Symphony No.1 in Bb major Opus 38 (2) Robert Schumann Download 'Symphony No.1 in Bb major Opus 38 (2)' on iTunes
Pianist Nikolai Lugansky gives it his all in this brilliant selection of Prokofiev's piano repertoire; astonishing performance
Repertoire: Piano Sonatas 4 & 6; Romeo & Juliet (selection)
Artists: Nikolai Lugansky (piano)
Label: Warner 2564-61255-2
The 4th is one of Prokofiev’s least-played piano sonatas, due largely to its preoccupation with melancholic half-lit textures during the first two movements. Nothing could be further from the dynamic force of the sixth, whose fiendish pianistic gymnastics place this ground-breaking work firmly in the super-virtuoso category. Different again is Prokofiev’s irrepressibly inventive music for Romeo & Juliet, a ballet that the Bolshoi originally found ‘insufficiently dance-like’!
This is music that thrives on lashings of pianistic colour, timbral ingenuity and an ability to sustain textural interest in even the most thunderous of passages – qualities that Nikolai Lugansky possesses in abundance. Normal mortals are usually relieved enough merely to get around the notes of the Sixth Sonata, but Lugansky sounds like a man with an extra hand, so miraculously does he conjure up ear-tweaking combinations of sounds under wrist-crippling technical pressure. His rare ability to find interest in even the most subdued of textures pays real dividends in the fourth sonata, while the playful musical asides of R&J also come leaping off the page. Indeed, Lugansky’s flawless execution of The Young Juliet’s scamperings is borderline unbelievable.