In the great tradition of Russian pianist-composers, Daniil Trifonov may be rightly considered an heir to Rachmaninov - a passionate virtuoso at the keyboard and a Romantic spirit in his own compositions.
With this album, the young artist pays tribute to his illustrious musical forefather with a fascinating programme comprising three sets of Rachmaninov Variations: the hyper-virtuostic Variations on a theme of Corelli and the rare Variations on a Theme of Chopin for solo piano, along with the famous and much-loved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra.
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Variations on a Theme of Chopin, Op. 22
Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Philadelphia Orchestra,Yannick Nézet-Séguin
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the Philadelphians under Yannick Nézet-Séguin provide sterling support for Trifonov's stunning pyrotechnics. There are also moments of magical repose, Trifonov achieving astonishing beauty of tone and atmosphere in the almost impressionistic harmonies of Variations 11 and 17…this is clearly an outstanding version in an already overcrowded field.
The opening bars tell you this is going to be a good ‘Pag Rhap’. As things turn out, it is a great one, up there with the very best. That includes the indispensable benchmark recording with the composer and the same orchestra made in 1934…while Trifonov revels in the pianistic gymnastics, he is also alert to the moments of mischief…Trifonov and Nézet-Séguin do seem genuinely to be a meeting of musical minds
New York Times 11th December 2015
As if a sumptuous, tender account of the “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” were not enough, Mr. Trifonov offers uncannily fine interpretations of Rachmaninoff’s variations on themes by Chopin and Corelli.