Symphonies Nos. 2,5 BUY ON AMAZON

L. v. Beethoven / F. Liszt
Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5 (Transcriptions)

Konstantin Scherbakov, piano
Naxos 8.550457




Beethoven - Symphony No. 2 in D major, S464/R128
Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, S464/R128


"After studying the Beethoven and Liszt manuscripts, Scherbakov gave a series of live performances before committing his thoughts to disc. At the start of Symphony 2, classical restraint suddenly gives way to dazzling turns of phrase; the music takes on a romantic ardour, effervescence hardly dampened by Beethoven's famous 'pregnant pauses'. The Larghetto is finely poised - singing phrases all beautifully weighted, each stand poignant - whilst the scherzo shows the performer's adeptness in sforzandi, ' pizzicati', the shaping and dynamic grading of melodic lines. Flexible wrist control, fingers in close contact with the keys pay dividends during the finale's intricacies. Symphony 5's wider canvas of emotions, and new harmonic blendings after the held-breath anticipation at the start, is notable for its compactness, and the way that high tensions are made to counterbalance the proud declamations of the following movement. Scherbakov's control of pulse and filagree ornamentations make this the focal point of the interpretation. Thereafter, his stately rendering of the march that starts the scherzo, both hands declaiming the surging celli/basses in the trio, the descent into the abyss and upsurge of victorious rejoicing leads us to the magnificent close. Andrew Walton and Eleanor Thomason, working at St Martin's Church East Woodhay, Hampshire, supply the finishing sonic touches." Bill Newman, Hi-Fi News


Konstantin Scherbakov is a lifelong Beethovenian, and he brings all the needed qualities. His range of colour is huge, and his broad tempi allow him to suggest the spaciousness which is the essence of the exercise. His account of the Second symphony is riveting, and he makes impressive sense the much more daunting Fifth." Michael Church, Classic CD


"Any fan of good piano music, virtuosic piano music, and Beethoven's piano music, should find this recording revelatory. Truly, an understanding of Beethoven's symphonies is more likely when they are heard on a different medium. In this case, Liszt not only illuminates the subtleties and intricate voicing, but creates rousing piano works. It's difficult to find any reason not to buy this recording unless one already owns Katsaris's or would like to own all of Scherbakov's Beethoven-Liszt, in which case I recommend buying the box set. While I feel Katsaris's recordings are supreme, I must still endorse Scherbakov. He is a pianist of quality fiber who plays with panache and brings much-needed technical excellence and musical verve to Beethoven's (and Liszt's) works of art."