Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ilya Itin - Pictures at an Exhibition / Piano Sonata No 6 in a|
Actors: Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Ilya Itin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
VAI DVD 4365 Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 6 in A Major. Bonus: Interview with Itin. 68 min., Color, Stereo.
Ilya Itin: Mussorgsky and Prokofiev
John F. Binder | Skokie, Illinois | 06/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
Ilya Itin is not a household name, but he certainly continues to enjoy an extensive and impressive career: winner of the Leeds Competition in 1996 (Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia won the Leeds earlier), no mean achievement, and a performer with orchestras and in solo venues around the world. He has a couple of CDs available as well as an additional DVD with the violinist Ida Haendel. For this DVD the Russian-born pianist performs two major works of the Russian piano literature: Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Prokofiev's Sixth Piano Sonata, the first of the so-called War Sonatas.
The performances of these very demanding works are solid, interesting, and often quite exciting, and though not perhaps as powerfully communicated as Richter's, for example, they are decidedly worth hearing. The interview with Itin following the performances is also interesting. One noticed that in the Pictures performance there were notes not usually heard. The interviewer asked whether Itin had been totally true to the score. He was oddly evasive and rather vague about this, though clearly he played notes that most listeners no doubt never heard before in this work. Some of these additions were successful; some were not. He offered the opinion that the Sixth Sonata was more of a critique of industrial society and the machine world so horrifically introduced into the Soviet Union by Stalin's multi-year plans than a War Sonata, especially since it was written before the Second World War.
I am always interested in hearing an artist of this caliber performing and commenting on what he is playing and his approach to music.