Alexei Lubimov!

Lubimov plays Schubert

When I first began listening to Alexei Lubimov, it was clear to me that here we have a major pianist. His playing seemed to be assertive and virtuosic, and I immediately listened more closely. Yes… the playing is very musical, as well; so I ultimately asked myself: “What is it in his playing that seemed to puzzle me?

While I found Lubimov’s playing to be beautiful and full of feeling, my sense was that his pianistic keyboard touch was – for my taste — too weighty; too strong; somehow not gentle enough as Schubert would want it in this music; Well… to be fair: As I would want it. In the first Impromptu, Op. 90, I personally was not taken with the staccatos. I wanted this piece played more legato to yield a more expressive feeling.

Perhaps there’s a trap here: I am used to interpretations of masterpieces that are very satisfying for me, personally. And certainly the challenge for any interpreter is to figure out how he/she can offer a contribution even to very “old” music that has been interpreted by others for the past 200 years. As such, I applaud Mr. Lubimov for wanting to make a statement that is uniquely his. I just had difficulty connecting with it.

I will over time explore this artist further. I’d want to hear him do the Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky; I bet that would be glorious!

Here is Alexei Lubimov playing a part of the slow movement from the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 in C-Major:

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