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Reviews about the new Rachmaninov CD

Gramophone, CD of the month, May 2016:

"Boris Giltburg, the Russian-born Israeli pianist who won the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Competition, is that genuine rarity: a pianist whose Rachmaninov is entirely idiomatic yet intensely personal in a way that yields fresh perspectives on this well traversed repertory… Giltburg’s sense of rhythm is impeccable, with a chaste application of rubato that is organically derived from the life of the phrase. He is a master of the great surges and retractions of energy so specific to the composer. Giltburg’s pellucid sound is never forced; his large dynamic range has a soft spectrum, between mezzo-piano and ppp, which is infinitely calibrated and shaded. Clarity is everywhere paramount. Dense chordal passages maintain beautifully balanced voicing even at breakneck speed. His cantabile espressivo is that of a cultivated singer and his presto leggiero positively dazzles. Giltburg’s probing imagination unlocks within each of these small forms an individual microcosm with its own unique narrative. Rachmaninov’s affective range, which in lesser hands can seem limited, here unfurls with the natural, unaffected pride of a peacock display. If cliché and sentimentality are anathema to Giltburg, one never doubts that he speaks from the heart. His eloquence derives from a poise and restraint that, while uniquely his own, is not unlike the aristocratic delivery that was the hallmark of Rachmaninov’s playing… I suspect that before long this vision will place him among the truly memorable Rachmaninov interpreters, an elect including Moiseiwitsch, Horowitz, Kappel, Richter and Cliburn. His originality stems from a convergence of heart and mind, served by immaculate technique and motivated by a deep and abiding love for one of the 20th century’s greatest composer-pianists.” Gramophone, May 2016


”… Born in Moscow, the Israeli Giltburg is just over 30 and has the combination of youthful technical brilliance and mature emotion that these prodigious pieces need. His performances of the later Op.39 set of nine are glittering in their impressive torrents of notes, but also darkly soulful and personal, without ever feeling exaggerated…” Financial Times, May 2016


”… As said before, this is repertoire right up Boris Giltburg’s alley and he demonstrates it convincingly here with clear and expressive piano playing. Additionally, Giltburg impresses with making the music breathe, with broad gestures, with colours and dramatic contrasts, finally and foremost with his technique and brilliant virtuosity. The recording is excellent and the interesting liner notes are written by Boris Giltburg himself.”, May 2016


”Giltburg’s Etudes-Tableaux are very visual and thus magnificently rich tone paintings. In the Moments Musicaux, with his wonderfully mature sensibility, the pianist gets to a more poetic expression, so that Rachmaninov comes with his very typical Russian melancholy. Giltburg’s playing is technically outstanding and of an enormous richness of sound. In both cycles, Giltburg allows the structure of the works to emerge with great clarity, without compromising the expressivity.”


Click here for more info about this disc on the Naxos website