Music for the composer

February 2000 
Written by I. Egorova
Computer translation from Russian to English, edited by Valour

On Sunday, February 20, in the hall of the Scientific Institute, there were no empty seats. To Sarov came an international celebrity, a brilliant pianist who had previously visited Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Brazil.... It is easier to list the countries where he has not been. At 27, Nikolai Lugansky is the winner of numerous Russian and international competitions. He is known as an extraordinary ensemble player and a fine interpreter of chamber music. His repertoire includes works of different styles and epochs from Bach up to modern composers. This is Nikolai's fourth time in Sarov and he has not disappointed on any of his visits to the city. 

There is a grateful public here. People come to a concert not to keep up appearances, but for the sake of the music. 

" Music is everything! " you start to think, as you see Nikolai in serious concentration, immersed in a melody. It is surprising, that such a delicate young man, in concert, creates with his fingers this magical force which seems to totally captivate the hall. The young graduate of the Moscow Conservatory performed the 24 Preludes of Chopin, and three works from The SeasonsAt Kamelka , Harvest and Troika

In the hall of The House of Scientists were heard eleven scenes from the ballet suite The Sleeping Beauty  by Tchaikovsky-Pletnev. As an encore, Nikolai, with pleasure, performed a Nocturne and a Chopin Etude, finishing his performance of one of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words . The people of Sarov thanked the famous performer with their applause and flowers. 

It would be desirable to remember him this way: the young pianist with a smile of contentment, poised before a magnificent grand piano, on whose sloping black case shiver gentle pink carnations and bright red roses. 


IE: Nikolai, in the first part of the concert it seemed to me, that in your playing was nedoskazannost [reserve, understatement] . 

NL: I think that the essence of Chopin's romantic miniatures is that the composer tries to answer eternal, unanswerable questions. So, rather, it is not my manner of performance, but the composer's ideas. 

IE: In one of your interviews you said that compared with the composer, the performer is not so important. If you feel that way, why don't you write music ? 

NL: Until I was nine years old, I wrote small pieces.  But then I realized that all the ingenious things were written already before my time, and that it is better to try to understand the classics.

Critics note, that in performance Lugansky is distinguished by his aspiration to convey the deepest intentions and moods of the composer. Apart from that, his playing astounds experts with its strong individuality, freshness, and absence of any mannerisms. " I have never heard a more perfect performance of Tchaikovsky. The great talent and long years of persistent work can be felt here.", one of Sarovsky piano lovers said after a concert .

IE: Nikolai, we hope, this is not the last time we will see you?

NL: I think, over the next two years, I shall come here again.

IE: What do you wish for the people of Sarov ?

NL: I wish that you may hear as much fine music as possible.

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