In the second of his recordings for Linn, charismatic pianist Simon Trpčeski performs Shostakovich’s two Piano Concertos with the outstanding Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava under Orchestre National de France’s new Musical Director Cristian Măcelaru.
Shostakovich’s impish First Piano Concerto exudes the carefree attitude and sassy swagger of the young composer, and proves a perfect match with Simon’s playful pianism and Andrei Kavalinsky’s thundering trumpet. Written as a birthday present (and what a present!) for the composer’s son Maxim, the Second Piano Concerto is an uncharacteristically light-hearted piece given the doom and gloom of the time. Simon’s fiendish virtuosity and musical intelligence revel in this energetic piano favourite.
As a generous encore, Makedonissimo’s violinist Aleksandar Krapovski and cellist Alexander Somov join Simon for Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2. A must have album!
Simon Trpčeski / ONYX Classics
Prokofiev / Mussorgsky / Rimsky-Korsakov
Welcome to my new CD “Tales from Russia”, released by ONYX Classics, with the inspiring music by Prokofiev, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, rarely heard on piano.
Simon Trpčeski presents a fascinating programme of Russian classics, two of which are heard in unfamiliar guises as works for solo piano – Mussorgsky’ Night on a Bare Mountain, in the arrangement by Rimsky, and then the latter’s Sheherazade. The programme starts with Prokofiev’s delightful ‘Tales of the Old Gramdmother’. Trpčeski’s new album is a pianistic tour de force and will delight pianophiles!
The chief draw on this release by Simon Trpčeski is the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10, composed while Sergey Prokofiev was still a student in St. Petersburg. Prokofiev thought highly enough of the work to premiere it in Moscow himself, and indeed it’s a student work of the best kind, brash and overflowing with confidence. Consider and sample the broad opening and, after about a minute, the angular music, a kind of second theme, seems as though it comes from an entirely different composition and dares you to imagine how it can be integrated with the opening.
Simon Trpčeski performs a stunning programme, recorded live at Wigmore Hall, opening with Brahms’s melancholic 3 Intermezzi, ‘the cradle songs of my sufferings’ as the composer once called them, a charming and varied selection showcasing Trpčeski’s sensitivity and delicate expression.
Ravel’s eclectic Valses et sentimentales, a dissonant and passionate chain of lilting dances, lie at the heart of this album. The performance concludes with the thrilling Toccata from Poulenc’s Trois pièces, a brilliant demonstration of Trpčeski’s colourful and virtuosic playing.
‘The piano part is a strenuous workout for the soloist. Mr Trpceski admirably conquered its myriad technical difficulties, which surpass that of the First Concerto. He played with virtuoso panache in the many bravura passages and with an elegant touch in more introverted moments.’ – New York Times
‘It is not simply that Simon Trpceski has a phenomenal technique. Crucially he has the musical intelligence to know how to apply it and at the same can convey such joy in doing so.’ – The Daily Telegraph
With repertoire rich in nods towards a folk hinterland, Trpčeski’s programme for this Wigmore Hall Live CD draws strongly on his deep immersion in national traditions of music and dance throughout his childhood. Schubert’s tuneful 16 German Dances pave the way to what is arguably the composer’s most virtuosic sonata, his ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy. Almost symphonic in scale, Trpčeski’s emphatically energetic performance here unleashes an emotional outpouring.
Simon Trpčeski’s recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos 2 & 3 was one of the most acclaimed and best-selling classical releases of
2010, reaching the Top 10 of Billboard s Classical Chart and winning a Diapason d’or. His frequent collaborations with Vasily Petrenko
and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are justly celebrated, and now the two complete the Rachmaninov canon with this
highly anticipated follow-up.
It’s possible to admire Simon Trpčeski’s bravura performances of Sergey Rachmaninov’s piano concertos No. 2 and No. 3 because this pianist brings so much passion, character, and brilliance to his playing. Accompanied by Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Trpčeski throws all of his energy and élan into the solo part, and his vitality carries these extremely familiar concertos along, where a lesser pianist might not have made them sound as convincing.
This disc offers colorful, persuasive, and technically accomplished readings of many of Debussy’s best pre-1910 works. He is equally at home in the charming, early Arabesques, the touching and often humorous vignettes of Children’s Corner , the masterful colorism of the Images , and the striking virtuosity of L’isle joyeuse .
From Simon Trpčeski, Chopin’s music boils with a Heathcliff-like defiance. Here is no drawing-room dandy but a composer who truly rages against the dying of the light. Yet just as awe replaces critical scrutiny when faced with Trpčeski’s formidable mastery, you remember how such towering virtuosity is complemented by an equally remarkable refinement. If few pianists have stormed the Second Sonata’s first movement more heroically, even fewer have played the Funeral March’s central Elysian Trio with such poise and concentration.
Simon Trpčeski’s second CD is solo piano works of Rachmaninov, mixing some of the composer’s transcriptions with some of his Preludes and concluding with the Sonata No. 2. Trpčeski certainly has the technical skills to handle the virtuosic writing, but he shows signs of good musical judgment. Trpčeski does recognize the value of contrast and tension in Rachmaninov’s compositions, such as in the Prelude, Op. 32/2, which alternates slow and fast passages, and which he handles adeptly.
The whole disc creates a picture of an exceptional young talent in all its freshness and sense of enjoyment.
This disc amply justifies the enthusiasm his playing has so far engendered – it’s a magnificent recording debut.
The spacious acoustic enhances Trpčeski’s radiant sound while preserving the sharp clarity of his articulation.