Available languages: EnglishInfluenced by Sviatoslav Richter in his younger years, Alexander Melnikov became interested in the fortepiano and has devoted much of his career to historical performances. He is also an enthusiastic chamber music performer on both the fortepiano and the modern piano. Melnikov was born in Moscow in 1973. A child prodigy, he performed Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1, at the age of 12. He encountered Richter as a youth and was invited by him to perform at festivals in Russia and abroad. Melnikov entered the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Lev Naumov. More unusually, he became interested in historical performance, still a rarity in Russia in the early 1990s, at age 18. He studied in that field with Alexei Lubimov, a Russian pioneer in historical performance, and with Andreas Staier, who became a frequent collaborator; the pair has often performed the 24 Preludes and Fugues for piano of Shostakovich, with Melnikov on piano, and Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, with Staier on harpsichord. Melnikov has performed recitals at such prestigious venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. As a concerto soloist, he has performed with the NDR Sinfonieorchester, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many other top ensembles. Melnikov has been particularly noted as a chamber music player, appearing in this capacity on both modern and historical instruments. He has regularly performed with violinist Isabelle Faust, and the pair's recording of Beethoven's violin sonatas earned the ECHO Klassik prize and a Gramophone Award. He has also appeared with cellist Alexander Rudin and Jean-Guihen Queyras, baritone Georg Nigl, and larger groups. He often performs with major historical-instrument ensembles such as the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Köln, and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Melnikov has recorded mostly for the Harmonia Mundi label, with a 2012 disc featuring the two Shostakovich piano concertos, under conductor Teodor Currentzis, recognized as a standout. In 2020, he and Faust released the second volume in a new cycle devoted to Mozart's violin sonatas.
© James Manheim /TiVo
3 albums gesorteerd op Meest aanbevolen en gefilterd op Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 februari 2018 | harmonia mundi
Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
"Four oeuvres, four pianos" might be a better way of looking at the cover of this album by Alexander Melnikov: Schubert is played on a (simply stunning) Viennese Graf fortepiano from around 1835, Chopin on an Érard grand piano from 1837, Liszt on a Bösendorfer from 1875 and Stravinsky on a modern-day Steinway - the only work which is not played on an instrument contemporary to its composition, as Petrushka dates from 1911, and most certainly not from 2014 like the Steinway in question! The differences between the four instruments are not immediately obvious, but Melnikov's project is to demonstrate just how closely art and instrument follow one another: the Wanderer Fantasy benefits from the clarity of the Graf fortepiano which, while it lacks powerful volume, offers a startling palette of different sounds for the artist to explore. Chopin's twelve Études Op. 10 on the Érard – still within a few years of the Graf – increased the power of the sound in particular, but at the cost of reducing the range of colours in the palette. With the Réminiscences de Don Juan by Liszt, the Bösendorfer unleashes real pianistic thunderbolts, which almost overshadows the content! Finally, Petrushka on the Steinway takes us back into a rather more familiar territory. This is a concept of pairing from Melnikov, whose fondness for historical instruments is well-known. © SM/Qobuz