I sort of have a crush on Nikolai Lugansky. I don't know why, but it probably has something to do with the times I've seen him play Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto because nobody plays that concerto quite like he does. Thankfully the repertoire he usually plays are pieces I LOVE (Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, some excursions into Lizst and Chopin) and he plays in The Netherlands pretty often so I get to see him a few times each year. But before this turns into a rant of why he's so awesome, the reason why I'm writing about him is a CD that he and Vadim Repin released last year, with violin sonatas by Janáĉek, Grieg and Franck.
This CD is seriously one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard. Every single movement of the three sonatas is incredible, the playing and phrasing is beyond comparison. And I'm pretty sure I'm not just saying this because I was already a fan of these two musicians (Repin plays a mean Shostakovich concerto and reminds me of Vincent d'Onofrio in a big-teddybear-but-so-intimidating kinda way, so of course I love him). Anyway, as usual, I want to share the love. So here are some excerpts from the CD:
Leos Janáĉek - Sonata for Violin and Piano: III Allegretto
Edvard Grieg - Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2: II Allegretto tranquillo
César Franck - Sonata for Violin and Piano: III Recitativo-Fantasia. Moderato
And as a special treat, here they are playing Arvo Pärt's Fratres: