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 de Petrouchka is played on a modern piano. Melnikov has the talent and skillRead more 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
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