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Classical - Released February 6, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Prise de son d'exception - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released January 12, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diapason d'or / Arte - 4 étoiles de Classica
Ever practical in his methods, Paul Hindemith composed over 30 sonatas for various instruments, which, in addition to his theoretical concerns, reflected a utilitarian aspect of his work, even though they weren't intended as Gebrauchsmusik. This 2015 album from Harmonia Mundi offers five sonatas, composed between 1935 and 1948, which have become standard repertoire for students and are usually heard in recitals, though much less frequently on commercial recordings. The sonatas for alto horn, violoncello, trombone, violin, and trumpet make a balanced program, and the consistency of Hindemith's chromatic yet tonal music makes the album approachable, even though the pieces at times may seem a little dry and cerebral. Alto hornist Teunis van der Zwart, cellist Alexander Rudin, trombonist Gérard Costes, violinist Isabelle Faust, and trumpeter Jeroen Berwaerts are the featured artists and they are extremely polished in their playing, while virtuoso pianist Alexander Melnikov provides something greater than mere accompaniment in these energetic and expressive performances. The reproduction is focused and noise-free, so every detail of this highly contrapuntal music is fully audible.
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Solo Piano - Released June 29, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
Released as one of nine new albums dedicated to Debussy by harmonia mundi to mark the centenary of the French composer's birth, this volume offers the Second Book of the Preludes played by Alexander Melnikov on an Erard piano. The world of Debussyan piano relied so heavily on timbre that pianists and editors alike often prefer one or another make so as to get a grip on the specificities of the music. Alexander Melnikov is one of those rare Russian artists to take an interest in ancient instruments. This student of Sviatoslav Richter was quickly captivated by this kind of work, working with Andreas Staier and Alexey Lubimov and playing with specialised ensembles like the Concerto Köln or the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik. His performance of the Preludes by Debussy at London's Wigmore Hall was particularly well received by critics who described the Russian pianist as a "sorcerer" who is highlighting "ravishing", "violent", "terrifying" music. An iridescent orchestral masterpiece, La Mer is difficult to boil down to a four-handed piano piece, and Debussy disowned his transcription, leaving it to André Caplet to prepare another one for two four-handed pianos. Alexandre Melnikov and Olga Pashchenko have taken up the challenge to prove that the auteur's transcription is not at all "unplayable". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 19, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Chamber Music - Released August 27, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released February 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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
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Chamber Music - Released March 4, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released November 18, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The Russian-British pianist Alexander Melnikov has recorded Shostakovich and a variety of Romantic chamber music with great success. But nothing quite prepares the listener for the controlled power in these performances of three Prokofiev piano sonatas. The Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82, and Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major, Op. 84, are among the most modernist works Prokofiev ever wrote. They appeared during World War II and are often thought, with some justification, to reflect that environment. And Prokofiev himself merely said blandly of the mighty Sonata No. 8 that it had a predominantly lyrical character. This is true enough of the themes themselves, but each one almost immediately becomes ensnared in technical complications that would be dizzying if they did not seem to be so controlled by an iron logic. And it is this structure, rather than shadows of war (which Shostakovich did better anyway, and which are made problematical by the fact that Prokofiev began writing both the Piano Sonata No. 6 and Piano Sonata No. 8 before the Soviet Union was invaded by Germany), that Melnikov captures so well. Sample one of the Vivace finales, perhaps that of the Piano Sonata No. 6 to hear the clean power of Melnikov's playing here, which indeed does carry a sense of threat. Added attractions include the exuberant Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14, a student work, and superb Teldex Studio sound from Harmonia Mundi. A superior Prokofiev piano album.
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Classical - Released November 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
At a time when Mozart was writing his first sonatas for violin and clavier, in 1778, it was the done thing to write piano sonatas with violin accompaniment in which the violin part is fairly unobtrusive. The purpose of this was not to put off the target audience for the scores: educated amateurs. But Mozart paid no heed to this convention and took off into a new world with real duets, in which the two instruments found themselves on an even footing. At the same time, he avoided the corrective exaggeration which would appear in some scores which resembled violin concertos with a little piano support. Here we have a perfect balance between the two players: Isabelle Faust on the violin and Alexander Melnikov at the clavier. The latter of the two plays on a copy of a Viennese fortepiano made in 1795 by Anton Walter. The sound balance is utterly perfect, which is a relief, as all too often these sonatas either favour the keyboard part when played on the piano or the violinist tries to force it. We have here two sonatas written in Paris shortly after the death of Mozart's mother (who accompanied him on the journey), and then another from 1787 written in the wake of Leopold Mozart's death. Despite this the composer seems to be putting on a brave face, flashing a smile tinged with a tender nostalgia on the Sonata in E Minor K. 304. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 31, 2008 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released April 21, 2006 | harmonia mundi

Alexander Scriabin -- an onanistic, orgiastic poetaster of a composer and the creator of the Russian pianistic equivalent of Egon Schiele's most intimate self-portraits -- is not for everybody. The easily offended and the faint of heart should stick to Scarlatti. But for those for whom the lushly chromatic, lavishly virtuosic, and palpably sensual piano music of Liszt is no longer enough, Scriabin may be just the thing to boost the dosage. In this debut recital by young Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov, all the best aspects of Scriabin's chromaticism, virtuosity, and sensuality are on display. From the massive sonatas to the ephemeral Feuillet d'album, from the early Chopin-esque preludes to the late phantasmagorical Messe noire -- Poème satanique, Melnikov is totally on top of the notes and deep inside the music. Other pianists have played Scriabin superlatively before -- the supernaturally virtuosic Horowitz and the superhumanly intense Richter, for example -- but only Sofronitsky has so completely incarnated the combination of the messianic eschatology and salacious sexuality that is the irreducible core of Scriabin's aesthetic. As brilliantly captured in Harmonia Mundi's crisp, clear sound, Melnikov's recital is a wholly magnificent achievement that will be incredibly difficult to follow. Indeed, it is hard to see how he could follow it -- what other composer could he play? Liszt, of course, but who after that? Could Melnikov control himself in Chopin, contain himself in Schubert, or restrain himself in Mozart? The mind boggles.
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Classical - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Alexander Scriabin -- an onanistic, orgiastic poetaster of a composer and the creator of the Russian pianistic equivalent of Egon Schiele's most intimate self-portraits -- is not for everybody. The easily offended and the faint of heart should stick to Scarlatti. But for those for whom the lushly chromatic, lavishly virtuosic, and palpably sensual piano music of Liszt is no longer enough, Scriabin may be just the thing to boost the dosage. In this debut recital by young Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov, all the best aspects of Scriabin's chromaticism, virtuosity, and sensuality are on display. From the massive sonatas to the ephemeral Feuillet d'album, from the early Chopin-esque preludes to the late phantasmagorical Messe noire -- Poème satanique, Melnikov is totally on top of the notes and deep inside the music. Other pianists have played Scriabin superlatively before -- the supernaturally virtuosic Horowitz and the superhumanly intense Richter, for example -- but only Sofronitsky has so completely incarnated the combination of the messianic eschatology and salacious sexuality that is the irreducible core of Scriabin's aesthetic. As brilliantly captured in Harmonia Mundi's crisp, clear sound, Melnikov's recital is a wholly magnificent achievement that will be incredibly difficult to follow. Indeed, it is hard to see how he could follow it -- what other composer could he play? Liszt, of course, but who after that? Could Melnikov control himself in Chopin, contain himself in Schubert, or restrain himself in Mozart? The mind boggles.
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Concertos - Released January 1, 1991 | Pavane Records

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 1, 2015 | SACRAMBOW

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