Jun 11, 2023
Lille Piano Festival – Recital
Lille, FRANCE – Le Nouveau Siècle
BOULEZ Sonata No. 1
SCHUBERT Sonata in B-flat Major D 960
Jul 8, 2023
Lanaudière International Festival
Montreal, CANADA - Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Payare, director
February 18th, 2014
Amsterdam Concertgebouw Master Pianists Series / Brahms, Prokofiev, Haydn, Liszt
“By his final encore, the audience was lying at the feet of Denis Kozhukhin, a 27-year old pianist from Russia, who looked around cheerfully, as if it didn’t cost him any effort at all…
Kozhukhin has already shown that he belongs to the vanguard of pianists…
He started the recital with a dynamic interpretation of Haydn’s Sonata no. 59, a delightful piece, which in the first movement has this musical theme that pops up in very unexpected and different harmonic moments. Although the modern Steinway instruments are mainly too heavy for this music, Kozhukhin succeeded in making it sound crystal clear, open and did justice to Haydn’s esprit.
Kozhukhin also explored the classical side of the composer in his performance of Brahms’s first Sonata, staying well balanced even in the expansive finale which tends towards being a Galopp. More staggering was Kozhukhin’s performance Prokofiev’s ninth Sonata, a piece that constantly refers to tradition, but is also full of schizophrenic harmonies and strange connections between the main melody and the murmuring sounds of the accompaniment.
With Liszt in the second half of the recital, Kozhukhin transformed himself into a romantic piano Lion which, until now, had remained in the background. The piano perfume, the pearly arpeggios and illuminating melodic lines that feature in Liszt’s Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, gave way to powerful, orchestral waves and garlands that were heard in a selection of Etudes d’exécution transcendante…
Kozhukhin certainly must return more often in the Master pianists Series.”
De Volkskrant, five stars, February 2014
“If there is anyone who thinks the the piano music of Liszt consists just of hollow virtuosity, he should come and listen to a recital of the young Russian pianist Denis Kozjoekin. Last Sunday he showed in his debut recital at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam that the music of Liszt consists only of poetry and colour, even in his most technical concert etudes.
In many ways this was the perfect debut of Kozhukhin, who, ever since he won the Elisabeth Competition, has the world lying at his feet. This is because of his flawless technique, combined with a healthy musical approach, intense lyricism and a beautiful touch. On Sunday, he seemed to have as much affinity with Liszt as with his musical counterpart Brahms, whose seldom-heard Sonata no. 1 in C he performed in a monumental way. He knew exactly how to bring out the bigger musical lines in a crystal clear performance, with an ear for the typical dark Brahms sounds and a feeling for melancholy that breaths through the Andante of this sonata. Bravo!”
Trouw, February 2014