Alexander Malofeev Triumphs in his Tanglewood Debut
During the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s final weekend at Tanglewood, Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev brought down the house with his magnificent performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto.
“Malofeev is already a special pianist. Plenty of young artists use the Rachmaninoff to show off sparkling technical skills, and Malofeev had those in abundance. But he was interested in something more than that. The first movement was broad, dreamy, nightmarish, the left hand disrupting melodic lines; the cadenza was unsettlingly introspective. The second movement became a balm, the third a triumph, and if that finale was dangerously soaked in schmaltz, well, that’s Rachmaninoff for you. Thomas, to his credit, went where Malofeev took him, and brought the orchestra along, too.”
The New York Times
“From the opening notes, Malofeev, his head bent to the piano, seemed to summon the melody from the keys, as though they were divining rods to which he listened intently. He followed neither Martha Argerich’s ferocious, take-no-prisoners onslaught nor Yuja Wang’s seemingly effortless precision, adopting instead a bewitching sonic terrain of his own, lyrical, sensitive, and haunted. And he brought down the house. After repeated standing ovations, with audience members cheering in the aisles and conductor and soloist arm in arm, Malofeev played, to the hungry delight of the audience, a silky and heartfelt piano version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” pas de deux.”
“The 20-year old Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev gave an astounding performance in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 during the concert’s first half. He brought to the cadenza of the first movement unexpected weight and force, plus extreme rubato and a couple of daring pauses. As that section drew to a close, you felt as if the pianist had opened up his soul. Malofeev, fair and blond, played from an unusually low bench and often leaned over the keyboard like a scientist examining some rare specimen. His penetrating sound and solid technique kept the 40 minute-long concerto mesmerizing from start to finish.”