Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Evgeni Koroliov Plays Prokofiev

Born in 1949, Evgeni Koroliov is another fine pianist from that seemingly inexhaustible pool of talent nurtured in the old Soviet hothouse by Heinrich Neuhaus, Lev Oborin and the rest. Less publicised than many of his contemporaries, he has made a speciality of the music of Bach, winning the admiration of no less a figure than Gyorgy Ligeti for his performances of The Art of Fugue ; our own reviewer, the late Lionel Salter, was similarly impressed (Tacet, 1/00). Like so many Russian executants of his generation, Koroliov has an iron-clad technique, but he is unusual in that he would seem to favour a relatively narrow, contained sonority that you may (or may not) find a refreshing change in this repertoire.
In the innovative, acerbic Sarcasms, Koroliov eschews flamboyant gestures in the interests of exceptional clarity of articulation. His Visions fugitives are just as finely chiselled, unstable only in so far as he is eager to point up their fleeting, transient nature. Pianists like Emil Gilels — there are eight superb Visions from him included in the Great Pianists of the 20th Century series (Philips, 6/99) — have tended to ‘firm up’ these exquisite miniatures, imparting a luminous depth and solidity you won’t find here. The concluding selection of gavottes, including transcriptions drawn from the Classical Symphony and the Cinderella ballet score, is presumably designed to help the present disc feel more like a live recital. As such, the programme may cut across the planning of the more organised collector. Nevertheless, it is instructive to hear a lucid alternative to the racy, big-boned tendency in works like the (revised) Fifth Piano Sonata. Boris Berman is no slouch there either, and his account of its bluesy second movement is only marginally slower than Koroliov’s. So it is in part the quality of the sound that makes the difference. Tacet’s house style is more sharply focused than we are used to these days. Listening through headphones, my initial impression was that the microphones were placed a little close. I now feel that the results are faithful, and not, after all, without a certain warmth.'
David Gutman

Source :

Evgeni Koroliov
Serguei Prokofiev


Sarcasmes, Op. 17
1 I. Tempestoso  2:10
2 II. Allegro rubato  1:39
3 III. Allegro precipitato  1:56
4 IV. Smanioso  2:18
5 V. Precipitosissimo  3:34

6 Visions fugitives, Op. 22  23:02
N° 1. Lentamente - N° 2. Andante - N° 3. Allegretto - N° 4. Animato - Più sostento
N° 5. Molto giocoso - N° 6. Con eleganza - N° 7. "Arpa" Pittoresco - N° 8. Commodo - Meno mosso
N° 9. Allegretto tranquillo - N° 10. Ridicolosamente - N° 11. Con vivacità - N° 12. Assai moderato
N° 13. Allegretto - N° 14. Feroce - N° 15. Inquieto - N° 16. Dolente - N° 17. Poetico
N° 18. Con una dolce lentezza - N° 19. Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuato - N° 20. Lento

Piano Sonata n° 5, Op. 38/135
7 I. Allegro tranquillo  5:59
8 II. Andantino  4:28
9 III. Un poco allegretto  4:57

10 Dance, Op. 32, n° 1 (from Four Pieces)  2:39
11 Gavotte, Op. 32, n° 3 (from Four Pieces)  1:28
12 Gavotte, Op. 25 (from Classical Symphony)  1:24
13 Gavotte (from Three Pieces, Op. 95)  2:28


Evgeni Koroliov -p

Recorded at Festeburgkirche, Frankfurt ; 1992


Melanchthon said...

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

More fantastic!! More thanks Mel

jm said...

The "Sarcasms" are entirely new to me. Eager to hear them. Reading much on Prokofiev's Russia these days, thinking and feeling Shostakovich about it all, perhaps the "Sarcasms" will be mood medicine for when I want it. Thank you very much, in any case.

theblueamos said...

Thank you from Jerusalem. I don't know this one.I'm sure it"s great.

Olde Edo said...

Thanks for this performance. Nice to hear an interpretation of the complete Visions fugitives.