Notes and Editorial Reviews
These Mikhail Pletnev recordings stem from Deutsche Grammophon session breaks and warm-ups, where the pianist spontaneously tossed off whole pieces for his own pleasure, from memory, and with no editing. Pletnev has authorized some for publication, on condition that listeners take their casual origins and intentions into consideration. Listeners sympathetic to Pletnev’s affetuoso temperament will embrace the performances with open arms.
The Beethoven A major sonata (a work new to Pletnev’s discography) is full of tapered phrasings and fancy nuances, yet Pletnev’s supple technique and textural transparency are bound to keep aspiring Beethoven players humble;
and listen to how he avoids the common temptation to swoon into the Rondo’s main theme. The Bach/Busoni Chaconne is rhythmically freer and far more sectionalized than in Pletnev’s later, more unified live Carnegie Hall performance released by DG. On the other hand, the Chopin/Liszt Maiden’s Wish better absorbs Pletnev’s capricious lingerings, speed-ups, and slow-downs.
Listeners familiar with Pletnev’s gorgeous solo Tchaikovsky recordings won’t be surprised at the elegant, controlled romanticism he brings to the C-sharp minor Nocturne and Course en troika. A brisk and slightly facile Schubert E-flat Impromptu leads into an account of the same composer’s G-flat Impromptu that abounds with extreme rubatos and intricate voicings. Somehow it manages to sound organic and poetic rather than contrived and vulgar, even with the inauthentic seventh chord in measure five that held sway before the Urtext police took over. The booklet notes include an essay about Pletnev that reeks of pretentious platitudes and philosophical twaddle.
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 899/Op. 90 by Franz Schubert
Mikhail Pletnev (Piano)
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 06/1998
Venue: Villa Senar, Weggis, Lucerne
Length: 10 Minutes 53 Secs.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 2 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Mikhail Pletnev (Piano)
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 11/1996
Venue: Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg-Harburg
Length: 23 Minutes 53 Secs.
Sonate pour piano No. 2 en La Majeur: I. Allegro Vivace
Sonate pour piano No. 2 en La Majeur: II. Largo Appasionato
Sonate pour piano No. 2 en La Majeur: III. Scherzo - Allegro
Sonate pour piano No. 2 en La Majeur: IV. Rondo - Grazioso
Partita pour violon solo No. 2 en Ré Mineur, BWV 1004: Chaconne
6 Chants polonais, S480, Op. 74
6 pieces Op.19: Nocturne No.4 en Ut Dièse Mineur
The Seasons, Op. 37b: XI. November (On the Troika)
4 Impromptus, Op. 90, D899: II. No. 2 en Mi Bémol Majeur - Allegro
4 Impromptus, Op. 90, D899: III. No. 3 en sol bémol majeur - Andante
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