Digest of reviews on American tour of Denis Matsuev
February 13 2015
Mr. Matsuev boasts a prodigious technique and interpretive flair.
…he also revealed a lyrical, reflective side. He certainly has masterly command of this formidably difficult work.
Tchaikovsky packs a lot into the short, restless, almost giddy finale, which Mr. Matsuev played with uncanny ease.
New York Times
Matsuev’s power and grace recalled to mind that of the young Emil Gilels.
Matsuev’s big-boned, take-no-prisoners playing swept through the rapid-fire passages and hand crossings of the opening Allegro brilliante with devilish verve.
I was thinking about golf in connection with the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2. This is a tremendously difficult piece, played by very few, because it is so hard. In Carnegie Hall the other night, Denis Matsuev played it ferociously, splendidly, and conqueringly. I thought, “He brought this monster to its knees.”
Tchaikovsky’s 12 little tone poems, each illustrating a month of the year. Matsuev delivered the gentler music with subtle colors and textures, subtly layered.
Dallas Morning News
True to his Russian heritage, Matsuev demonstrated an immediate and remarkable insight into these short, descriptive sketches, finding shadings and pianistic qualities in a composer…
Schumann’s profoundly impetuous Kreisleriana, one of the landmark expressions of high romanticism, came across with a Russian accent, but with a good deal of understanding and a strong, authentic viewpoint.
Here, as elsewhere on the program, it was in the lyrical sections (such as the gloriously rising closing theme of the first movement) that Matsuev was most arrestingly impressive.
Wayne Lee Gay
“Matsuev a poet at the piano”
a major portion of Matsuev’s recital was given over to poetry at the piano, of which Matsuev proved to be a master.
Back in tamer territory, he gave a flowing performance of Kreisleriana that re-created the charming atmosphere of the opening Tchaikovsky.
Matsuev's most musical playing, in contrast to his percussive playing of the fortissimo passages, was in the concerto's more lyric moments, where he drew out beautifully singing tones from the piano. Similarly expressive was his solo encore, from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons.
By Geoffrey Simon