Who? Nikolai Petrov. What happens to a pianist who was a student of Tatyana Kestner and Yakov Zak, two of the most accomplished teachers around, and comes in second in several major competitions? You might just assume he's not the best, and move on in search of a prettier face, literally. If you did that in Petrov's case, you'd be making a big mistake.
This guy is a monument, no kidding. He was, after all, a pupil of Yakov Zak. Who? Exactly.
Listen to his performance of the Prokofiev 2nd (on the Petrov plays concerti page), the monster of all concertos. it could easily be the best I've ever heard. He eats concertos like this for breakfast. But then, so did Yakov Zak. And the Mussorgsky Pictures? Wow! Nikolai Petrov was another of those Russians who looked like butchers, and played like angels.
I have a pre-stereo Gilels recording of the Saint-Saëns G minor on vinyl that no one can touch. This one is every bit as good, maybe better, even without the orchestra. As delicately as he plays, when it's time for the orchestral tutti in the first movement, a moment I live for, well, who needs an orchestra when Petrov is in the house. Brilliant transcription by Bizet, and truly magnificent playing.
Nikolai Petrov's Chopin and Brahms are out of this world. The second Fantasie from Op 116 is nothing short of a pool of mysteries.
The only performance here I do not care for is the sonata by Kapustin, a jazzy concoction by a contemporary Russian composer. Petrov does not seem to get the idiom, and the work sufferes from it.
Nikolai Petrov in recital
C.P.E. Bach Fantasie for keyboard In E♭ major, Wq 58/6, H 277
05:43 ➢ C.P.E. Bach Fantasie for keyboard In C major, Wq 59/6, H 284
13:01 ➢ Mozart Fantasie In C minor, K 475
25:32 ➢ Brahms 7 Fantasien, Op 116
46:27 ➢ Mendelssohn Fantasie in F♯ minor, Op 28
58:56 ➢ Schumann Fantasiestucke, Op 12~1 "Des Abends"
recorded live in 1987
Petrov in recital Encores
Weber Piano Sonata 1 in C major, Op 24
iv Rondo: Perpetuum Mobile,
Bach/Hess "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
Couperin "Le carillon de Cythère"
Schumann Romanze in F♯ minor, Op 28~2
Schumann Two Concert Etudes on themes from Paganini's Caprices, Op 3 [in B♭ major - in E♭ major]
Debussy Prélude "Les Fées Sont D'exquises Danseuses"
Saint-Saëns/Godowsky "Le Cygne" from The Carnaval of the Animals
Mendelssohn Scherzo-Fantasy in E major
Ravel "Jeux d'eau"
Debussy Prélude "Feux d'artifice"
Ravel "Five O'Clock Foxtrot" from L'Enfant Et Les sortilèges
Debussy Prélude "Ce Qu'a Vu Le Vent De L' Ouest"
Previn Prelude from The Cycle "The Invisible Jazz Drummer"
Rodion Schedrin "Collage" Toccata
Ginastera "Danza De La Moza Donoza"
Poulenc "Perpetum Mobile"
Nikolai Kapustin Intermezzo
Petrov in recital French repertoire
RAMEAU, Jean Philippe 1683-1764
DUKAS, Paul 1865-1935
Variations, Interlude and Finale on the Theme of Rameau
BIZET, Georges 1838-1875
Nocturne in D Major
Chromatic Variations in C Major
SAINT-SAËNS, Camille 1835-1921
Allegro Scherzando from Piano Concerto No.2
Toccata (Etude 6) on the Theme of Piano Concerto No.5
Etude in Form of Waltz, Op.52
RAVEL, Maurice 1875-1937
Five o' clock foxtrot
recorded live in 1984
Petrov in recital J S Bach
English Suite 6 in D minor, BWV 811
07:44 ➢ ii Allemande,
11:34 ➢ iii Courante,
13:43 ➢ iv Sarabande,
18:02 ➢ v Double,
20:31 ➢ vi Gavotte I,
22:03 ➢ vii Gavotte II,
23:57 ➢ viii Gigue
