Chopin Preludes

From Daily Telegraph, 20 April 2002
Review by Geoffrey Norris

In a strongly contested field, Nikolai Luganskyís Chopin-playing commands special attention for its emotional range and its exquisite sensitivity. You only have to listen to the wistful way in which he shapes the opening bars of the A flat major Ballade to appreciate that he is a pianist of genuine musical soul as well as a phenomenal technique.

Artistic values are paramount here as the work opens out into stormier vistas, Lugansky has all the dynamism to match its passion, but there is always the sense that he is keeping perspective in view.

The musicís shape and proportions are finely measured and, as in the three Nocturnes, the playing combines fluency and lambent lyricism with an intense expressiveness felt from within.

The same is true of this whole recital, which has at its core the 24 Preludes Op.28. Whether reflective or expansive, the moods are wonderfully encapsulated.

With its blend of freshness, poise and mature insight, this really is playing to treasure.

The Nikolai Lugansky Website