Piano Concerto No 1
Denis Matsuev piano
Valery Gergiev conductor
Total duration 66m25s
Catalogue number MAR0587
Philipp Nedel (b-sharp) producer, editor, mixing & mastering
Martin Kistner & Fyodor Naumov
Recorded live in DSD, November 2014 and April 2015
in the concert hall of the Mariinsky Theatre,
Includes multi-channel 5.0 and stereo mixes
Notes in English / en Français / auf Deutsch / на русском языке
***** Performance, ***** Sonics (Multichannel) ‘…since the performances and recordings are uniformly excellent, this is a most satisfying programme... The outer movements (Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 1) leave one breathless with the pianistic fireworks on display…Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra seem to be fired by Matsuev's enthusiasm, their alert accompaniment is both thrilling and, where appropriate, caressingly sensitive… The 5.0 DSD multi‐channel is one of the most vivid I have heard from this label and is worthy of Matsuev and Gergiev's exciting partnership.'
***** ‘Sparkling performances of Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto and Stravinsky’s Capriccio, while Shchedrin’s Second Concerto gets exactly that rich and mischievous character which makes this music so fascinating’
***** Technique 4/5, Technique SACD 4/5 ‘Matsuev and Gergiev give lyrical interpretations, with rhythmic vigour and an irresistible grandeur.’ Diapason
**** ‘Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 1 is electrifying here. This version is full of energy and is carried by a very powerful Mariinsky Orchestra. The Stravinski’s Capriccio is just amazing… slow, intense, amazingly theatrical and colorful… The work displays an incantational power… Finally, here is a Russian salad that creates a curious but very attracting record’ Classica
‘Matsuev continues to impress, and this new recording of Russian concertos is a knockout. He rips into the Rachmaninoff concerto with tremendous vigor, and his playing of the first movement cadenza is unequalled. He is given perfect support from the superb orchestra under Gergiev's keen direction, and the result is one of the major recordings of this masterpiece… We have a big, clear resonant sound with remarkable impact. A terrific issue!’
Classical CD Review
La Clef du Mois ‘It goes without saying that the technical assurance of Mr Matsuev leaves most of his discographic competitors far behind… The technical quality of this album, as always with Denis Matsuev, is exemplary.’
‘Brilliant playing, the last movement of Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra recorded in concert in April this year by Denis Matsuev with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev – really letting their hair down in this effervescent performance, pure fairy’s kiss.’
BBC Radio 3 CD Review
‘It's hard to imagine the listener who wouldn't succumb to its charms. The program ends with a bang that plays to Matsuev's talent for jazz as well as classical music… The Mariinsky live recording is clear and immediate, and this is in every sense a delightful evening at the great St. Petersburg concert hall.’
‘There’s a supremely commanding Rachmaninov No 1 to be savoured here, as clear in its articulation as any I can remember hearing… It could be just the treat you’re looking for.’
‘Denis Matsuev plays the piano with irresistible style and imposes its interpretative fury of a volcano, a dragon capable of audacity and interiority… The art of the elusive Stravinsky is masterfully expressed, totally irresistible.’ ClassiqueNews.com
Review of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 1
(digital EP release)
‘The live meeting of Denis Matsuev and Valery Gergiev in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 1 is electrifying… This supercharged version is carried by an incandescent Mariinsky Orchestra.’
‘The performances and recordings are uniformly excellent, this is a most satisfying programme. Matsuev immediately demonstrates his virtuoso credentials… The outer movements (Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 1) leave one breathless with the pianistic fireworks on display…Their (Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Orchestra) alert accompaniment is both thrilling and, where appropriate, caressingly sensitive… The 5.0 DSD multi-channel is one of the most vivid I have heard from this label and is worthy of Matsuev and Gergiev’s exciting partnership.’ CD Choice
‘Playing with confidence, technical brilliance and great flair, the young Russian made the piece (Stravinsky’s Capriccio) sparkle, glitter, and dance, especially in the jazzy finale.’
‘Mr Matsuev, wielding his athletic virtuosity and steely power, gave a chiseled, hard-driving yet transparent performance (of Stravinsky’s Capriccio), matched in character and cool brilliance by Mr Gergiev and the orchestra.’
New York Times
Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra
Denis Matsuev showcases works for piano and orchestra by three of Russia's greatest composers. Renowned for interpretations of music from his homeland, and affectionately known as 'the Siberian Bear with the fastest paws in the Arctic', Matsuev's previous releases on the Mariinsky Label, including Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Pagnini, have received widespread acclaim.
Piano Concerto No 1 was written whilst Rachmaninov was still a teenager and though relatively playful in comparison to his other piano concertos, its three movements are full of the showmanship, beautiful melodies and lush orchestral accompaniment that were to characterise his music in the years to come. A similarly playful tone can be found in the revised 1949 edition of Stravinsky's Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, which premiered in 1949 with the composer at the piano. Written as a virtuosic vehicle for Stravinsky himself, the piece is characterised by a dancing piano part, full of leaps and bounding with energy. Completing this release is Shchedrin's Piano Concerto No 2, recorded in the presence of the composer, which influenced by twelve-tone techniques and jazz. Virtuosic writing is a feature throughout, and the final movement sees the surprise introduction of a jazz ensemble, including vibraphone and drum kit.
Speaking about this release, Denis Matsuev says ' we wanted to show Great Russian composers from different periods.' Rachmaninov's First Piano Concerto is one of my favourites. It was written whilst he studied at the Moscow Conservatory and despite his young age he managed to reveal himself as a great artist. Capriccio is a brilliant work with a wonderful sense of humour. It is also very cinematic; one can envisage this music whilst listening to it and we tried to communicate all of these features to the audience. Shchedrin is a very special composer in the Russian tradition. He takes an active part in rehearsals; we have an opportunity to talk to him, to exchange ideas and listen to his advice. It is a priceless experience.'
This release is dedicated to the memory of Maya Plisetskaya (1925–2015), wife of Rodion Shchedrin and dedicatee of his Piano Concerto No 2, who passed away shortly after the making of this recording.