Transcendental: Daniil Trifonov plays Franz Liszt

Transcendental: Daniil Trifonov plays Franz Liszt (DeutGram 4795529)

This latest disc from Gramophone Magazine's 2016 Artist of the Year drew warm praise from Gramophone critic Andrew Clements: “Daniil Trifonov has climbed to the top of the pianistic tree so effortlessly that it’s sometimes hard to remember he is still only 25 and has the time and potential to develop even more. As this collection of Liszt’s studies shows, Trifonov is already an exceptionally thoughtful interpreter, with musicianship that more than matches his technical gifts. It would be easy for such a young pianist to use these pieces to showcase his own technique. But while there is never any doubting the brilliance of Trifonov’s playing, that is only the starting point; the delicacy and transparency of his performances are often more striking than their moments of rampaging virtuosity. The Transcendental Studies dominate this set, and take up the first of the two discs. While these 12 pieces no longer seem as daunting as they once did, and new recordings come along relatively frequently…they are still formidable to play. In the sleeve notes, Trifonov makes the point that they are not really studies, pieces that focus on technical or musical issues, but wider-ranging poems – “existential meditations” he calls them – that trace a spiritual journey, a pianistic hero’s life, and just happen to be phenomenally hard to play.” Disc 2 of the set features the Concert Etudes S 144 and S 145, plus the famous Paganini Etudes.

Featured Fri 12/9, Tue 12/20, Thu 12/29 

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