Trpčeski, it appears, is coming of age. In a brief note
of thanks to his family - printed on the inside front cover
- for their support, he says. 'Without them, I would never have
is true that there is a maturity here in his playing I had not
heard before, despite all the superlatives that have been thrown
at him. Aided by a superb recording from John Fraser and Arne
Akselberg, this stunning disc runs high on my list of Discs
of the Year.
is a lovely depth of sound to the opening of the Sonata. The
turbulent allegro is full of high contrast, as is the dare-devil
Scherzo - with just the slightest touch of studio awareness
- and its lullaby Trio. The Funeral March is beautifully paced
- not too slow - and the meaning of each attack is carefully
considered. It is not black of sound, merely dark, so the conciliatory
illumination Chopin offers is perhaps slightly less of a shaft
of light than some; Uchida is wonderful here. The finale though
has all the technique of a Pollini but possibly more of the
graveyard wind about it.
Four Scherzos make an excellent coupling. They work as a group,
anyway, as various pianists have proved in recital in London
in recent years. Trpčeski is quite light of pedal in the
first, although not dry. This lends it a rather nervous, highly-strung
quality that makes the slower, contrastive sections seem rather
desperate in their attempts to bring the blood-pressure down.
The finger dexterity is jaw-dropping, but the interpretative
stance and its method of delivery is just as much so.
is easy to forget that the Second Scherzo is actually marked
Presto, but Trpčeski takes it at a real lick. The
triplets still make their mark and each note is clearly audible,
as are the right-hand descending cascades. Talking of cascades,
those of the Third Scherzo have a similar calming effect to
the phenomenon I identified above in the First.
still contend that Richter is without peer in the elusive Fourth
Scherzo but it has to be admitted that Trpčeski is sure
of himself and of his approach here and, therefore, he is unusually
convincing in this piece. His skill at rapid finger-work without
degrading the result into inappropriate mere filigree pays huge
dividends. He seems to expand his dynamic range for this piece,
as if to emphasise the work's extremes, making for an emotionally
is a must-hear experience.