Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov applies his virtuosity to Schumann, Stravinksy, and Shostakovich | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov applies his virtuosity to Schumann, Stravinksy, and Shostakovich

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The “classical piano virtuoso” feels almost like a marketing cliche at this point, but at the ripe old age of 26, Russian prodigy Daniil Trifonov embodies the role as much as anyone alive today. On last year’s Transcendental (Deutsche Grammophon) he shared his mastery of Liszt via a mind-melting solo recital that’s both draining and . . . transcendent. His readings almost render the difficulty of the pieces an afterthought—he sweeps the listener away on waves of fluidity that vanish if you focus too much on what his hands are actually doing. Earlier this year Trifonov supported Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer on Preghiera—a collection of Rachmaninoff piano trios—with playing that’s simpatico in its restraint and lyric splendor. He returns to Symphony Center with a solo program that promises to push his talents in other directions, essaying three classics by Schumann (Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and Toccata, op. 7) along with selections from Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues and three movements from Stravinsky’s Petrushka.   v

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