NIKOLAI PETROV (1943-2011)
Russian pianist

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"
Rachmaninov  Vocalise
Previn  Prelude from The Cycle "The Invisible Jazz Drummer"
Schulhoff  Tango
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
Les Cyclopes
La Poule

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
The Swan
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
i Prélude,
07:44ii Allemande,
11:34iii Courante,
13:43iv Sarabande,
18:02v Double,
20:31vi Gavotte I,
22:03vii Gavotte II,
23:57viii 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)

Part I

Part II

Part III

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
10:18ii Allegro scherzando
15:41iii 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
3 Modéré
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
07:22i Allegro, ma non troppo. Più mosso. Tempo primo
13:25ii Scherzo: Allegro marcato - 15:13iii Andante - 21:34iv Vivace. Moderato. Vivace

● 3 in A minor, Op 28
25:44Allegro tempestoso. Moderato. Allegro tempestoso. Moderato. Più lento. Più animato. Allegro I. Poco più mosso

● 4 in C minor, Op 29
32:55i Allegro molto sostenuto - 37:56ii Andante assai - 46:27iii Allegro con brio, ma non leggiero

● 5 in C major, Op 38
49:58i Allegro tranquillo - 55:59ii Andantino - 59:53iii Un poco allegretto

● 6 in A major, Op 82
1:04:27i Allegro moderato - 1:12:45ii Allegretto - 1:17:07iii Tempo di valzer lentissimo - 1:24:45iv Vivace

● 7 in B major, Op 83
1:30:46i Allegro inquieto - 1:38:37ii Andante caloroso - 1:45:22iii Precipitato

Schulhoff  Piano Sonata 3

Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey (1895-1971)  "Kitten on the Keys"

Ravel  Five O'Clock Foxtrot
02:00Ginastera  Danza de la moza donoza
05:20Kapustin  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

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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