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REVIEWS

Mar 15 2022

A powerful Kozhukhin for a brilliant Rachmaninov festival

“The Russian pianist, mentored by Dmitri Bashkirov, presented from the very first moment what his interpretative basis would be. On one hand, a bright, shimmering, majestic sound, overflowing with energy and with the power to solve the chords and octave passages so characteristic of this Second Piano Concerto. On the other hand, an expressive elegance that allowed him to delve into the slow passage of the second movement of the Concerto with a contemplative romantic poetry, beautiful in diction and elegant in the line.”

“Kozhukhin’s temperamental pianism could be reminiscent of Ashkenazy’s, express the magic surrounding Eliso Virsaladze’s versions and even bring us closer to that majestic vision that pianists like Trifonov, Berezowsky, Toradze and Yuja Wang have presented us.”

“Memorable reading of Piano Concerot No. 4 –with the very well-measured orchestral balance–, this interpretative courage and the technical complexities required by this orchestral page came together in a version full of fervor and energy. From Kozhukhin we are captivated by the roundness of sound – a fact closely linked to Bashkirov – but also by the romantic conception and not at all sweetened when facing the slow passages. His articulation has an exact precision (brilliant the last movement) and the vigorous, emboldened conception of this Fourth Piano Concerto, which seduced us by a wide range of sound dynamics achieved with a notorious synchronization with the Barcelona Symphony (conducted by Matthias Pintscher).”

“The Piano Concerto No.1, a seductive work that has a final movement of great technical demand, was brilliant, with a Kozhukhin of millimetric precision in the attacks, very elegant in the phrasing and posing a Rachmaninoff of a great strength, but never overwhelming. His pianism went through a multitude of registers, although the colours he obtained in the third movement seduced us by the explosiveness in the attacks and a volume that transported us to some of his Preludes or Tableaux-Etudes.”

“Fantastic the Barcelona Symphony, as it was on Sunday morning the passionate version that Kozhukhin offered us of the famous and much feared (with permission from the fourth in the series) Piano Concerto No. 3.The Russian pianist was eloquent, determined to continue a vigorous reading and with solo passages full of jumps, octave sequences and chords drums rising grandly throughout the room of the Auditorium. A very powerful version -which reminded us of the legendary Arcadi Volodos – and which maintained a constant magnetism throughout the performance. Kozhukhin never gave up on his momentum, with a good orchestral ensemble, conducted by Kazushi Ono, offering beautiful dialogues with the musicians of the orchestra.”

Read Full Review On RevistaMusical.cat

Jan 30 2020

Denis Kozhukhin, QEH review – lyric mastery and subtle elegance

“In Beethoven anniversary year, there will probably be many more “Moonlight”s, meaning the Sonata, than the real thing (though we’ve been lucky to see the crescent in close conjunction with Venus these past two nights). Not many pianists would dare to place it at the beginning of a programme. Denis Kozhukhin’s paradoxically no-nonsense poetry meant that a constant sense of motion culminated in the whirlwind of the finale, a steady move towards implosion mirrored in the piano transcription of Ravel’s La Valse at the end of the programme. In between came perfection in the form of pure song from Schubert and Grieg.”

Read Full Review On TheArtsDesk.com

Nov 14 2019

Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 / BBC Philharmonic / cond. Joana Carneiro

“In many ways the most appealingly energetic music of the evening came from Denis Kozhukhin, soloist in Mendelssohn’s First PIano Concerto.”
Kozhukhin was the man for this. His technique is phenomenal, with a big tonal range and icily clear articulation, but in the Andante revealing another side to his playing altogether – gentle, full of feeling and aspiration, the cantabile bell-like and crystalline.”

Jul 15 2019

Album review on The Classic Review on “Grieg: Lyric Pieces / Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte”

“You can’t fault pianist Denis Kozhukhin of being one dimensional in regards to his choice of repertoire. After albums with music from the 18th century (Haydn Piano Sonatas), the 19th century (Tchaikovsky and Grieg Concertos, Brahms solo music), and the 20th century (Prokofiev’s “War Sonatas” and Ravel and Gershwin Concertos), comes this release, which offers another, more intimate side to this musician.”
“Kozhukhin’s tone is magical, with each finger creating a different timbre. This is achieved by clever usage of the sustaining pedal, taking advantage of the piano’s long sustain and overtones but more than anything – his sensitive ear to the possibilities of this music.”
“One has to go back to famous accounts by Gilels and Andsnes to experience a performance of such dedication…If you care for each of these two composers, or have any preference for piano music for that matter, go and buy this album.”
Read the full review on The Classic Review.

Jul 12 2019

Album review on NDR Kultur: “Grieg: Lyric Pieces / Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte”

“Kozhukhin impresses with enthusiasm and modest virtuosity as well as depth and intimacy. Especially the singing and simple pieces bring the empathetic side of the young, agile Russian to the surface.”
“Kozhukhin’s clear tone and his natural, non-obtrusive design are also well-suited for Edward Grieg’s “Lyrical Pieces”… With his many attack nuances, Kozhukhin creates a wealth of imaginary images in his head. Rarely have these works been heard so precisely and clearly. Sometimes he celebrates, even dissects every nuance, without losing sight of the big arch – and above all not the sensitivity that goes straight to the heart”

Jun 18 2019

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Vasily Petrenko

“Kozhukhin uses an immaculate technique to keep it all within bounds, only busting out with impressive tirades of double octaves. He’s a pianist who tunes in to what’s going on around him – that was even more evident in a fabulous performance of Prokofiev’s concertante-style Fifth Piano Concerto with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the Ciy of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Basingstoke a month ago. To hear him build Brahms’s elaborate piano treatment of the first movement’s lovely lyrical counter-subject second time around was a masterclass in subtle musicianship. Uniquely crystalline in the Adagio’s more troubled meditation, Kozhukhin was underpinned by silky-strong cellos and basses full of presence. Petrenko knows how to manipulate atmosphere, even if the orchestral introduction nearly fell through sinkholes in its craggy landscape. What a flawless masterpiece this is, though, its endless thematic inventiveness seeming to flow from a pure spring. Kozhukhin took us right back to the source in the ineffable vanishing act of his tiny encore, Grieg’s “Arietta”, announcement of which brought a shriek of approval from what I presume was a Norwegian in the audience.”
Read the full review on TheArtsDesk.com

Jun 18 2019

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Vasily Petrenko

“The classical restraint of Kozhukhin’s metrical precision actually added to the touching pathos. Without pause Kozhukhin launched into the final Rondo, each episode of which was splendidly characterised. The fugal passage was especially ear-catching from the strings, in its quietly creeping Tom ‘n Jerry manner, before the pianist demonstrated just how piquant his decorated version was. The coda let loose its tight succession of exchanges between soloist and band, and this formidable work completed its heroic journey. The tiny encore of Grieg’s Arietta, which Kozhukhin announced to an alarming squeal from (I assume) one of that composer’s compatriots, was as evanescent and inconsequential as the concerto had sounded mighty and enduring.”
Read the full review on Bachtrack.com

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