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Classical - Released October 16, 2015 | naïve

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Described by the prestigious British music magazine Gramophone as ‘the most innovative and transcendent interpreter of all’ for his work in Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, as well as being capable of a grand refinement and a ‘crystalline beauty’ (The Financial Times) in Mozart and Schubert, Nikolai Luganski is an extraordinarily deep and versatile pianist. His CD recital of sonatas for piano by Rachmaninov won him a Diapason d’or and an ECHO Klassik prize, whilst his recording of the concertos of Grieg and Prokofiev was awarded an ‘Editors Choice’ by Gramophone. His previous recordings were also greeted with many awards, including a second Diapason d’or, the BBC Music Magazine Award, and a prize from ECHO Klassik. Here, he performs one of the ultimate Schubert sonatas, the incredible and titanic Sonata in C minor, which was written in the summer of 1828, a few months before the death of the composer. We hear – and Luganski emphasizes – the resonant impact of the last sonatas by Beethoven, by which Schubert was so fed and freed. The symphonic dimensions of this sonatas require an interpreter with strong shoulders, therefore: enter Luganski. Shortly before this work, Schubert composed his second collection, Impromptus, which hit somewhere between poetry and sombre savagery, as the Russian interpreter endorses here.

Chamber Music - Released October 31, 2005 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Nikolai Lugansky is a Russian virtuoso in the grand tradition with a huge tone, a terrific technique, and a taste for the biggest possible repertoire. But while there's no denying that Lugansky can perform anything from Chopin to Rachmaninov to Beethoven, there's also no asserting that Lugansky can interpret everything from Chopin to Rachmaninov to Beethoven. In this disc of two of Beethoven's best-known and two of Beethoven's less-known sonatas, Lugansky turns in tremendously impressive performances of the "Appassionata" and the "Moonlight Sonatas" that don't stand up to concentrated listening and only slightly less impressive performances of the two-movement F major Sonata, Op. 54, and the four-movement D major Sonata, Op. 10/3, that grow shallower the longer they go on. His command of the piano is as complete as the best players in Russian tradition, but the thrills of his virtuosity in the closing movements of the "Appassionata" and the "Moonlight" seem cold compared with the red hot inspiration of the music. And in the elevated lyricism of the F major Sonata and the expansive mastery of the D major Sonata, Lugansky's reserved interpretations belie the depths of the music. Perverse as it may sound, Lugansky might be well served by performing nothing but Bach's partitas, his English and French suites, and particularly his Well-Tempered Clavier for the next few years and then come back to Beethoven. The discipline of counterpoint is a wonderful cure for rampant virtuosity. Warner's sound is lively and bright. © TiVo