Gramophone. OM in recital

Oleg Marshev displays a super-size virtuosity

Oleg Marshev in recital

An astonishing release from a pianist perfectly attuned to this repertoire.

Chopin Three Waltzes, Op 34. Ballade No 4,Op 52 Liszt Funerailles, S173 No 7. Rhapsodie espagnole, S254. Etudes d’execution transcendante, S139-No 10 Scriabin Mazurkas–Op 25No 3; Op 40 Nos 1 & 2. Poemes, Op 32. Preludes, Op 15. Vers la flamme, Op 72

Oleg Marshev pf

Danacord DACOCD677 (79′ • DDD)
This recital shows Oleg Marshev’s formidable powers in a dazzling, ultra-Romantic light. Yet his super-size virtuosity – a place where muscles bulge and ripple – is backed by a no less enthralling musicianship. Marshev’s earlier record of the Liszt-Tausig Tasso will have alerted even the most blase virtuoso-fancier to exceptional powers and here in the Rhapsodie espagnole he sets all guns blazing, sinking up to his shoulders rather than mere elbows in an engulfing brilliance. His Funerailles, too, is hypnotically graphic and threatening, building remorselessly to a ferocious climax, and in the tenth of the Transcendental Etudes there is a superb sense of its appassionato F minor turbulence. Such virtuosity is scarcely less visceral in Chopin, with the closing pages of the Fourth Ballade heated to boiling-point, though relaxing in a selection of waltzes into an open-hearted relish of everything the composer has to offer. Poised and patrician in Rubinstein’s or Lipatti’s sense he may not be, but he makes it impossible to resist such character and liberation, such rich and lavish musical breathing. Marshev is on home ground in Scriabin, memorably attuned to his volatility and introspection, to those startling shifts of mood and emphasis at the heart of his bewildering genius. This is an astonishing, all-stops-out release, beautifully recorded. And how gratifying to know that there are many more on the way.

Bryce Morrison

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