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Sergei Babayan

Review: Sergei Babayan “Like a dream”

From Süddeutsche Zeitung

By Julia Spinola

“This programme of pianistic miniatures, built from selected Études-Tableaux, Préludes, Moments Musicaux and different song transcriptions, pays tribute to Rachmaninoff as a master of intimate athmospheres and delicate changes of colour. In spite of all his virtuoso playing, Sergei Babayan firmly rejects the cliché of the late-romantic grand gesture. This technically brilliant pianist approaches even such passionate pieces like the first (Allegro agitato) and fifth (Appassionato) of the Etudes Tableaux Op. 39 with a consciously formed musical speech of inner turmoil, instead of thunderously bangig paws. The result is a rumbling, eruptive explosion like from an inner monologue. On the other hand, in the slower pieces, his beautifully sparkling playing has the ability to lose itself in inner landscapes of impressionist light. All this beauty is interwoven with a thread of melancholy, for as Rachmaninoff put it, music is the sister of poetry, but her mother is sorrow.”

Read the full review.