On this fascinating recording, Alexander Melnikov performs four masterworks of the piano repertoire on four different instruments. Each of the pianos has characteristics corresponding to those of the instruments on which these virtuoso pieces were first performed. Featured works include Schubert's WandererFantasie, Chopin's Etudes Op.10, Liszt's Variations on Mozart's Don Giovanni and Stravinsky's Trois Mouvements de Petrouchka.
For this release, Alexander Melnikov presents these core repertoire pieces on four different pianos, matching each to an instrument of the proper vintage; only the Trois Mouvements deRead more Petrouchka is played on a modern piano. Melnikov has the talent and skill to play idiomatically, with brilliant technique and passion, giving the music considerable excitement while conveying its historical flavor. While Melnikov's probing performances may not suit all, anyone who has an interest in the piano's development will find this album a revelation. Highly recommended.
– All Music Guide
He makes good use of the tonal differences between registers on the Graff in the Wanderer Fantasy and exploits the light touch of the Érard to brilliant effect in the more bravura Chopin studies, while the Bösendorfer produces a leaner sound than the maker’s later instruments. – Guardian (UK) Read less
CHOPIN AND LISZT ON HISTORICAL PIANOSAugust 13, 2018By Peter T. (Bethesda, MD)See All My Reviews"I am having A. Brendel's " Music Sounded Out " in my hand and on pp. 156 and 157 I read the following : " For Liszt, the much-maligned programme musician , music was fundamentally a tool of poetic expression, and the piano an object to be transformed into an orchestra, turned into the elements, lifted into the spheres. In lesser hands, his extraordinary pianistic demands risk becoming an end in themselves. Chopin's strictly pianistic music provided the ideal medium for a concept of sound that limits itself to a certain idea of beauty, and specializes in maintaining the most ravishing timbre. In Liszt's piano style, the concept of beautiful sound is superseded by that of an expressive one. Subservient to the desire to encompass every facet of experience, and freed from classical restrictions, the piano is made to release the whole gamut of color, dynamics and nuance, and encouraged to forget its own boundaries. " --- Buy this record and find out whether you hear what you read here. And write about it ."Report Abuse
Fine repertoire, fine performancesMarch 18, 2018By William Craig (BROOMFIELD, CO)See All My Reviews"This is a very interesting album. We usually dont expect recordings on historical pianos to feature big virtuoso repertoire, but Melnikovs idea panned out well. Its fascinating to hear the Schubert, Chopin, and Liszt on the sort of instruments the composers would have known. The connection of Stravinsky to a brand-new Steinway is more tenuous, though Melnikov suggests that Stravinsky pushed a piano of a century ago [!] to its limits. Melnikov plays with both technical brilliance and musical acuity, and he understands the proper approach to these sometimes quirky instruments. It speaks well of him that he can be compared with standard-setting recordings of some 50 years ago the young Pollini in Schubert, Chopin, and Stravinsky, and the amazing Earl Wild in the Liszt. Thoroughly recommended."Report Abuse