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Schumann: Etudes Symphoniques Op.13

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 8, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Tatiana Nikolaeva s prophesy about her pupil Nikolai Lugansky He is the next one - has come true. Lugansky is now regarded as one of the major pianists from the Russian Piano School, enjoying a dazzling career across all the continents, playing with the most important orchestras and conductors in world renowned concert venues. He is universally praised for his sincere interpretations, his honesty, his deep burning passion and (last but not least) his limitless and unbelievably perfected technique. This Schumann program offers two major large scale works, played with grandeur and nobility, and a dazzling performance of the fiendishly difficult Toccata.

Product Details

  • Performer: Nikolai Lugansky
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Robert Schumann
  • Audio CD (May 8, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Piano Classics
  • ASIN: B006WQAY2U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,508 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Nikolai Lugansky is a wonderful pianist who once again demonstrates his virtuosic genius on this CD. Schumann's Toccata is the highlight leaving the best till last. His interpretation is never frenetic which this composition can get out of hand (no pun intended) rather quickly and keeps wonderful dynamic control. This album is truly a musical triumph and Lugansky ranks right up there with past great artists, namely Horowitz and Rubinstein.
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Format: Audio CD
This disc was recorded by Challenge Classics in 1994 at a time when Lugansky was a young man of just 21-2 years caught at the cusp of his ensuing rise to prominence as an international soloist. Later, in the same year, he won the 10th Tchaikovsky piano Competition.

The three pieces recorded here are all the work of a young composer of not dissimilar age to that of Lugansky at the time of recording. Lugansky plays all three pieces in a markedly up-beat in terms of general mood and with a style that could best be described as crisp with clearly defined articulation and displaying an inherent energy. There is very little of the musing introspection to be found in his Rachmaninov disc of 1983 and rather more of the extrovert.

This whole approach is more consistent with the compositions heard here. Schumann was a forthright composer as he was also forthright in his views and public expressions of belief in his journalistic writings. He was searching for another way of writing music which did not continue the path followed by Beethoven and which he considered impossible to develop further or to emulate.

The Symphonic Etudes, the first Sonata and the virtuosic Toccata all have an energy that relates to the energy of a young and vibrant personality and Lugansky captures that side of Schumann to perfection. This disc therefore stands as a fully justified statement of music making that is in accord with the compositions.

There are other ways of approaching the Symphonic Etudes and the Sonata of course. Both Pollini and Alexeev seek and find more nuances of poetic expression in their CDs of the Etudes as does Schiff on his DVD version. A more recent example could be Romanovsky on a fine Decca offering.
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