It’s hard to imagine a pianist’s performance that is so utterly polished, yet spontaneous and endlessly imaginative. Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov’s performance at Carnegie Hall wasn't just solid, it wasn’t just excellent. It was a performance of legends.
Winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award, Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, a champion of the concerto repertoire, a collaborator at the keyboard in chamber music and song, and a composer. The Times (UK) calls Trifonov “without question the most astounding pianist of our age.”
Last season, Daniil Trifonov was the youngest artist ever to curate a Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall.
This performance was a showcase of why he should be a household name like Pavarotti. The case was made again and again during the 2+ hour recital on Saturday night. The evening’s program included Beethoven’s Andante in F Major, WoO 57 ("Andante favori") and Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3; Schumann’s Bunte Blätter and Presto passionate; and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major. His encores included Prokofiev’s Allegro rubato and Allegro precipitato from Sarcasms, Op. 17, Nos. 2 and 3; and Chopin’s Largo from Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65.
The most impressive aspect of his playing is the range and diversity of colors he elicits from the piano. The program imbued an experience that reached great heights and depths of thematic and aesthetic harmony. The romanticism and speed of the first half of the evening came up against the powerful yet slow-moving Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 8. Yet, Trifonov made it all make sense.
His strong playing drew the audience in, not allowing the mind to wander but focus on the notes, the music, and the beauty of the performance. Most pianists do a decent job sounding “beautiful”, but Daniil takes beauty to god-like proportions.
Did you miss this performance? You can listen to the replay of this entire concert, made possible from medici.tv. It is available through May 9.