Evgeny Kissin - Salzburg 

On 2 August I was lucky enough to be part of the famous Salzburg Festival and attended a fantastic piano recital by Evgeny Kissin in the Großes Festspielhaus.

He played three Nocturnes by Chopin, Schuman’s piano sonata No. 3 in F minor, eight preludes by Debussy and Scriabin’s piano sonata No. 4 in F#.

The nocturnes were played very expressively and romantically but were not stamped with his own personal emotive feelings, as is the case with many pianists. The Schumann was again played in a controlled manner but was intensively fiery, fast and explosive at the same time.

Kissin didn’t play the contrasting Debussy Preludes in a dreamy impressionistic style but having visited Rouen cathedral in April I was particularly curious to hear La Cathédrale Engloutie, which was also one of the pieces I played for my music A Level aural exam. The opening chords were beautifully struck and you could imagine the cathedral submerged underwater and then slowly rising from the sea. The entire range of the piano is used and Kissin carefully chose how each note should be played just as Monet chose how each brush stroke from his colour palette should be applied for his paintings of Rouen cathedral.