Review Roundup: Daniil Trifonov's Second PERSPECTIVES Concert at Carnegie Hall - What Did The Critics Think?

Review Roundup: Daniil Trifonov's Second PERSPECTIVES Concert at Carnegie Hall - What Did The Critics Think?Daniil Trifonov's performance with the Mariinsky Orchestra was part of his Perspectives concert series, which continues on February 6. The next Perspectivs concert will feature baritone Matthais Goerne singing Berg's Four Songs, Op.2; Schumann's Dichterliebe; Wolf's Three Poems of Michelangelo; selections from Shostakovich's Suite, Op. 145; and Brahms's Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121.

Daniil Trifonov made his Carnegie Hall debut in a performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Valery Gergievand the Mariinsky Orchestra. He reunites with them for another composer's first concerto-his own. Trifonov's Piano Concerto has pianistic flash, but also introspection and great tenderness. Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6 looks inward too-especially in the anguished central Largo-but also excites with powerful outer movements. Strauss's Don Juan is pure excitement: Sumptuously scored, brilliantly melodic, it's the tone poem that propelled him to the front rank of composers.

The performers Wednesday night included the Mariinsky Orchestra, music director and conductor Valery Gergiev, and pianist Daniil Trifonov.

Let's see what the critics had to say!

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times: The musical language, though thick with chromatic harmony and spiked with dissonance, is unapologetically tonal. Within his chosen style, though, Mr. Trifonov demonstrates undeniable skills as a composer. Recurring motifs bring structural cohesion to a 32-minute, three-movement score that on the surface sounds impetuous and mercurial... Even Mr. Trifonov, who can play most anything written for the piano, seemed tested by the stupefying challenges of his own work. Throwing his whole body behind fortissimo chords, he almost rose up, like a Russian Little Richard.

David Patrick Stearns, WQXR: As piano soloist, Trifonov was in particularly demonic form, especially in a long cadenza near the end that wanted to out-crazy Shostakovich. In a way, Trifonov is a throwback to the late 19th century when titans of the piano often wrote their own concerto vehicles. On that level, the piano concerto did its job by achieving a partial standing ovation. You could call it a success. You could also call it bewildering.

George Grella, New York Classical Review: Trifonov's playing has distinguished itself in his young career by the brilliance of his thinking-he brings new ideas to the standard repertory and draws out new experiences. That he has thrilling technique is secondary. Wednesday, technique was pretty much all Trifonov had. The performance did bring a substantial portion of the audience to their feet, but for this listener it brought to mind a scene of deader-than-dead-pan hilarity in Aki Kaurismäki's La Vie de Bohème, when Schaunard invites his friends over to hear "my new composition."

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