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REVIEWS



L'Informazione, Sunday, 30 January 2011

CLASSICAL MUSIC

After Marta Argerich, we needed a new female star in the piano heavens. Can we venture to say it is Anna ? Listening to her new all-Liszt cd, one certainly thinks so. There is no lack of character and temperament in this programme of works, ranging from the Sonata in B minor to the Hungar s ian Rhapsody no. 12 in C-sharp minor, plus a collection of transcriptions of Schubert Lieder. This Decca cd (4763282) is undeniable confirmation of Kravtchenko’s musical maturity, with sensitivity, clarity of thought, and superb technique. Listening to her is a real pleasure. (Chiara Sirk)


 

Il Cittadino, 13 January 2011

Teatro Regio, Parma

… Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto in A major, whose special beauty seems enclosed in its harmonic instability, received an enthralling performance. Here, the piano is king, set in an intricate and insinuating orchestral web, constantly beckoned to penetrate its lines. Anna Kravtchenko, the warmly applauded soloist, untangled its knots with her usual aplomb, accompanied by the highly imaginative energy that she always reveals on every page. Liszt the acrobat materialised in the third movement, as if to provoke the orchestra with enthusiastic sparkle. A triumphant evening. (Elide Bergamaschi)


 

A magic evening at the Busoni Festival

 L'Adige,02.09.2010

Kravtchenko: her talent charms Bolzano

 

The pianist’s recital at the Monteverdi Conservatory followed by a large audience.

Virtuosity combined with brio in performance of great sensitivity.

 

The audience showed all their affection in participating in great number to her concert and pianist Anna Kravtchenko reciprocated generously with a performance that will linger for a long time in the memory of them all.  After a period of forced absence owing to the study and the enormous commitment in the preparation of Busoni’s impervious Fantasia Contrappuntistica (later played ex novo with great success in a duo with Alexander Kobrin), last night at the Monteverdi Conservatory Kravtchenko was able to  pour her soul into the largely new programme presented to the audience of  “Musica in aulis”. Hers is a soul that has the traits of a formidable inner depth and a sharp and noble musical sensitivity.

In the Ciaccona by Bach/Busoni the pianist priviledged the extremely refined interplay between a severe control of counterpoint and a new magnetic sound colouring. The enchantment persisting in Bizet’s Carmen Fantasia clearly revealed one of the main features of Kravtchenko’s piano-playing: “a virtuosity of elegance” - as someone justly said - which fully realizes one of Busoni’s dogmas, according to whom “technique will never be the alpha and omega of musical  interpretation”.

The programme developed in a crescendo of aesthetic emotions with three Chorales by Bach/Busoni, where the artist reached heights of spirituality and meditative skill (“Nun komm...” and “Ich ruf’ zu dir”) as well as giddy extasies in the Chorale  “Nun freut euch...”. While the performance went on, Anna Kravtchenko reached a closer a closer symbiosis with the excellent Steinway tuned up by Passadori with a passionate concern for the specific technical needs of the pianist. After Liszt’s three transcriptions of Schubert’s Lieders, culminating in the amazing virtuosity of love-death frenzy in the famous “Erlkoenig” and Liszt’s beautiful version of Schumann’s “Widmung”, the performance drew to an end with two sublime compositions by Rachmaninoff, “Vocalise” and “Polka V.R.”: the former played with moving poetic compliance, the latter with a display of virtuosity, nonchalance, stylistic propriety and contageous brio: qualities that only great artists possess and are able to communicate at the appropriate moment with immediacy and character.

Two wonderful encores, a Nocturne by Chopin and “October” from Tchaikowsky’s “The Seasons” were the worthy seal of an evening that belongs to the most magic moments of all the editions of the Busoni and the Bolzano Festivals.

