October 6th, 2011
“On the basis of this performance of the Third Concerto, a thrilling journey is on the cards, for it was the Prokofiev that towered above anything else in this programme…
Where the Prokofiev was concerned, Kozhukhin’s fiery, firm-handed presence was the defining factor in shaping a performance of extraordinary power and drive. There was subtlety in the shading of its bittersweet lyricism, and lustre in its flamboyant hard-bitten irony.
Kozhukhin’s BBC series looks set to be unmissable.”
– The Scotsman
“Tackling all five Prokofiev Piano Concertos in one season is a hefty ask for any pianist, let alone a 25-year old who is having to learn most of them from scratch. But judging by Thursday’s first instalment of the cycle the BBC SSO has chosen well.
The first is often characterised as the cheeriest of the lot, but as in all Prokofiev there’s a sense that things aren’t quite as they seem. Denis Kozhukhin went for that sardonic smirk below the breezy surface: lyricism laced with steel, articulation precise enough to honour Prokofiev’s love of classical clarity and suitably throwaway to avoid sounding earnest. Earlier, he described the piano’s relationship with the orchestra in these concertos as a fight, but his playing steered more toward cheeky understatement than machismo or patriotic grandstanding.”
– The Herald