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Piano Recital / Nikolay Khozyainov

Chopin / Liszt / Khozyainov
Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Cd Accord   Catalog #: 171   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Frédéric ChopinFranz Liszt
Performer:  Nikolay Khozyainov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHOPIN Piano Sonata No. 2, “Funeral March.” Nocturne in B, op. 9/3. Bolero. LISZT Dante Sonata. Fantasia on Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” Nikolay Khozyainov (pn) CD ACCORD 171-2 (74:04)


The 2010 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw showcased a wealth of talent. Several of the losers had their own fans, including Read more a number of record companies. Among the losers, we have had a very good Chopin recital by Ingolf Wunder and a pretty good one from Miroslav Kultyshev. Now comes a Chopin and Liszt program by the youngest of the finalists, Nikolay Khozyainov. Born in the Russian Far East in 1992, Khozyainov recorded this recital in 2011. He thus was about the same age as Evgeny Kissin was when that pianist made his Carnegie Hall debut. I make the comparison with Kissin because Khozyainov clearly is an extraordinary artist. He has everything: a big sound, splendid technique, and a musicality far beyond his years. This CD would do credit to any pianist, let alone one not yet 20 years old. Every time I listened to this CD, my impression of Khozyainov’s artistry grew richer and fuller. In a time of glitzy young pianists typified by Lang Lang, the appearance of a talent like Khozyainov’s is all the more refreshing.


Khozyainov begins with a gentle and flexible account of the op. 9/3 nocturne. He has an acute sense of its improvisatory quality and its rhythm. Coming from a young pianist, it reveals a rich inner life. It is like the daydream of a youthful lover. The Bolero is rarely played, but Khozyainov makes it seem central to Chopin’s oeuvre. His rendition is delicately exotic, with great rhythmic panache. Khozyainov demonstrates how, like the waltzes, the Bolero is an idealized dance. The “Funeral March” Sonata begins with a big sound and an impetuous tempo. The B section of the first movement sounds like the reminiscence of a tumultuous love affair. I find the effect of the whole movement heartbreaking. The A section of the scherzo contains a whirlwind of colors. All this commotion stops for the B section, which is as if a nocturne has been dropped in the middle of the sonata—tranquil yet sad. The funeral march is restrained and somber, almost sotto voce , with careful attention to dynamics. Its B section is slow and dreamlike, virtually a vision of the departed. Khozyainov produces the smoothest version of the finale I’ve ever heard; it almost sounds like Debussy. My favorite recordings of the sonata are by Cécile Ousset and Van Cliburn, but I will return to Khozyainov’s with pleasure.


Khozyainov’s Liszt proves just as satisfying as his Chopin. In the Dante Sonata , he begins with a huge sound and loads of excitement, although the proportions of the work are splendidly realized. Khozyainov has a subtle response to the piece’s chromaticism. My favorite recording of the sonata is Leonard Pennario’s on LP, but to have one as fine as Khozyainov’s with the dynamic range of digital sound certainly is welcome. My first encounter with the Fantasia on Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” was on the magnificent debut CD of Oxana Shevchenko. Her account is faster than Khozyainov’s and lither. Khozyainov, however, produces a wealth of colors. The vocal element of the work is well projected, with the piano singing all the time. In Khozyainov’s hands the Fantasia is much more than a showpiece, having plenty of heart. His version may not be superior to Shevchenko’s, but it is complementary. The CD’s sonics, from the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, are exemplary, big and warm. I dearly hope that Khozyainov does not get lost in today’s cavalcade of young pianists. He clearly is a special artist. The fact that, at his age, his talent only can grow is intimidating. The possibilities for his artistry seem almost limitless.


FANFARE: Dave Saemann
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 3 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolay Khozyainov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Venue:  Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall 
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Bolero for Piano in C major/A major, B 81/Op. 19 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolay Khozyainov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
Venue:  Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall 
Length: 8 Minutes 2 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, B 128/Op. 35 "Funeral March" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolay Khozyainov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1839; Paris, France 
Venue:  Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall 
Length: 25 Minutes 46 Secs. 
4.
Aprés une lecture du Dante I, S 158c by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nikolay Khozyainov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall 
Length: 17 Minutes 21 Secs. 
5.
Fantasia on 2 themes from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," S 697 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nikolay Khozyainov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Venue:  Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall 
Length: 15 Minutes 3 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Nocturne No. 3 in B major, Op. 9, No. 3
Bolero, Op. 19
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March": I. Grave - Doppio movimento
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March": II. Scherzo
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March": III. Marche funebre: Lento
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March": IV. Finale: Presto
Annees de pelerinage, 2nd year, Italy, S161/R10b: No. 7. Apres une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi una sonata (After Reading Dante)
Fantasie uber zwei Motive aus W.A. Mozarts Die Hochzeit des Figaro (completed by F. Busoni)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Music flows from his fingers. August 10, 2012 By Ming L. (Montreal, QC) See All My Reviews "I bought two copies, one as a gift, one for myself. I was very impressed by his playing at the Chopin competition, and decided to become a collector of his work. It didn't disappoint. His playing is so natural and unmannered, as if music is simply flowing from his fingers. Don't hesitate to buy. It is such a beautiful album." Report Abuse
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