Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (‘Moonlight Sonata’)
Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Ор. 82
Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58
‘Intelligent virtuosity and youthful fire,’ that’s how The Guardian described Vadym Kholodenko’s performance in 2015. ‘Extreme expression, rich in imagery and full of figurative storytelling agogics,’ Bachtrack.com reported in 2017, rating the pianist with five stars out of five. 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold medal winner, Kholodenko has established himself as one of the most thoughtful musicians of his generation.
His European career began after he had won the 2010 International Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens and the 2011 International Schubert Piano Competition in Dortmund. During the 2013/14 season, he made a grand tour around the USA, Europe, and Asia and released his first CD with harmonia mundi featuring three movements from Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Franz Liszt’s Transcendental Études. In 2015 and 2016 his recordings of piano concertos by Grieg, Saint-Saëns, and Prokofiev were awarded Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’. Today his discography includes also a CD of compositions by Balakirev, Tchaikovsky, Kurbatov, and Chaplygin (Melodiya, 2015) and a live recording of works by Hindemith, Berg, and Wolf (Melodiya and Apriori Arts Agency, 2017). His CD with Scriabin’s compositions was named the ‘Record of the Year’ by Diapason d’Or.
Vadym Kholodenko programmes his recitals with a forethought of an alchemist: he combines carefully balanced dramaturgy with ‘the fifth element’ — expression, measured out in the most precise quantities. For his performance at the Diaghilev Festival, he has chosen three well-known sonatas: Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’, Prokofiev’s Sixth, and Chopin’s Third Sonatas. However, the fact that they are so popular only increases the performer’s responsibility. ‘Who needs it, if it has been performed 150 times already?’ he wondered in an interview back in 2013, when he was only preparing to perform all thirty-two Beethoven’s piano sonatas. And added right away that they ‘will never be irrelevant. When I opened the score of the biggest ‘hit’, ‘Moonlight Sonata’, I once again was struck by the greatness of this music. It could and should be performed a hundred times a day.’
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