“Grammophone” and “BBC Music Magazine” show their admiration for the “Matsuev.Liszt” album
The review by the “Grammophone” magazine says:
“Pianists at the keyboard and on the podium for Liszt concertos.
Denis Matsuev won the 1998 Tchaikovsky completion with a performance of Liszt’s First Concerto and has since emerged, in recital and on disc, as one of the most exciting pianists around.
Partnered by one of the great pianist/conductors of the day, we can expect the sparks to fly. They do – but only after a measured opening of First Concerto, allowing them to hold plenty of firepower in reserve.
When the times comes, they certainly deliver: the repeated notes at 1’55” in the Finale are brilliantly articulated, followed by a faithful observation of Liszt’s requests for ever-increasing tempi.
The Second Concerto, too, is up there with the best (Freire, Hough, Katchen, Cohen inter alia), a far cry from the recent dreary Barenboim/Boulez excursion. Totentanz is presented with a few tweaks to the solo part and the puzzling addition of four bars of solo horn calls at 10’36” which I can find neither in the solo piano, nor the piano-and-orchestra score.
Matsuev in the fugato (Var 5) is hair raising.”
The “BBC Music Magazine” gave 4 stars to the “Matsuev.Liszt” album and wrote:
“Here is an authentically Russian, hairy-chested take on all three of Liszt’s piano-orchestral works. If you like your Liszt concertos to sound like Tchaikovsky (and there is no final reason why you shouldn’t), then the first concerto opening bars will here have you purring happily away.
Rapier-like Lisztian elan? Perish the thought: Mikhail Pletnev and Denis Matsuev announce themselves in pile-driving style, followed (of course) by a contrast of tempo in the Quasi Adagio second section which is exaggeratedly slow.
While Marta Argerich’s brilliance and finesse leave all this at the post, you have to admire Matsuev’s fearsome virtuosity at headlong pace, and an Allegretto vivace scherzo section that darts and flickers as required. The Second Concerto’s broader-brushed idiom suits the Mikhail Pletnev style better, and while the final stretto is taken at show-off velocity, the result is an eyebrow-raising tour de force nonetheless.
The Totentanz performance is the most successful of the three: the work’s sequence of short sections hangs together strikingly well, and there is a deft awareness of the ironic side of Liszt “diabolism” style, plus a remarkable sense of space in the slow passages.”Tags: