Grand conception, outstanding director’s work and artistic vision and sound. Of course, the TV picture was different from what I've seen in the audience at the stadium Fisht, but I can say that of course, the Opening was 100% successful in all respects.

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Review by SA-CD.net of a new disc "Tchaikovsky. Piano Concertos 1&2 - Matsuev, Gergiev (Mariinsky label)


The Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has already shown his dazzling virtuosity on record in works by Shostakovich, Shchedrin, Rachmaninov and others. On this new generously filled (78'32”) SACD from the Mariinsky label he performs both of Tchaikovsky's completed Piano Concertos accompanied by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

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Today Two concerts of Denis Matsuev, artist of the month on Mezzo.tv



Tchaikovsky Monday 20 January 8:30pm      

Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto no.  2 – Schubert : Impromptu no.  2 – Grieg : Peer Gynt (excerpts)

Denis Matsuev (piano), Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi (conductor)

Recorded on 12 January 2011 at Salle Pleyel, Paris – Directed for TV by Olivier Simonnet – Duration : 55’


Prokofiev Monday 20 January 9:30pm      

Denis Matsuev (piano), Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov (conductor)

Prokofiev : Piano Concerto no. 1 – Shchedrin : Humoreske – Wagner : Lohengrin (Prelude to Act I)

Ginzburg : Fantaisie on Il Barbiere di Siviglia  – Stravinsky : Petrouchka

Recorded at the Festival Annecy in 2012 – Directed for TV by Lionel Escama


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Denis Matsuev was named the Artist of the Month on Mezzo.TV

During the January on Mezzo.TV you can watch Denis Matsuev's concerts.

Szymanowski Sunday 19 January 10pm (Paris time)

Brahms : Symphony no.  4 – Szymanowski : Symphony no.  4 ('Symphonie Concertante'), Violin Concerto no.  2

Denis Matsuev (piano), Leonidas Kavakos (violin)

London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)

Recorded in 2012 at the Barbican Centre, London – Directed for TV by Olivier Simonnet – Duration : 1h32


Tchaikovsky Monday 20 January 8:30pm      

Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto no.  2 – Schubert : Impromptu no.  2 – Grieg : Peer Gynt (excerpts)

Denis Matsuev (piano), Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi (conductor)

Recorded on 12 January 2011 at Salle Pleyel, Paris – Directed for TV by Olivier Simonnet – Duration : 55’


Prokofiev Monday 20 January 9:30pm      

Denis Matsuev (piano), Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov (conductor)

Prokofiev : Piano Concerto no. 1 – Shchedrin : Humoreske – Wagner : Lohengrin (Prelude to Act I)

Ginzburg : Fantaisie on Il Barbiere di Siviglia  – Stravinsky : Petrouchka

Recorded at the Festival Annecy in 2012 – Directed for TV by Lionel Escama – Duration : 67’

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Rachmaninov (I) Wednesday 22 January 8:30pm              

Rachmaninov : Piano Concertos no.  2 & 3, Vocalise op.34 no.  14

Denis Matsuev (piano), State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Leonard Slatkin

Recorded in 2013 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow– Directed for TV by François Goetghebeur – Duration : 1h23


Rachmaninov (II) Wednesday 22 January 10pm              

Rachmaninov : Caprice bohémien, Op. 12, Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, Op. 43, Symphony no.  2

Denis Matsuev (piano), State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Leonard Slatkin

Recorded in 2013 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow– Directed for TV by François Goetghebeur – Duration : 1h30


Mezzo.TV

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