Rachmaninov: Variations - Trifonov's joyous, exceptional collection

Daniil Trifonov
The Guardian

After hearing a bit too much dutiful Rachmaninov playing at the Leeds international piano competition last weekend, Daniil Trifonov’s disc provided the best possible antidote. Here is an outstanding pianist who plays Rachmaninov because he is fascinated by the music and can bring genuine imagination and musical wit to it. Trifonov signals his deep admiration by including a piece of his own.

The authentic works are the Paganini Rhapsody, in which the large-than-life sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin provide the perfect foil to Trifonov’s thoughtful and sometimes surprisingly introspective playing. Both receive dazzling performances, showing why Trifonov, when at his best like this, is peerless among younger pianists today. It’s a joyous, exceptional collection.
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