P0069. EVGENY KISSIN in Concert, w.Kitaenko, Spivakov & Gergiev Cond. 4-Brilliant 92118. Out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 502842211824
“This set is described as being from historic recordings from the Russian Archives. Being as the recordings date from the 1980s one can be understandably sceptical about the over-used epithet ‘historic’. But in this case the description ‘historic’ is altogether justified. These four discs document the development of one of the most remarkable pianistic talents of our time. The discs span the years 1983 to 1989, covering Evgeny Kissin’s development as a pianist from the age of 11 to 17. They include the recording of the famous concert, in March 1984, when Kissin, then aged 12, played both the Chopin piano concertos. It was this concert which brought him to international prominence. What was truly remarkable about his talent was not his dexterity, phenomenal though that was, but his stupendously developed emotional response to the music. The music on this disc just does not sound as if it was being played by a twelve year old child. His talent does appear almost fully formed from the outset; he is possessed of remarkable strength and a wonderfully strong singing line….And throughout the disc Kissin displays a heart-stopping pianistic range.
This strength and ability to play loudly are on display in the opening of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. Recorded shortly before his 16th birthday, for this recording he has the support of the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Between them, Gergiev and Kissin create a stunning opening. Kissin is one of those rare pianists who possess the strength and cunning to be able to play expressively whilst playing loudly….But, you have to keep on telling yourself, he is not quite 16….The discs conclude with a stupendous performance of the Chopin Piano Sonata by the 17 year old Kissin.
These discs are essential listening for anyone interested in the development of fine pianism. None of the recordings is a library choice, but as the testament to the development of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable pianists they should be on everyone’s library shelves.”
- Robert Hugill, musicweb-international