Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Volodos in Vienna
Finally, some more Volodos!
E. C. Alvarez | King of Prussia, PA USA | 02/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's been around three years since Volodos has graced us with a recording of his piano magic. And as his other recordings, he does not fail to deliver. I listen to the music as I write this review, and remember how Volodos can bring new insight to music I may have heard in the past, and also serve as an great introduction to the varied musical tastes that surround us. This CD was also released along a video recording of this recital, on DVD and Blu-Ray; this would be a first for Volodos. As of 2/3/10, Amazon is not providing these video recordings, unfortunately.
His selection of pieces for this live recital is all across the piano repertoire, from Bach to Ravel. I am very excited to hear his ventures into composers he had not recorded, like Ravel and Bach. Maestro Volodos' dynamism is evident throughout the tracks and composers, retaining his introspective touch for Scriabin's minor pieces, and releasing the floodgates for "Apres une lecture de Dante." His flawless execution (for a live concert) never ceases to amaze me. He truly seems to be the musical descendant of Horowitz, pianist and arranger, thanks to Volodos' knowledge of conducting and song. He brings over those strengths to his remarkable piano playing.
We hadn't been treated to Volodos' playing Scriabin since his Arcadi Volodos Live at Carnegie Hall, where he also played some minor pieces and his Sonata No. 10. Volodos' interpretation of Scriabin's Sonata No. 7 is spectacular, and as haunting as it can ever be. A new composer to the Maestro's recorded repertoire is Ravel, someone who I must confess I am not as intimate as other classical and moder composers. However, the "Valses" were written in reference to Schubert's pieces of similar names, but with a modern "Ravelian" touch.
We hear some more Schumann from Volodos, a composer that also returns from his Carnegie Hall CD. This time around, we hear the composer's "Waldszenen," or "Forest Scenes." A more unknown set of pieces by Schumann, Volodos brings them alive with his musical touch. The closing piece is what I consider the gem of the collection, Liszt's "Apres Une Lecture de Dante," also known as the Dante Sonata. This rarely recorded piece by Liszt is everything that composer embodied: lyricism, technique, and discovery of the instrument. Clocking in at about 17 minutes, one journeys with Dante through the horrors of The Divine Comedy's hell and redemption. This is where Volodos' technique shines and breathes life into this early Liszt work. The piano thunders when it's meant to, and cries when it's called to, all under the fingers of Volodos. I feel the same excitement listening to the Maestro's interpretation of Vallee D'Obermann in his previous disc, Volodos Plays Liszt.
It seems that Arcadi Volodos spends most of his time giving recitals accross Europe, and hence we do not get as many CDs released in frequent intervals. Hopefully the Blu-Ray is promptly made available on Amazon, because after listening to this amazing performance by the Maestro I cannot wait to witness it on video and high definition. For any Volodos fan, this CD is a must buy. New to Volodos' work? No problem! He has already released 7 discs starting with his spectacular Piano Transcriptions / Arcadi Volodos that motivated me to learn to play the piano. This is as good a start as anything he has released. If you're looking for something with orchestra, his renditions of the Rach. Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky No. 1 are breathtaking. The Maestro is not scared of making his own arrangements of known pieces, and he does so with musical genious that has not been seen/listened to since Vladimir Horowitz' days. Cannot wait for the next CD! Don't be long, Arcadi."
More Magnificent Playing from the Greatest Living Pianist
JMB1014 | USA | 02/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arcadi Volodos never ceases to be spellbinding. I have been scanning the internet every month since his last CD, of Liszt, appeared in 2007, waiting for his next one. This recording, made live at a concert in Vienna, is yet another example of his breathtaking musicianship and exquisite interpretive prowess. Volodos combines the technique of Horowitz or Pollini with the insight and sensitivity of Richter, yet young as he is, he somehow seems to transcend them. I want to hear what he sounds like in his seventies.
The concert in this 2-CD set displays the kind of expansive vision critics associated with Richter, who was said to be like an eagle in his ability to take in the entire landscape and yet never miss the smallest detail. Volodos also imparts spontaneity despite his formidable control. In the Scriabin, especially the delicious Prelude, Op. 37/1, and the encore (Feuillet d' Album, Op. 45/1), he plays with the most ethereal expression. His Liszt, by contrast, recalls the titanic power of the composer himself. And with Schumann he is always at home, giving a lyrical interpretation to the Waldszenen that is thoroughly in keeping with the spirit of a composer who was as competent writing for voice as for the piano. The encores are priceless as well. Speaking of price, there are two CD's here, which makes this a good deal. The sound moreover, is excellent.
The only reservation I have is that sometimes (especially early on), the Ravel felt percussive, or bordering on precious - more like Prokofiev or Scriabin than Ravel. Nevertheless, it is a tribute to Volodos' genius that this does not mar the performance, but rather gives one something new and fascinating to chew on, and reason to play the Ravel again. As the piece went on, however, I found myself clinging to each note (as he did), wanting to drink every drop, savor every bit of sound. Volodos displays a range of impressions that is beyond what most pianists are able to command. Every note demands the listener's rapt attention, and rewards it. These sounds will haunt you for days, perhaps forever."
Artistic maturity of Volodos
P. Adrian | Arad, Romania | 04/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The stunning virtuosity of Arcadi Volodos turned him into a genuine celebrity overnight. That happened more than a decade ago when the musical world was taken by surprise to discover a new genius of the piano in his (young then) person. Ever since Volodos continues to enchant audiences worldwide, being greeted as a keyboard-wizard for whom none of the technical difficulties in the most demanding scores seems an unsurpassable issue. The large-scale repertories from his native Russia (such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev or Scriabin) are always the core of his dazzling performances imbued with soulfulness, with deep sense of conveying emotions by means of a highly virtuosic finger-work.
Coming of age, Volodos (who is now 38) has discovered progressively the charming depths of Liszt's glittering output and masterfully exploited this new territory. Not only offered a series of internationally acclaimed Liszt recitals, but he also recorded a few years ago an entire CD devoted to the music of that unrivalled maestro of Romanticism.
Volodos admirers are given now a new occasion to celebrate his craftsmanship. He recorded last year in Vienna a live recital gathering different styles, different epochs and even different moods and feelings. From Schumann and Liszt to Scriabin and Ravel his fresh and robust approach amazes ceaselessly. We have in this recent album from Volodos the confirmation that his breath-taking renditions have gained lately a subtle and refined musicianship that enhances the riveting effect of his performances. If I had to choose, of course Liszt's "Dante Sonata" is the climax of this recording. Volodos simply enthralls his Viennese audience and - through this recording - us too. Five stars!