Album Review: Trifonov Live

Daniil Trifonov
International Piano Magazine

This is actually two discs in one box from two companies (one Decca, one Deutsche Grammophon). The all-Chopin CD 2 is the Decca release. The first four items of this disc reveal a pianist unafraid to mix familiar with less so; to extract a single Etude (Op 10 No 8 in F major) and set it against a larger expanse. So it is that the teasing Rondo a la mazur, in a wonderfully fluent, spontaneous performance, is set against the Op 18 Grande valse brillante in a reading that mixes delicious hiatus with a properly leggeiro touch.     

The Etude is light and technically amazing but perhaps not fantastical, very much a study through and through, deliberately so, perhaps, to contrast with the Andante spianato that follows. Perhaps only Zimerman (Deutsche Grammophon) cuts closer to the heart of the matter, but Trifonov has an easy fluency.

The infernal side of Liszt is to the fore, yet there is a lyricism aplenty. Trifonov is an unstoppable force here; he is more reflective in the account of the Chopin Preludes that follows. A flighty Medtner Fairy Tale is a great encore.   

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