Classical album by Frederic Chopin and Nikolai Lugansky
Nikolai Lugansky was the favorite pupil of the lateTatiana Nikolayeva, the great Russian Bach player at the Moscow Conservatory. At the age of 16, he took second prize in the 1988 Leipzig Bach Competition; two years later, second in the Rachmaninov Competition; … see full wiki
Warning: Nikolai Lugansky can be habit forming! Having been favorably impressed with his recordings of Rachmaninov brought me to this recoding of the Chopin Études. While there are many pianists able to convey the poetry inherent in Chopin's works, few are able to match the sheer virtuosity of this magic-fingered Lugansky. His technique is simply astonishing and he is able to traverse Chopin's diabolically difficult passages a though they were simple nursery rhymes.
While some my quibble that Lugansky elects keyboard facility over drama, those listeners need to spend more time with his style. Entirely in keeping with the Romantic period of pianism, Lugansky plays all the notes correctly but infuses his passages of liquid speed with artful phrasing. There is all the poetry others have achieved but with seemingly less work: it just flows out of the music with ease. This is a pianist whose career, though firmly established, is destined to flourish. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 05