Il Piccolo, 16 October 2010

ANNA KRAVTCHENKO SEALS THE PIANO FESTIVAL

Trieste… The piano festival promoted by Chamber Music concluded in an “all-Mozart” evening with the strings of the Turin Philharmonic. Kravtchenko won the 1992 Busoni Competition when she was only 16, and has proved throughout her career that she was worthy of the prize, winning acclaim everywhere she performs. Her qualities were immediately evident in the Mozart Concerto offered last night at Verdi Hall: her sensitive touch and attention to detail created a performance of constant psychological mutability. Even her trills are exciting, and she prefers lyricism over flash and prettiness. Her audience listened with great attention and applauded vigorously, and was rewarded with two very fine encores by Chopin and Liszt. (Claudio Gherbitz)


 

Il Giornale di Molise, 2 November 2010

Pianist Anna Kravtchenko enchants the Savoia Theatre

The Turin Philharmonic closes its season

Campobasso …but if the orchestra receives due praise, compliments are not nearly enough for exceptional pianist Anna Kravtchenko. With her impeccable curriculum (winner of the “F. Busoni” international piano competition), Kravtchenko confirmed her credentials by playing the Concerto in A major for piano and orchestra KV 414 by Mozart and the magnificent Concerto no. 2 by Chopin (in Giorgio Spriano’s transcription for string orchestra). The audience applauded the orchestra and especially the excellent pianist. The third concert of the Amici della Musica concert season closed after three encores (including the Larghetto from the Chopin concerto and a Chopin prelude).


 

Il Barometro, 5 April 2010

Anna Kravtchenko, a world painted by the piano

... But “perform” is probably no longer the most suitable verb to describe her abilities. She truly interprets and lives the notes, which bloom from the keyboard…. She painted a world, going from tranquillity to avalanche as needed, without any delay or anticipation, her brushstrokes always meaningful and exact. The result was a painting without frills, direct communication of emotions and moods. As if looking through a keyhole, the audience had a look at her world made of musical oils and watercolours. A world that had everything: happiness, anger, lightness, melancholy. A world that was something like entering a room full of people, each with their own emotions, story, and life. (Ilaria Lopez)


 

Anna Kravtchenko’s applauded recital at the Piccinni Theatre for the Camerata

 

When the piano reveals its pearls

 

La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno 1st April 2010

 

... what was most striking in the performance was the firm, clear and determined intention of reviving pages of  notorious renown from an exquisitely personal new stance aimed at capturing features that are usually overlooked. All this was accomplished with an accurate poise of sonorities, with the highlighting of specific passages, with “hesitations” due to meditative pondering, in short with a poetic vision that starting from an exhaustive analysis aimed at a reassembly of a discourse of impeccable firmness and immediate fascination ... N.S.

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The elegance of Kravtchenko, a sparkling special substitute

 

Repubblica - 23rd April 2010  page 15  section GENOVA

 

34 years old, winner at 16 of the “Busoni” award, pianist Anna Kravtchenko arrived at the Gog on Monday night as a substitute of expected Vogt who was stuck in Berlin by the toxic cloud. Kravtchenko, a de-luxe substitute, presented us with a wonderful event. With her impeccable technique, and her powerful piano-playing capable at the same time of enchanting suppleness of sound, she gave the best of herself in the three Intermezzos op. 117 by Brahms that she performed with elegant phrasing and fullness of sound, and in the luminous Hungarian Rhapsody n.12 which showed her predilection for Liszt’s symphonic piano compositions. Worthy of mention were also Schumann and the initial Chopin, in particular the Sonata op.35.

Roberto Iovine


 

Gazzetta di Parma, Monday, 15 February 2010

REVIEW - CD DECCA

Anna Kravtchenko, piano talent at the service of Liszt

This is an important recording of the Liszt Sonata, which for many young pianists has become a pretext for showing off their muscles, a “stress test” that has frustrated the poetic significance of this original and highly premonitory masterpiece. Instead, Kravtchenko totally personalises its complexity, experiencing it as a saga in which the themes-characters live, interweave, become transformed, driven by a narrative thrust generated by a language that is one with the form itself. A personal but authentic reading in which she narrates with her own pronunciation, adjusts the pauses, her inflections always nourished with beautiful sound that avoids pompous temptation. The same is true for her picturesque evocation of the Rhapsody, where she vivifies the virtuoso challenge with utmost lightness, and for her sensitive recreation of the Lieder, where the vocal line seems to exist in a poetic frame of dreamy, subtly passionate beauty. (Gian Paolo Minardi)


 

