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NIKOLAI LUGANSKY



Nikolai Lugansky is already one of the finest of living pianists.  He studied extensively with Tatiana Nikolaeva in Moscow.  Her view was that he would be "The Next One" in a long line of great Russian pianists.

In 1988, Lugansky won the First Prize at the All-Union Competition in Tbilisi, and the Silver Medal at the 8th International Bach Competition in Leipzig.  In 1990 he won Second Prize at the Rachmaninoff Competition in Moscow.  In 1992, he was awarded a special prize, "Best pianist", at the International Summer Academy "Mozarteum" in Salzburg, Austria.  And in 1994, Lugansky won the top prize awarded at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition.

This quote from a Russian newspaper about Lugansky's final round performance quite mirrors my own reaction on first hearing him play, "It was like getting sunstroke, a musical shock. Nobody could imagine that the soul of this unpretentious, modest young man, with his ascetic, but also poetic appearance, held such a volcano inside with inspired and resolute control."

As an interpreter of Chopin, Nikolai Lugansky has few equals among the young pianists of today.  The combination of his supreme technique and his innate musicianship result in playing that can be described as effortless both as to his control and his interpretation.  Because he has such technical mastery, he can create subtly stunning effects within the texture of the music without calling attention to them, without interfering with the line and shape of his beautiful and poetic conceptions.  His astonishing performance of the Chopin Etude Op 25 n6 is a prime example.  In the midst of the technical challenges of this piece, he manages to give such a delicate line to the secondary theme with subtle but dramatic crescendos and diminuendos the likes of which I have never heard in this music.

Nikolai Lugansky also has a marvelous way with Rachmaninoff as you will hear.  His playing is robust, his line is faultless, his musicality impeccable.  And his performances with orchestra are exemplary.

On this page he plays music by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Debussy, and others as well as his own transcriptions of Wagner's Die Götterdämmerung and the "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde.

So is Nikolai Lugansky "The Next One" as Nikolaeva predicted he would be?  See if you agree.



Recital in Marseille, Théâtre National de La Criée, January 15th 2013

Medtner from Forgotten Melodies
Danza rustica, Op 38 n5 - (02:43) Canzona seranata, Op 38 n6 - (07:36) Primavera, Op 39 n3

(11:48)Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata 2 in B♭ minor, Op 36

Encores
(37:35) Rachmaninoff Etude-tableau in G minor, Op 33 n8
(42:19) Mendelssohn (arr. Rachmaninoff) Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream
(47:40) Rachmaninovff Prelude in c minor, Op 23 n7




Bach Italian Concerto,  BWV 971

recorded c 1991

i (without tempo indication)



ii Andante



iii Presto




Beethoven Piano Sonata 7 in D major, Op 10 n3

i Presto



ii Largo e mesto



iii Menuetto: Allegro



iv Rondo: Allegro




Beethoven Piano Sonata 14 in C♯ minor, Op 27 n2 'Sonata quasi una fantasia' ("Moonlight")

i Adagio sostenuto



ii Allegretto



i Presto agitato




Beethoven Piano Sonata 22 in F major, Op 54

i In tempo d'un menuetto



ii Allegretto - Più allegro




Beethoven Piano Sonata 23 in F minor, Op 57 ("Appassionata")

i Allegro Assai



ii Andante con Moto



iii Allegro ma non troppo




Schumann Toccata in C major, Op 7

recorded in 2004




Liszt Études d'exécution transcendante S.139

5 in B♭ major "Feux Follets"

recorded live in 2008



10 in F minor (Allegro agitato molto)



12 in B♭ minor "Chasse-neige"




Liszt "La Campanella"

recorded in 2008




Liszt Années de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse
6 Vallée d'Obermann

recorded in 2012




Liszt Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année: Italie
1 Sposalizio

recorded in 2012




Lugansky transcriptions from Wagnerian operas

Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)



"Isoldens Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde

recorded in 2012




Brahms Intermezzo in A major, Op 118 n2




Janacek - Der Tod

recorded live in 2008



Janáček "V Mlhách"
i Andante - ii Molto adagio - iii Andantino - iv Presto

recorded live in 2012




Albeniz "Triana"




Debussy Arabesque 1 from Deux arabesques, L 66




Scriabin Etude Op 8 n12




Prokofiev Piano Sonata 6 in A major, Op 82

i Allegro Moderato










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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