Denis Matsuev

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"Steel fingers played orchestrally" review

Helsingin Sanomat

August, 15, 2011


The Titan of the piano, Denis Matsuev, has his poetic side.

The man from Siberia with fingers of steel, Denis Matsuev, is one of today's giants of the piano. The young man's large size only helps to emphasize the effect his athletic power has.

Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.3 in D-minor grew under his hands to a magnificent orchestral glory. No matter to what heights of dynamic power and strength the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev rose, Matsuev always rose bravely above the thunderous tumult.

The Titan of the piano is also a poet of the piano. The main theme that started the First Movement sang like a beautiful shimmering memory. Almost unnoticed, the Movement became a virtuoso onslaught, where thundering chords and rhytmical accents, glittering arpeggios and brilliant runs followed each other rising and falling like the waves of an ocean.

Although the grand piano at times almost snarled as if of steel, Matsuev kept the tone compact and full. Due to his impeccable technique Matsuev at all times seems to be able to retain his ability to stay calm and regulate his strength. In the melodious phases in the First Movement and the Finale he had time to stop and dream. In the Adagio he evoked mysterious tones and a ghostly waltz episode, after which he literally flew in the scintillating, playful final theme.

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