Denis Matsuev

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On a New Recording. Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shchedrin

Modern technologies allow to release a disc in two stages. Rachmaninoff’s First Concerto for piano and orchestra was recorded in the autumn and released in January, including Itunes. And in April Denis Matsuev and Valery Gergiev recorded two more works. As the result there is a disc with highly unusual combination of musical pieces. All three works are of XXth century, created by three geniuses of XXth century: Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and Shchedrin.

First Piano Concerto by Rachmaninoff, Capriccio by Stravinsky and Second Piano Concerto by Shchedrin.

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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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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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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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