Notes and Editorial Reviews
Pletnev brings special insights, an exuberant, effortless virtuosity, tenderness of feeling and a remarkable range of keyboard colour.
But what are we to make of Mikhail Pletnev (Virgin Classics 0 VC7 90839-2, 11/89) in the F minor Variations, which are offhand, cavalier even! I can't say that they relate in any way to what one thinks of as Haydn, and I can't say I like them bereft of all repeats. Yet how characterful is his reading of the C minor Sonata—a performance of masterly authority and absorbing musical interest. As Stephen Plaistow put it: "the playing for all its air of improvisation and fantasy, never fails to move strongly forward; while his control of line and sonority mark him out (as of course we already know) as an exceptional artist". I can't recall so strongly characterized or so witty an account of the C major Sonata (H0bXVI/50), particularly its finale; or as intelligent or thoughtful a reading of its slow movement. And what a masterly reading he gives of the great E flat Sonata! I do hope Virgin will lock him up in a studio until he records the Tchaikovsky G major Sonata—his was the finest account of this under-rated score that I have heard since the Richter LP on Parlophone (nla)—and re-record the 18 Morceaux, Op. 72, which he made in 1986 for Melodiya (Le Chant du Monde/Harmonia Mundi CD LDC278 952/3, 12/89). To these, as those who have heard him play them in the concert hall will know, he brings special insights, an exuberant, effortless virtuosity, tenderness of feeling and a remarkable range of keyboard colour.
-- Gramophone [2/1990]