Just today I heard this marvelous Russian pianist perform the Ravel “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales”. I really enjoyed it, and I admired the excellent mood that the pianist was able to convey with his playing. His CD, released in January, 2010 is called “Volodos Live in Vienna”
His selection of pieces for this live recital range from Scriabin to Schumann and to Ravel. When I first heard him, he was performing Ravel’s music, and he immediately got my serious attention. He truly seems to be the musical descendant of the finest Russian tradition, and we hear his devotion to lyric interpretation, adherence to dynamics and very fine expression. How interesting it is that we have here music by a French composer, depicting the rhythms and feelings of the Austrian Viennese waltz, as interpreted by a Russian pianist, right back in the famous Musikvereinssahl in Vienna!
There are on this CD also 5 tracks of wonderful music by Scriabin, followed on CD-2 by Schumann’s Waldszenen (Forrest Scenes), and the above-mentioned Ravel. Volodos brings all of this music alive with his wonderful, unhurried musical touch. The closing piece is Liszt’s “Apres Une Lecture de Dante,” also known as the “Dante Sonata”. This rarely recorded piece by Liszt is everything that composer embodied: lyricism, technique, and singing by the instrument. This is again where Volodos’ technique shines through into this early Liszt work.
Click below to hear Arcadi Volodos perform Ravel’s Valses Nobles et Sentimentales.