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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.

Solo Piano - Released February 16, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Unfortunately no, dear reader, there is no such thing as a cycle of “24 Preludes” by Rachmaninoff; however there are indeed 24 Preludes: a collection of ten Op. 23 from 1903, 13 other Op. 32 from 1910 and one isolated Prelude from the Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3 (Fantasy Pieces) from 1893. In total: 24 Preludes, in which as a simple count shows Rachmaninoff − much like Chopin and of course Bach − illustrated all major and minor tones. Deliberately random, or the involuntary drive to create a reasonably coherent cycle? Contrary to his two illustrious predecessors, Rachmaninoff didn’t order his Preludes according to a specific tonal plan: the musician’s fantasy develops bit by bit. Nikolai Lugansky – described by the famous magazine Gramophone as “the most innovative and transcendent interpreter of all” (so much for the others…), truly an extraordinarily deep and polyvalent pianist – decided to present the Preludes in the order prescribed by partitions, rather than reorganising them according to some hypothetical tonal logic, without knowing if Rachmaninoff would even have recommended or even considered it, particularly as the constant alternation of moods, independently of any tonal consideration, gives the piece a sense of perfect coherence. Finally it’s worth mentioning that Lugansky offers a very “original” interpretation of this divine music, which may feel like a re-discovery to some listeners. © SM/Qobuz