Some two decades ago, Evgeny Kissin emerged on the international platform as the unmatched child prodigy of the famous Russian piano school. From his very first concerts, his dazzling virtuosity amazed audiences worldwide and allowed him to develop a top performing career. Still a teenager, he instantly became a piano superstar, being invited to perform along with the most famous orchestras in the world (such as Berlin, Vienna, New York, London, Sankt Petersburg or Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, `Philharmonia' London, Boston Symphony, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London Symphony) under legendary conductors (among them Karajan, Maazel, Ozawa, Abbado, Giulini, Mehta, Muti, Barenboim, Sir Georg Solti, Ashkenazy, Jansons, Sir Colin Davis, Gergiev, Levine, Temirkanov, and many others). Prestigious international festivals have ever since hosted his sold-out recitals. Renowned labels have been restlessly issuing sparkling recordings featuring this uneven keyboard talent.
Now in his thirties, losing none of his phenomenal technical skills but deepening his insight and enriching the musical side of his renditions, Evgeny Kissin is regarded as one of the major artists for ages, a soloist in great demand with all major musical venues where always his appearances are eagerly anticipated. The CD under consideration here is such an example, taken live from the Verbier festival in 2004, as Kissin offered to a great acclaim an all-Chopin programme comprising Polonaises and Impromptus. What one can note listening to this recording (mastered with great care for the sound by RCA Red Seal technicians) is that - coming of age - Kissin's playing gained a mellow grandeur proving a fabulous laying in the Chopinesque mood, a compelling sense of this wonderful music throughout. And, not last, a genuine pleasure to play such a great music. A vivid display of forces - consisting of bold arpeggios, daunting chords, incredible runs on the keyboard, a well balanced rubato - is put by Kissin in the service of this wondrous music by the Polish bard. The Polonaises effectively overwhelm the listener with fabulous tensions and glaring fireworks, interspersing prowess and grief solace in patriotic upsurges (how can be otherwise regarded the mighty and haunting Polonaise `Heroique' op. 53 with its uplifting themes). The Impromptus, on the other hand, are delicate confessions, rather exercises or playful explorations of sweet harmonies and fresh melodic lines. What a marvel the Fantasie-Impromptu in Kissin's hands!
Don't miss this enchanting recording by Kissin, a truly souvenir from Verbier Festival!