Bach-Busoni Organ Prelude and Fugue in E major, BWV 552
27:13 ➢ Prélude
37:00 ➢ Fugue
43:15 ➢ "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring", BWV 147
recorded live in 1989
Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas
Allegro in A major, L 258 (K 321)
Presto in G major, L 387 (K 14)
recorded live in 1962
[during the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition - Silver Medal]
Soler Fandango in D minor
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, Op 14 "Épisode de la vie d'un artiste"
[transcribed for solo piano by Franz Liszt]
i "Rêveries – Passions" Largo - Allegro agitato ed appassionato assai
ii "Un bal" Valse: Allegro non troppo
iii "Scène aux champs"
iv "Marche au supplice" Allegretto non troppo
v "Songe d'une nuit de sabbat" Larghetto. Allegro
Chopin Ballades and Scherzi
Ballade 1 in G minor, Op 23
09:48 ➢ Ballade 2 in F major, Op 38
17:37 ➢ Ballade 3 in A♭ major, Op 47
25:42 ➢ Ballade 4 in F minor, Op 52
37:36 ➢ Scherzo 1 in B minor, Op 20
47:01 ➢ Scherzo 2 in B♭ minor, Op 31
57:10 ➢ Scherzo 3 in C♯ minor, Op 39
1:04:53 ➢ Scherzo 4 in E major, Op 54
Liszt Études d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini (1st version)
Brahms Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op 24
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto 2 in G minor, Op 22
[arranged for solo piano by Georges Bizet]
i Andante sostenuto
10:18 ➢ ii Allegro scherzando
15:41 ➢ iii Presto
Saint-Saëns "Etude en forme de Valse" Op 52
Delibes-Dohnanyi Waltz from "Naila"
recorded live in 1989
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition
recorded in 1974
Debussy "L'isle Joyeuse"
Debussy "Quelques aspects de Nous n'irons plus au bois parce qu’il fait un temps insupportable" in D minor
from Images oubliées (1894)
Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales
1 Modéré - très franc
2 Assez lent - avec une expression intense
4 Assez animé
5 Presque lent - dans un sentiment intime
6 Assez vif
7 Moins vif
8 Epilogue: lent
Stravinsky Piano Sonata (1924)
Prokofiev Piano Sonatas (1 - 7)
● 1 in F minor, Op 1
Allegro - Meno mosso - Piu mosso - Meno mosso
● 2 in D minor, Op 14
07:22 ➢ i Allegro, ma non troppo. Più mosso. Tempo primo
13:25 ➢ ii Scherzo: Allegro marcato - 15:13 ➢ iii Andante - 21:34 ➢ iv Vivace. Moderato. Vivace
● 3 in A minor, Op 28
25:44 ➢ Allegro tempestoso. Moderato. Allegro tempestoso. Moderato. Più lento. Più animato. Allegro I. Poco più mosso
● 4 in C minor, Op 29
32:55 ➢ i Allegro molto sostenuto - 37:56 ➢ ii Andante assai - 46:27 ➢ iii Allegro con brio, ma non leggiero
● 5 in C major, Op 38
49:58 ➢ i Allegro tranquillo - 55:59 ➢ ii Andantino - 59:53 ➢ iii Un poco allegretto
● 6 in A major, Op 82
1:04:27 ➢ i Allegro moderato - 1:12:45 ➢ ii Allegretto - 1:17:07 ➢ iii Tempo di valzer lentissimo - 1:24:45 ➢ iv Vivace
● 7 in B♭ major, Op 83
1:30:46 ➢ i Allegro inquieto - 1:38:37 ➢ ii Andante caloroso - 1:45:22 ➢ iii Precipitato
Schulhoff Piano Sonata 3
Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey (1895-1971) "Kitten on the Keys"
Ravel Five O'Clock Foxtrot
02:00 ➢ Ginastera Danza de la moza donoza
05:20 ➢ Kapustin Intermezzo
Nikolai Girshevich Kapustin (b 1937) Piano Sonata 2
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background
which is also available as an audiobook.
And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:
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