L'Adige, 23 March 2009

Kravtchenko in a state of grace

... in splendid form, almost in a state of grace, especially in the moving works by Chopin that opened the recital … in the Nocturne op. 9 no. 3 and in the series of six Preludes, the pianist unfurled a fascinating range of colour and dynamics …. Widmung was blessed with an admirable balance of pathos and control. The Fantasy in D minor KV 397 opened with subtle tonalities … leading to a fresh, light, smiling performance that seemed to recall the harpsichord. Schumann’s Carnival of Vienna was infectious … Liszt’s transcription of Schubert’s Serenade was deeply moving. Kravtchenko closed the evening with a melancholy, yearning movement from Tchaikovsky’s Seasons (Emilia Campagna)


 

Classic Voice, September 2009

5 stars and

DISC OF THE MONTH

The good old days (when Italian branches of major recording companies had the luxury of publishing CDs recorded in our country – such as certain famous recordings by Rubinstein made in Rome for RCA) have returned. Now we can listen to an important CD, recorded in Rovereto, by the pianist who won the 1992 Busoni Competition and then began a successful career that perhaps did not entirely display her excellent musical qualities. You have a vivid impression of listening to the recital live in the hall, and I could not pay a better compliment to Kravtchenko, who plays Liszt with great enthusiasm and aplomb (Sonata in B minor), as well as with beautiful sound and elegant phrasing (Schumann’s Widmung), irresistible brio (the 12th Rhapsody, with astonishingly clean playing of rapid passages). A wonderful surprise, and a CD that I would certainly put at the top of the list. (Luca Chierici)


 

l’Unità, Sunday 23 August 2009

... Anna Kravtchenko is superb pianist who won the Busoni Prize when she was only 16. Her Liszt is magnificent, powerful, overwhelming, but also lyrical and pearly, as rarely happens with this composer, whose Sonata and Rhapsodies (here we have no. 12) can be “macho” in the extreme. Kravtchenko displays marvellous transcendental technique, and her sound is recorded magnificently. But the most charming aspect of this CD is her non-rhetorical choice of works. The Sonata and the Rhapsody are followed by some of Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert Lieder as priceless fillers: after those turbulent rapids, we are rocked in the gentle waves of a brook. While Erlkönig abounds with virtuoso exuberance, Ständchen and Liebesbotschaft take us to a realm where there are no more contests, a realm ruled only by the joys and pleasures of music of the soul. (Giordano Montecchi)


il Cittadino di Lodi, Wednesday 12 September 2009

Of all the pianists on the scene, Anna Kravtchenko has always occupied a place that makes her rare and unique, able to transfix the listener in just seconds. This was clear to everyone who heard her in Lodi last January, when the young pianist played an unforgettable recital, as warm as it was tragic. If you would like to experience that magic (at least in part), you can do so thanks to a recent Decca CD devoted entirely to Liszt.

Set between the rebelliousness of the 12th Hungarian Rhapsody and a cluster of enchanted transcriptions of Schubert and Schumann, the megalithic Sonata in B minor is a whirlpool from which there is no escape: from its first notes, it creates an urgent, pulsing, dizzying, fatal drama. This performance should be placed on the shelf with the “must haves,” alongside that of Martha Argerich, whose divine, unpredictable fire closely resembles that of Kravtchenko. No other rising star so ably combines a perfect technique with an equally lofty imagination. (Elide Bergamaschi)


 

Amadeus, October 2009

5 stars

LISZT

Sonata in B minor, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 Anna Kravtchenko

Artistic: * * * * * Technical: *****

...The finest recordings, such as those by Arrau and Pollini – and now by Kravtchenko – succeed in avoiding excessive rhetoric. (Rubens Tedeschi)

 

