Today, Evgeny Kissin is 40. I listen to his recent release - a twofer comprising a collection of some of his most remarkable Liszt accounts on disc during the years. It asserts thoroughly for his keyboard wizardry and uncanny musical gifts. I must confess his recordings - and his live appearances as well - always exert a fabulous halo, a kind of musical flamboyance that enraptures his audiences. You may resonate with them or not, but you can't ignore them. They never let you aloof, but challenge your musical disposition. What a meaningful virtuosity and mighty musicianship does Kissin put in these finger-bending lisztian oeuvres! Take, for instance, the five Transcendental Etudes S 139 included in this compilation (especially, No.10 & No.8 "Wilde Jagd") or the sparkling transcriptions after Schubert (full of lovely melodies and effective embellishments)!
Spanning almost twenty years, these recordings (some of them live captures) prove that Kissin's youthful pianism still exhibits an unfailingly playfulness and a seductive sense of grandeur, in the style of the old-times Russian virtuosos. In this anniversary Liszt year (200 years since his birth), RCA Red Seal label pays an affectionate tribute to the great romantic composer by issuing a wondrous compilation signed by one of the greatest living pianists.
Deep bow, Franz Liszt! Happy birthday Zhenya!