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Paul Orgel
Fanfare, November 2012

Konstantin Shamray’s Tchaikovsky makes me smile… © 2012 Fanfare

Paul Orgel
Fanfare, July 2012

Shamray’s understanding of the rhythmic flexibility required in Tchaikovsky’s style, his good taste in not taking it too far, and his truly impressive technique result in joyful music-making from the first phrase of the jaunty opening Impromptu to the final “Scène dansante.”

Each piece is dedicated to a different colleague, pupil, or friend, and Tchaikovsky gave them an order that offers nice contrasts between tempos and moods. The scintillating Scherzo-Fantasy is op. 72’s high point of bravura, and the Berceuse and “Chant élégiaque” are expansive, lyric effusions. The pieces in the manner of Chopin and Schumann aren’t as uncanny as Schumann’s Chopin and Paganini impersonations in Carnaval , but they are a lot of fun.

The unhackneyed repertoire and the charm, color, and brilliance of Shamray’s playing make this one of the most enjoyable piano discs that I’ve heard in a long time. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Lawrence Hansen
American Record Guide, July 2012

This is most welcome: a very well played and recorded traversal of Tchaikovsky’s last set of solo piano pieces…

Pianist Shamray gets just about everything right. He doesn’t shy away from the hints of the other great romantic piano masters, but he retains Tchaikovsky’s unique voice. Few composers could spin out a melody like Tchaikovsky, but the piano is a percussion instrument. It’s much harder to express lyricism on it than with the string section of a symphony orchestra. But Mr Shamray does it! There are plenty of vigorous passages, too, but he doesn’t pound those out.

This is a model of a properly made piano recording. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Francesco Burns
International Record Review, June 2012

Shamray proves he has a musical gift which provides much interest throughout this recording. © 2012 International Record Review

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, May 2012

these short pieces are beautiful…from the very first note Tchaikovsky transports you into another world with such consummate skill you are left in no doubt that you are in the hands of a genius. He writes with such breathtaking ease you are simply left to marvel at it. Each of these eighteen pieces…is a miniature masterpiece and they all punch well above their weight. From lullabies to mazurkas, from waltzes to meditations, these little gems sparkle with light and are simply delightful. Playing them here is a young Russian pianist Konstantin Shamray…The description of him as having “dynamite in his fingers” is aptly deserved. This is a thoroughly enjoyable disc with well written and documented notes by Keith Anderson giving a background to each piece. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2012

Very rarely heard in the concert hall in their entirety, the Eighteen Piano Pieces played separately can fall into the trap of being regarded as salon pieces. They come from the last year of Tchaikovsky’s life, each one being characterised by the name given to them and each dedicated to a colleague, friend or pupil. In style many owe something to Chopin, as we hear in that opening Impromptu, and seldom would you instantly recognise the music as having come from Tchaikovsky, least of all in the rather sad Berceuse that follows. The Fourth, Danse caracteristique, is the first show of mercurial virtuosity that returns later in the Scherzo-fantaisie, though for the greater part these are not works that require a prodigious technique. The Meditation is a rather unexpected title for a piece that at times becomes turbulent. The dance sections are played with a strict rhythm by the Moscow trained pianist, Konstantin Shamray…there is a  lot to enjoy in his fresh approach throughout, particularly in such pieces as the introspective Dialogue; the ‘clockwork’ Valse-bluette, and the beauty of the Chant elegiaque. The sound quality is good… © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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