Grigory Sokolov:

  • Live in Paris

I listened to pianist Grigory Sokolov last night, and I was totally blown away. This is an astounding musician and an amazing craftsman. Sokolov’s pianistic touch seems quite unique to me. He can express tender pianissimos, and he executed fast passages with an accuracy and clearness like a machine-gun.

This DVD features a program that I found very satisfying. Yes, it included three Beethoven sonatas that were beautifully presented. However, the inclusion of music by Couperin and Komidas Verdapet made the listening experience even more special.

The selections are listed below:

Bach, J S:

  • Prelude in B minor (after BWV855a, arr Siloti)



  • Mazurka No. 41 in C sharp minor, Op. 63 No. 3
  • Mazurka No. 49 in F minor, Op. 68 No. 4

Couperin, F:

  • Pièces de clavecin III: Ordre 18ème in F major: Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou Les Maillotins
  • Pièces de clavecin III: Ordre 18ème in F major: Soeur Monique


  • Piano sonata #7, in B flat major, Op. 83


  • Six Dances for Piano

Performed by Grigory Sokolov, piano, at a recital in Paris.

Throughout the recording period of 123 minutes, Sokolov’s music kept me enthralled with its extraordinary intensity as I sensed the formidable physical, pianistic, musical and emotional presence of this most amazing artist.

Sokolov was born in 1950, and he won the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition in 1966, when he was just 16 years old.

The program begins with three early Beethoven sonatas, Nos. 9, 10 and 15, played without pause–that is, there are no breaks and no applause from the audience until the end of the third sonata.

Sokolov is an extremely meticulous pianist; his overall results are powerful, sensitive and expressive readings.

The music by Komidas Verdapet was very interesting for me. It seems as though there was little use of harmony by this composer; yet there was definite deep expression and feeling in his music, which might be inspired by Gregorian chants.

I experienced Mr. Sokolov’s interpretations as very original in their style, and they are extremely well thought out. His enormous range of dynamics and color, his sense and clarity, and his amazing versatility in terms of approach to music of widely diverse content, create unbelievable brilliance and amazement.

He has a way of doing single-finger Sforzandos that give new interest to music that I had heard before in less interesting presentations.

Let me now illustrate for you:

First, here is Mr. Sokolov in Beethoven’s “Tempest Sonata“, Allegretto:



And next, here is Grigory Sokolov performing Rameau’s “La Poule”:



See what I mean? The clarity of this music is astounding!


Tags: Grigory Sokolov, Beethoven, Komidas Verdapet, Chopin, Bach, Couperin