“Pianist” review Jan.2023.
Marshev’s intensity never lets up, and the fearsome ‘Scarbo’ movement is a miracle of cinematic grotesquerie.
Ravel Complete Solo Piano Music Vol 2
There are already dozens of complete Ravel recordings – Gieseking, Lortie, Casadesus, Pizarro, Thibaudet and Hewitt to name just a few – but now the superb Azerbaijani pianist Oleg Marshev (an undeservedly unfamiliar figure in the UK) makes a welcome addition to their ranks. A musician of warmth and intelligence, with a certain cool steeliness to his playing – ‘fire seen through ice,’ as the saying goes – his performances display an obvious affinity with the works of the French master. His ability at Ravellian half-pedalling is a thing of wonder too. The three major works here are the Sonatine, Gaspard de la nuit, and the piano reductions of Daphnis et Chloé. For me, Gaspard is the highlight: Marshev’s intensity never lets up, and the fearsome ‘Scarbo’ movement is a miracle of cinematic grotesquerie. The Steinway D sound is captured gorgeously, too, in a deliciously clear acoustic. Volume 3 is scheduled for later this year. Warwick Thompson