Feb 17, 2023
London, UNITED KINGDOM - Barbican
RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
w/ BBC Symphony Orchestra
Hannu Lintu, conductor
December 15th, 2011
“This was remarkable; a performance of such rare quality it is difficult to light on vocabulary that might define the experience.
It might be said that soloist Denis Kozhukhin’s performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 2 was powerful, or characterful, or emotional, or personable, or (as was certainly the case) that it was all of the above.
There could be some mileage in recounting the audience’s stunned reaction as Kozhukhin wrestled with and overcame passage after furious passage, gathering tension as he went by virtue of the sheer physical strain required to realise the notes Prokofiev put on the page.
Kozhukhin should also be praised for adding stresses and quirks to the second movement, showing it to be something approaching the scherzo claimed by its title; for his phrasing in the Intermezzo which confirmed that short, fast notes do not necessarily signify lighthearted frivolity; and in particular for the terrifying sorrow he conveyed in the melody which dominates the closing movement.”
The Scotsman, December 2011
“The performance of Prokofiev Two by the amazing pianist Denis Kozhukhin with the BBC SSO and conductor Martyn Brabbins was more than an astonishing performance: it was an account that made total sense of the piece, and was completely revealing of the music itself – always the ultimate test of a great version…
The performance was dynamite: explosive and volatile, with phenomenal playing from Kozhukhin, but all within a lucidly defined context and structure.
Everything locked into place, from the tiny opening cell to the huge frame of the four-movement monster. The event was an exemplar of its type; nothing less than that.”
Herald Scotland, December 2011