by Michael Lyons, Music Director
For more than 15 years Mikhail Pletnev has been making musical magic as a conductor of the brilliant Russian National Orchestra, an ensemble of his own creation. Alongside the attention he has achieved as a conductor, he has been accumulating accolades for his work as a sophisticated and dazzling interpreter of solo keyboard music.
Since his award-winning set of Scarlatti sonatas recorded for Virgin Classics in the mid-nineties he has visited a wide range of repertoire including that of the 20thC Russian masters. I stood and took notice when he released a stunningly beautiful disc of C.P.E. Bach rondos and sonatinas. Here Pletnev proved himself to be in the same league as an Andre Previn. Someone who could do it all musically. Someone who believed that good music is good music plain and simple.
Whether it be playing keyboard music of Scriabin, conducting symphonies of Tchaikovsky, rubbing musical shoulders with the pianistic phenomenon Martha Argerich, or playing the little delicacies fo Scarlatti and C.P.E. Bach. On this new DGG recording Pletnev has approached the sonatas of Mozart for the very first time.
Surprising in the sheer fact that Mozart is probably the greatest example of the “universal musician” a concept that is well understood by Pletnev. And what a perfect fit this is. Pletnev plays these sonatas as if he were creating the music himself at the keyboard for the very first time—as it Mozart were sitting at the keyboard and entertaining us with his improvisational skill. Through Pletnev, Mozart receives new life in this the 250th anniversary of his birth.
(DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHONE 4775788)