Alexander Melnikov – Four pianos, Four Pieces (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:19:18 minutes | 1,27 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi

“Four oeuvres, four pianos” might be a better way of looking at the cover of this album by Alexander Melnikov: Schubert is played on a (simply stunning) Viennese Graf fortepiano from around 1835, Chopin on an Érard grand piano from 1837, Liszt on a Bösendorfer from 1875 and Stravinsky on a modern-day Steinway – the only work which is not played on an instrument contemporary to its composition, as Petrushka dates from 1911, and most certainly not from 2014 like the Steinway in question! The differences between the four instruments are not immediately obvious, but Melnikov’s project is to demonstrate just how closely art and instrument follow one another: the Wanderer Fantasy benefits from the clarity of the Graf fortepiano which, while it lacks powerful volume, offers a startling palette of different sounds for the artist to explore. Chopin’s twelve Études Op. 10 on the Érard – still within a few years of the Graf – increased the power of the sound in particular, but at the cost of reducing the range of colours in the palette. With the Réminiscences de Don Juan by Liszt, the Bösendorfer unleashes real pianistic thunderbolts, which almost overshadows the content! Finally, Petrushka on the Steinway takes us back into a rather more familiar territory. This is a concept of pairing from Melnikov, whose fondness for historical instruments is well-known.

01. Fantasie in C Major, D. 760: I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
02. Fantasie in C Major, D. 760: II. Adagio
03. Fantasie in C Major, D. 760: III. Presto
04. Fantasie in C Major, D. 760: IV. Allegro
05. Etudes, Op. 10: 1. Etude in C Major
06. Etudes, Op. 10: 2. Etude in A Minor
07. Etudes, Op. 10: 3. Etude in E Major
08. Etudes, Op. 10: 4. Etude in C Sharp Minor
09. Etudes, Op. 10: 5. Etude in G-Flat Major
10. Etudes, Op. 10: 6. Etude in E-Flat Minor
11. Etudes, Op. 10: 7. Etude in C Major
12. Etudes, Op. 10: 8. Etude in F Major
13. Etudes, Op. 10: 9. Etude in F Minor
14. Etudes, Op. 10: 10. Etude in A-Flat major
15. Etudes, Op. 10: 11. Etude in E-Flat Major
16. Etudes, Op. 10: 12. Etude in C Minor
17. Réminiscences de Don Juan, S. 418: I. Grave
18. Réminiscences de Don Juan, S. 418: II. Duetto. Andantino
19. Réminiscences de Don Juan, S. 418: III. Variazione 1
20. Réminiscences de Don Juan, S. 418: IV. Variazione 2. Tempo giusto
21. Réminiscences de Don Juan, S. 418: V. Quasi Presto. Tempo deciso
22. Trois mouvements de Petrouchka: I. Danse russe
23. Trois mouvements de Petrouchka: II. Chez Pétrouchka
24. Trois mouvements de Petrouchka: III. La Semaine grasse

Alexander Melnikov, piano