Recital review from Le Concertographe,
Written by Gaelle Plasseraud
Translated from the original French by Valour
La Roque d’Antheron
Friday July 28 2000
Parc du Chateau de Florans
Amadeus Mozart: Sonata in major D K 576
Frederic Chopin: Twelve Etudes op. 25
Sergei Rachmaninov: Four Preludes op. 23 (n° 8, n° 9, n° 6, n° 5),
Six musical Moments op. 16
Nikolai Lugansky (piano)
terraces are nearly full. Nikolai Lugansky, whose name is beginning to draw
crowds, presents to Roque d’Anthéron a mastodont programme, both demanding
and virtuosic. From the very start, the pianist distinguishes himself: one gets
accustomed to the acoustics of the open air, and the instrument makes another
sound entirely - powerful and concentrated. Have the cicadas all been killed?
They can no longer be heard.
is almost impassive. He holds himself very straight at the piano, proudly, and
from time to time lifts his eyes calmly to the sky. He plays to the height of
Olympus and manages to reconcile Apollo and Dionysus: he unleashes thunderbolts
within a framework of absolute rigour. The cascades of notes are never muddled.
The profusion is at every moment organized. The technique of this pianist is
incredible and his pallette of sounds, apparently limitless. He adapts to all
the compositions, as fittingly in Mozart as in Rachmaninov.
Chopin Etudes are striking: at no time does the pianist become
breathless. He is armed, technically and musically, for immeasurable distances.
After lightning-quick ascensions, the pianist sometimes lingers at the summit,
contemplating for a moment the horizon before resuming his course. So, all told,
if a measure seems a bit awkward, a bit rigid or not fully exploited, it is with
regard to the incredible effect of what surrounds it.
Solid like a rock, Lugansky comes out of a mould from which few pianists are made. He is above the fray. Whether he be met with enthusiasm or indifference, his sovereignty is undeniable.