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MAXIM FEDOTOV

Maxim Fedotov, son of conductor Viktor Fedotov, studied under Polyarkin-trained Boris Sergeyev at the Leningrad Special Music School before attending the Moscow Conservatory. His pianist wife Galina Petrova also appears here in the Shostakovich and Beethoven selections.

A People’s Artist of Russia and soloist of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic Society, Fedotov has a repertoire of some fifty concertos which he has performed throughout Russia, Western Europe and Japan. He has received acclaim as a ‘Russian Paganini’ and did in fact give a famous recital using two of Paganini’s instruments—a Guarneri and a Vuillaume—in St Petersburg in 2003.

Fedotov, who also conducts, has served as a juror for several international violin competitions and given masterclasses in Germany, Spain, Japan, Croatia, Australia and elsewhere.

His recordings reveal a warm and responsive post-Romantic tone, characterised by a certain suppleness within what is basically a recognisably conventional modern sound. His repertory includes a notable specialism in the music of Max Bruch, to which his tone and artistic bearing is well suited. The famous Concerto in G minor (2004) is delivered with warmth and it is evident that Fedotov intends a highly emotive reading, with his powerful, wide vibrato (which some may find distracting) united with expressive portamenti (especially prominent in the Adagio). The Concerto No. 3 (2005) and Scottish Fantasy (2003) display similar characteristics.

A clear affinity with big Romantic works is found in the impassioned Concerto by Lyapunov. In many ways this 2007 performance evidences not only more excited playing by Fedotov himself, but also from the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. This is an attractive work played persuasively, and a worthy candidate for adoption into the Western canon.

The pairing of duo sonatas by Shostakovich and Beethoven is fitting, given the profound admiration for the latter held by the former. The Shostakovich Sonata (2004) is played faithfully but lacks fire; the fiendish cadenza is impressively clean but rather undramatic. The Beethoven sonata selected here (2006) sounds rather old fashioned, embodying no references to performance-practice research that has been done on this period; it is, nonetheless, an emotive reading of some dramatic import.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Milsom (A–Z of String Players, Naxos 8.558081-84)


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2:32:57 AM, 20 December 2014
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