Stingray Classica

Denis Matsuev

 

Rachmaninoff Piano Concert0 No. 2

Playing Rachmaninoff in St Petersburg is Dennis Matsuev.

The first amazing item I noticed in him was his fingers.

It is traditional for concert pianists to have noticeably long fingers

to enable them to span the distance between

two ivory keys with ease.

Matsuev  have  short and stubby fingers

which may have been responsible for his inability

to sustain notes a trifle longer.

As a result, some passages which require romantic expressions

turn out to be a bit hurried

as if whispering sweet nothings to the object of romance

become hurried and spiritless enterprise.

This catastrophe is well displayed in the second movement.

In composition, the second movement

is where the conversation between the audience and the pianist is initiated.

When started, the pianist must hold the audience in rapture towards

the third movement, or the recapitulation.

Denis missed this cue but preferred instead

to wow his audience with technical prowess.

And this he did with his flying fingers.

It sometimes appeared

that his fingers move faster than the eye could follow.

Still, I miss the romantic rapture

that this concerto is supposedly endowed with.

Incidentally, from the Third Movement

is where the theme for the song

“Full Moon and Empty Arms” is derived.

Probably Denis would perform his best

if he plays the compositions of Franz Liszt

such as the Hungarian Rhapsodies or the Etudes,

but not, of course,

the “Un Suspiro” nor the “Consolation No. 3”

These pieces are for the desperately romantics.