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Born in Novosibirsk in 1989, Pavel Kolesnikov won the Honens International Piano Competition in 2012, and a notable Wigmore Hall debut in January this year seems to have confirmed his credentials. This twofer documents his Honens recital and concerto appearances. The Calgary Philharmonic is not a great orchestra, and the recording rather shunts it into the background. Kolesnikov, though, has a fine grasp of Tchaikovsky’s First. Surprisingly considered interpretationally, his reading still holds excitement: it is Kolesnikov rather than the orchestra who captures the fire of the finale. Unfortunately the solo items are rather nondescript. There is no doubting Kolesnikov’s musicality – nor, as the ‘Moonlight’ finale reveals, his technique. But suspicions are confirmed with the Schumann. Kolesnikov simply does not have the maturity for Schumann’s meditation on youth. Similarly, the Chopin Third Sonata is merely good conservatoire playing, years away from a fully formed reading.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Piano International, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing