This wide-ranging programme in EMI's Debut series is like a musical calling-card for Sergey Khachatryan (born in Armenia in 1985), who submits himself to daunting tests of virtuosity (triumphantly surmounted in Ravel and Waxman) and musicianship. And it's his musical abilities that make the biggest impact, along with his fine, rich, malleable tone.
In the Waxman it's the dark, fatalistic side of Carmen that predominates. The Brahms springs no interpretive surprises--the second and fourth movements are particularly successful, the Adagio splendidly expressive at a flowing tempo, the finale played with driving energy.
In Brahms and Ravel, Khachatryan is partnered by his sister (she, too, looks very young in theRead more photos, but her age isn't stated). Her contribution is very positive, especially in the Brahms finale and the later stages of Tzigane, when both violin and piano revel in the music's kaleidoscopic textures while having fun with idiomatic rubato and tempo variation.
The Bach 'Chaconne' is impressive, too, for its polish and fine rhythmic control, but Khachatiyan does have something to learn about playing 18th-century music — in particular, to use the slurs to add light and shade to the phrasing, rather than ironing out the difference between slurred and separate notes. His father provides a very sensitive accompaniment in the Chausson. This is another beautiful performance, though ideally I'd have liked more tonal variety and sense of culmination as the Poenze progresses.
Sergey Khachatryan will, I'm sure, further extend his range and capabilities, but meanwhile it's a great pleasure to make the acquaintance of such a talented artist.
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