the set finished - the
Beethoven Symphonies in their transcriptions by
A. Yes, we have
recorded the complete Symphonies set.
However, the recordings of the last three symphonies will have to wait
I absolutely love your performance of the Scriabin Piano Concerto. If
choose any composer to come back from the dead just to spend one day
who would it be and why?
nobody. You would need to spend a day with a person, not a composer.
disappointment would be huge if you met someone that you had imagined
If I would wish it at all,
then perhaps Rachmaninov. In
that particular case I would have the feeling that I have always known
you ever considered trying some concerti that were once popular and
difficult, but aren't played as much anymore? In
Concerto in A minor by Clara Schumann? Some say that it is as
as Brahms and it was extremely popular during her time. It would
interesting to see pianists who can accomplish well known works of
calibre (such as the famous Rachmaninov concerti) tackle equally
works that aren't as well-known and well-studied.
A. Yes, I was always
interested in this kind of repertoire; my
curiosity does extend that far. To say the truth, however, I thought
Hummel, Weber, Mendelssohn and Paderewsky.
Q. You have recorded/will record
piano concertos by Rachmaninov and
Tchaikovsky. What do
you think of Bernd Glemser and his recordings [of those works]? Have
you ever met him?
Glemser is a wonderful pianist and so are
his Rachmaninov’s Concertos recordings. I met Bernd a few times, back
years during which we both toured the world to take part in
I'm sure some musicians feel that they can
capture, in the studio, the levels of excitement they generate in live
performance. How do you manage to
generate excitement in your playing when in a studio setting, without
A. The excitement is
generated, in my opinion, in the soul and
mind of the player. The decisive factor for that is the music that he
reproduces and not the audience. This is why it is irrelevant, whether
for public or in studio.
Q. Hello! I would like to know your
complete birth data with day, month, year, hour of birth, and the city
in which you were born.
was born in the early morning of June 11th, 1963 in Barnaul, Siberia,
Q. Of all the 20th Century Piano Concertos
by Russian composers, which do
you like the most?
All of them.
Q. You have made a
highly acclaimed Naxos recording of Shostakovich's 24
Preludes and Fugues. Are you aware of
the plans for any musical events in Russia or elsewhere to celebrate
centenary of Shostakovich's birth in 2006?
yet, but I am sure the celebration will be huge. In Zurich, we are
complete piano music as well as most of Shostakovich’s chamber works.
the piano music of Lyapunov part of your
repertoire, as he is a much under-recorded composer in the West? For example, there is only one CD available
of the melodic Rhapsody on Ukrainian Folk
Themes recorded by Michael Ponti in the 1970s.
I often include his Etudes, Op. 11, in my concert programmes. I think
great cycle and very beautiful music . . .
Who is the maker of the piano you use?
Where are your recording sessions generally held?
A. I am using a
concert grand “Steinway & Sons” Model D. We
are recording all my solo discs in a converted barn called “Potton
Suffolk, England – a peaceful and beautiful retreat.
Q. You are my favourite pianist.
Could you send
me more information about your Master classes?
I play the piano and I would like to go to one of your master classses.
A. I will be
giving masterclass at the Liszt Music
Academy in Weimar from 17 through 22 July 2004, and at the
Piano Academy Ftan, Switzerland in 2005.
Q. I would like to ask
you a few questions;
I like a lot of your playing and have most of your CDs.
many hours a day do you practice? Many; the exact amount
is different, but it’s many. Who
are your favourite composers, and
is Godowsky included on that list or are you just recording his music
you were asked to do so? My favourite composer is
always the one whose works I am playing right now - otherwise I would
able to play them. Are you married and have kids? Yes,
I am married and our son is 21 years old. If so,
do they like to hear their father practising the piano? I believe, he did not
have much choice, did he? Was
Richter a big influence on you? Yes, huge. In the
old days it was usual to hear great pianists
talking about each other with mutual respect and admiration; do you
living pianists that you appreciate? I
respect most of my colleagues and the older I grow the more I respect
my youth this was not the case. And
among the pianists that
have passed away, who were your favorites? Sofronitsky,
Gilels, Horowitz, all the pianists of the “Golden Era of Piano
hardest music you have ever encountered? I don’t
quite know how to understand the word “hardest”. To learn, to play or
to? If it is the first, then Webern’s Variations, if it’s the second,
would be the “Tritsch-Tratsch” Polka by Strauss / Cziffra, if the third
– big works
by Busoni and Sorabji. What's
your favourite music? All good
music, that is . . . well played. The
name of a composer you don't like? Busoni. By
what age did you know that you wanted to be a pianist? I was 11. Do you have any favorite hobbies? No.
Q. The question I need help with most
as a very
competent hobby pianist is with regards to practise. What advice
would you give to someone who finds practise
difficult, but would love to achieve more of their potential?
A. Still practise… There is
no better advice
than that. No potential can be realised unless the head gets in full
with the hands; to make this possible you need to spend a huge amount
the piano. However, this amount could be smaller indeed if your head is
aware of what the hands should do – do think before you play.
Q. I am a piano teacher
working in Auckland, New Zealand, and am
very interested in the early training of pianists. How did your first
engender a passion in you for classical music?
-Anonymous, New Zealand
seemed to do just the opposite – the passion came from inside, however;
family prompted it, too. What did they cover in early piano lessons? I
am not sure – this was more than 30 years back. I believe,
basic things and very little engaging ones…
Q. I really enjoy and admire your
of the Liszt transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies. Would
you please comment on the artistry and
genius that Liszt employed in the transcription of these marvelous
was enormously difficult – to
“reduce” symphonic sonorities to the level of a single piano and to
possible for just ten fingers! However, this task was fully
accomplished – but
from another point of view! Liszt was aware that to make the piano
sound as an
orchesra would be an illusion, unreachable; he therefore consciously
wonderful, brilliant piano pieces out of Beethoven’s
aspect to mention – Liszt’s
admiration and respect for the works: he did not change or add anything
score, on the opposite, he just accommodated the symphonic structure
natural “limitations” of the piano, with his unmistakable sense for
and polyphony. I am sure that if a lesser genius would try and do the
work, he would fail.