Light-filled brilliance

From Wienerzeitung, 27 November 2002
Written by Herbert Müller
Translated from the original German by E. Lumpe
Edited by
the webmaster

Vadim Repin began his beautifully programmed violin evening with a splendid piece for warming-up: Schumann's Sonata in A Minor. The 31-year-old Russian artist played it principally in a noble, lyrical way,  without overloading its content; only in the very rapid final movement did he let his brilliance shine out. At the piano his compatriot Nikolai Lugansky, one year his junior, was completely in accord with him and played on the highest level as well.

Naturally Prokofiev's Violin Sonata in F Minor received the virtuoso treatment. From the expressive side - the "Russian wildness" - to the tender, tension-filled cantabile, everything was presented in a lively, virtuoso manner which was, at the same time, rock solid. There was absolute certainty of fingering, an elegant bow technique and a sonorous tone with neither any hint of obtrusiveness nor fashionable understatement. Lugansky rivaled him for beauty of tone - and Repin played a Stradivarius after all!

Anyway, glory and honor to his name! Here is a musician who has the courage to also play the unwieldy, the unpopular. Otherwise he would not have played Schönberg's Fantasy for violin and piano op. 47. Yet if twelve-tone music is presented so  lucidly and, together with Lugansky, so transparently and with such a fine musical mind, such "truth does not ask too much of people".

Afterwards they went back to the early Romantic period. With elfin fingers, Lugansky began to play Schubert's Fantasy in C Major (including variations on Oh du Entriss'ne mir). Repin responded, as if meditating, until the entire performance was filled with light and brilliance. What an ending!