MUSICA, October 2009

5 stars

Three years after her first Decca CD, Kravtchenko has issued another recording for the same label. This time, she has chosen Liszt, with a programme featuring two giants of the piano literature (the Sonata in B minor and the 12th Hungarian Rhapsody) plus a few transcriptions of Lieder by Schumann and Schubert. The young Ukrainian’s pianism is stellar in all ways: sparkling virtuosity that is never exaggerated and always well controlled; rich sonorities that never offend the ear; a lyric, round sound that is also brilliant and luminous. But what strikes one the most is the charisma of these performances: a river overflowing with passion, arising from a mature musician aware of her artistic gifts. The Sonata is played with scrupulous expertise, but it also captures, involves, and carries you away, swallowing you in a vortex of emotions. Mystery, anguish, fear, disenchanted sweetness, heartrending affliction, and then back to the beginning, until the final peroration, only to return to where it all began, in unremitting pursuit, a cycle without time or place, with a finale that seems a bit like a hoax and a lot like an attainment of inner peace. These are the feelings that follow one another during Kravtchenko’s interpretation: she creates a symphonic poem at the keyboard, with mastery of form and clarity of narration. And what can we say about the theme which, making inappropriate reference to the Faust Symphony, dares to be identified with Gretchen? Here, Kravtchenko’s sweetness and lyricism reach levels of absolute purity. And then we have the development, the fugue based on the first theme, the fearful section in octaves in the finale: every second of the Sonata is worthy of note and performed magnificently.

In the Rhapsody, the young pianist adapts naturally to gypsy rhythm, demonstrating a wonderful ability to vary the phrasing in the many “perpetual motion” sections in the Friska (the fast part in steady rhythm, typical of Hungarian rhapsodies).

In the Schubert transcriptions, Erlkönig stands out for its outstanding repeated notes, and the famous Ständchen for the fine dialogue in the duet between the two voices. (Benedetto Ciranna)


 

Suonare News, October 2009

5 stars and

CD OF THE MONTH: The most perfect symphonic poem

Before I listened to this CD, I thought: if Anna Kravtchenko decided to devote a CD to Liszt’s most played and recorded work, there must be a reason. And it becomes clear immediately: if you believe that the Sonata in B minor is the most perfect symphonic poem, even if it is not played by an orchestra, you will feel right at home in this performance.

But even if you view this ambitious work as the proof of a narrative and rhapsodic, yet rigorously designed, imagination, you will feel at home in the glimmering manner in which Kravtchenko interprets it. On the other hand, a musician must reveal him/herself in the Sonata more than in any other work: from this viewpoint, if you want to understand Anna’s temperament and will to “enter” the music at all costs, listen a few times (not just hear, which isn’t enough) to the first two minutes, the section in which Liszt presents the first themes. The pauses at the beginning, the slight (involuntary?) hesitation in sculpting the first ascending melody, the calibrated slowness in delineating the descending melody that ensues: these are signs of an obstinate plan. It all becomes clear later, as we follow the pianist in a performance that is picturesquely sublime, colouristically brilliant and, most of all, animated by a constant need to create sonorous spaces and expressive suggestions that derive from Liszt’s anything-but-chaste writing in order to reveal other dramatic and sensuous dimensions. But this is not a performance that seeks surprising effects on principle: where necessary (as in the fugal sections), Kravtchenko reveals an angular but brilliant shade that turns the counterpoint into a dark labyrinth that we enter voluntarily, certain that she will lead us back into the light. The entire performance is sustained by versatility of touch fascinating fickleness of mood, and pianistic opportunism.

We are moved .., charmed by the other transcriptions of Schubert, stunned (almost made dizzy) by the insinuating, solemn, rhythmic anxiety of the opening of the Rhapsody in C-sharp minor. (Angelo Foletto)


 

La Repubblica, 31 December 2007

Kravtchenko’s light touch

After winning an important competition such as the “Busoni” in Bolzano, many musicians stop trying to grow. But not Anna Kravtchenko, who won it in 1992, at 16, and who, reaffirming the propitious female tradition of the prize won years ago by Martha Argerich, has constantly expanded her mind and technique. Very few pianists have such a luminous, light, but incisive touch. Ideal for mastering the piano’s upper register as required by Liszt (and by Chopin, her other preferred composer), in whose music she can also exhibit torrential energy and a taste for thematic complexity. But even more convincing are her authority, naturalness, and interpretive fluency: qualities that inspired the shrewd and clear-headed manner in which she kept in play the military-popular satanism and the drawing-room affectedness of the Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12, displaying virtuoso magnetism based on technique that is poetically invigorated and mature. She always gives her best, from Mozart (Sonata K. 330) to Liszt’s famous transcriptions of Lieder by Schubert and Schumann. (Angelo Foletto)


