Tuesday, 31 August 2021

A joy to behold: Evgeny Kissin on a roll at the Salzburg Festival

Saturday 14 August 2021
Reviewed from online stream Saturday 28 August 2021
(available at Arte here)

Alban Berg (1885-1935): Piano Sonata No. 1


Tikhon Khrennikov (1913-2007): Dance, Op. 5 No. 3

                                                    Five Pieces for Piano, Op. 2


George Gershwin (1898-1937): Three Preludes


Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): Nocturne in B major, Op. 62 No. 1

                                                Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29

                                                Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp major, Op. 36

                                                Impromptu No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 51

                                                Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20

                                                Polonaise in A flat major, ‘Heroic’, Op. 53



Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847): ‘Duetto’, Songs Without Words Op. 38 No. 6

Evgeny Kissin (b.1971): Dodecaphonic Tango, from Four Piano Pieces, Op. 1

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31

Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Suite bergamasque, L.75 No. 3, ‘Claire de lune’

Evgeny Kissin
© Salzburg Festival/Marco Borelli
'The beaming smiles when he takes a bow – and his multiple encores – let you know that, despite the concentration, he is having a great time, and we are part of that'.

'Over one and three quarter hours playing is a feat of memory at the very least, but to maintain momentum, energy and concentration, taking a rapt audience with him all the way is something extraordinary'

'It was the intensity of his playing that captivated; the whirlwind of dark energy and thrashing chords in the Scherzo no. 1and the ringing pedalling and virtuosic final section of the second Impromptu were breathtaking'.

'After all the dramatic intensity, he ended with a masterstroke, with the calm stillness of Debussy’s Clair de lune'.

Read my full review on Bachtrack here.

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