Review By David DeBoor Canfield ,Fanfare,November 2012
Konstantin Scherbakov certainly has impressive credentials.…I find his reading of the works here to be first-rate and worthy of any music lover’s attention. Particularly noteworthy is Scherbakov’s sense of line, and his careful and well-thought-out weighting of the various parts in these pieces. Piano music, by its very nature, has chords of a number of notes, as well as musical lines that vie for weighting according to voice-leading, contrapuntal considerations, and the construction of the chords, among other things. Scherbakov is a master of this crucial parameter of piano playing. One example of his mastery is found in the inner line of measures 14–17 of “Il Vecchio Castello,” played with just the right amount of weight; another occurs in
Scherbakov takes the media via approach to Pictures. He is neither far outside the mainstream of performance tradition in the work, nor is he afraid to make the work his own, even going so far as to rewriting certain portions of it…It’s very effective…
Much more pronounced is Scherbakov’s rewriting of “Limoges,” where he frequently transposes some of the lines in the right hand up an octave, and makes other changes to the texture, adding notes here and there. Again, this is done tastefully, and not out of accord with what Mussorgsky could conceivably have written.
Piano aficionados will surely want this disc, so if you count yourself among that group, don’t delay in getting a copy. Others wanting to hear fine performances of this repertory will also experience a very satisfying recital. Needless to say, the competition for all of these works is stiff, but I highly recommend the disc anyway. Scherbakov is a major pianist of our time, and I’m glad to make his musical acquaintance. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review