Trifonov - Destination Rachmaninov. Departure

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The Guardian

Daniil Trifonov’s extraordinary eloquence removes every trace of over-familiarity – this is one of the releases of the year

One might have thought that the prospect of Daniil Trifonov playing two of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos would have been enough to sell a disc without any need for extra marketing gimmicks – Trifonov is perhaps the most exciting pianist to have emerged internationally in the last 30 years, and peerless today as a Rachmaninov interpreter. Yet the album comes encumbered with an odd, awkward title – “Destination Rachmaninov. Departure” – and festooned with moody images of the pianist in an old-fashioned railway carriage. It’s strange packaging for one of the outstanding releases of the year, though as soon as you hear it, all that becomes irrelevant.

In partnership with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Rachmaninov’s own favourite Philadelphia Orchestra (with whom Trifonov recorded the Paganini Rhapsody three years ago), these are performances of such musical awareness, tonal variety and dazzling virtuosity that even the Second, one of the most popular of all piano concertos, has every trace of routine and over-familiarity stripped away. Trifonov has the gift of making something compelling out of the least attention-seeking piano lines, such as the melody the piano picks out behind the swelling clarinet solo in the slow movement of the Second Concerto; the woodwind playing is superb, but it’s the simple eloquence of Trifonov’s playing that constantly draws the ear.

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Thu Oct 25 16:00:11 CEST 2018