Here is a pianist with a promising future.
The choice of material for a debut recording must present problems and in
this recital I do not think the choice shows the pianist's clear potential.
The Schumann works are both sets of miniatures and Papillons is a
very slight, if not trivial, work. That could be said of some of the thirteen
miniatures which make up Kinderszenen although I have to admit the
pianist's superb lyrical playing of the final item, The Poet Speaks.
The opening piece of this set, Of Strange Countries and Peoples, is
too tentative and hesitant as Slobodyanik is in the Chopin at times. There
are some cracks in the opening allegro maestoso and the presto
finale where hesitation and a lack of control and tone seems obvious. In
the Polonaise this is also occasionally present and yet his
leggiero double octaves in the left hand of the central section are
There is much to admire in the Sonata although there are available
many recordings of it some of which bear the hallmark of superlative
performances. Both Katin and Pollini have a tremendous refinement and Katin
particularly copes so well with the episodic character of the piece making
it an integral whole. Slobodyanik's lacks attack and sometimes his playing
... particularly in the Schumann ... is dreamy or self-indulgent. It is my
view that music should always be on the move and not languish.
But he is very gifted and I hope he will consider a more varied programme
for his next CD which I shall look forward to.