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Classical - Released February 6, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
The programming of this recording by Alexander Melnikov seems to be no accident. The two large, witty, outward-looking piano concertos surround the more grave, inward-facing Violin Sonata the way a sonata's or concerto's two fast movements surround a slow movement. It's also a real reflection of Melnikov as a performer, schooled in the Russian tradition and mentored by Richter (the pianist of the first public performance of the Violin Sonata), who is as comfortable as a soloist as he is as a collaborative pianist playing chamber music. In that regard, Melnikov and Faust make their parts of the sonata equal partners in the music, bringing out the smallest details. It is generally held that the sonata is about death, and these two handle it with intensity and seriousness, but do not make it grim or frightful. In the concertos, Melnikov and conductor Teodor Currentzis are also well matched. In the slow movements, especially of the Concerto No. 2, Melnikov's touch is so soft and phrasing so lyrical as to give the music a sweetness normally associated with a Rachmaninov or Ravel concerto, and Currentzis follows his lead. The animation in the fast movements, where Shostakovich likes to use rapidly repeated notes, is not pointedly sharp, but is impressive and extremely engaging nonetheless. The finale of Concerto No. 1, when everyone -- including the very precise trumpeter Jeroen Berwaerts -- gets going together is almost precipitously exciting. Yet it is Melnikov's sensitivity of touch that distinguishes his performance of these works from others'. © TiVo

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 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. © TiVo

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

Classical - Released August 19, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

Chamber Music - Released August 27, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica

Solo Piano - Released October 18, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
"This first volume in the complete cycle must already be given pride of place in the discography,” declared Classica magazine upon the release of Prokofiev’s Sonatas nos. 2, 6, and 8 (awarded a “Choc” in 2016). With this new volume, Alexandre Melnikov has chosen to delve into three distinct periods of the composer’s career, ranging from the dazzling though seldom-heard No. 4 to the magisterial No. 9. Inbetween those two, the Sonata No. 7 once again evokes the troubled atmosphere characteristic of the three so-called “war sonatas.” Sviatoslav Richter claimed to have learned the piece in a mere four days! © harmonia mundi

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. © TiVo

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

Chamber Music - Released March 4, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Classical - Released January 31, 2008 | harmonia mundi


Classical - Released April 21, 2006 | harmonia mundi


Classical - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi


Classical - Released July 1, 2015 | SACRAMBOW


Concertos - Released January 1, 1991 | Pavane Records