 

Arena di Verona

Friday 17th March 2006

Amici della Musica. Enthusiastic audience asking for encores for the great pianist,  playing an all-romantic programme, suiting her undoubted skills. Kravtchenko’s sensitivity is a talent instrumental to the service of a remarkable musical intelligence. She performs Listz Schumann and Chopin with the lucidity of an interpretative vision.To win the prestigious “concorso Busoni”, above all at 16 and after five editions which did not grant the first prize,  is a trophy that every pianist would like to have in one’s curriculum. Anna Kravtchenko conquered it in 1992 and upon it she build an important career which saw her on the stages of international concert halls.

It would be diminishing however to see her still as the prodigee girl of the Bsuoni competition of fourteen years ago. Today’s Kravtchenko is a pianist of a mature and remarkable personality, whose inborn talent is at the service of a musical intelligence equally remarkable.

The audience of the Amici della Musica was aware af all this when they listened again to the Ukrainin  pianist who came back to Verona after her debut dating back to the time of the Busoni. For this return Anna Kratchenko had chosen an all-romantic programme,  perfectly suitable to her sensitivity and to the technical skills she largely owns.

What strikes of her is not only her piano touch, always incisive and at the same time very supple, which neither indulges in sound satisfactions nor masks the difficulties of the music under piano pedal effects or other technical expedients.

The pianist faced with controlled lucidity of interpretative vision pages by Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. Of the two nocturnes by Chopin (2 and 3 of op.27) played at the beginning of the concert, she chose to highlight the elegant and amiable aspect of “Salonmusik” rather than the intimistic and dreaming one, in an interpretation of intense expressiveness.

The pianist had to face a more severe technical and musical confrontation with the Sonata op.35 by Chopin: a complex work, not less dramatic in its aggressive connotations than the contemplative musings of the famous “Funeral March”. Anna Kravtchenko gave the due emphasis to the tensions of the Sonata, catching the variety of gradations in a performance of rare coherence very attentive to sound details.

In the second part we shared other atmospheres but the excellence of the young pianist’s performance was the same with two Lieders by Schubert in the transcription of Franz Liszt. They are two brief compositions with less significant technical requirements that she transformed however into musical jewels owing to her beautiful sound and expressive care.  The following piece was the “Vienna carnival” by Schumann, with its wealth of intonations ranging from careless boldness to lyrical sweetness, each of them caught and rendered in their poetical and musical substance in a penetrating and always measured interpretation even in the most reckless passages always performed with  precise and transparent skill.

The concert ended with the Hungarian Rapsody N.12 by Liszt, gorgeous in its colours and in its virtuosistic features mastered with great technical ability and timbre effects by the pianist, who looked at ease even in this field of romantic pianism.

A programme and a performance of this kind could not but please an audience who showed their enthusiasm by asking for encores which she granted at the end of the concert .

Marco Materassi


 

L'Adige " 2005

As great as the soul

A magic charisma

A great success and an exceptionally warm appreciation from the audience were achieved by Anna Kravtchenko last night at the concert at the Santa Chiara Auditorium in Trento.The pianist became famous in 1992 when she won the prestigious international competition for the Busoni Prize at the age of sixteen. Now that she is twenty-nine she is a mature artist who has a curriculum full of participations in the most important concert halls of Europe. Her main assets are still the expressive qualities that she had already shown when she was an enfant prodige: it is a particular charisma that cannot be expressed in words without losing something and that is made of the magic which only great artists possess; it is an ability to communicate by means of subliminal messages that are conveyed by music thanks to the many-sided determination of its semantic value; it is the transmission of an inner world as rich as the soul is great, capable of encompassing the horizon of thought.

The audience in Trento seemed to recognize the world of Anna Kravtchenko, who presented a programme entirely devoted to Chopin, and acclaimed her with great enthusiasm.

She played the music of the Polish musician with an interpretation ranging from the passionate participation typical of a certain Russian tradition to a very personal sublimation of its sentimental components. The latter dimension characterized the choice of extremely rarefied sonorities that in the Nocturnes and in the Mazurkas (op 27, n.2 in D flat major, op.9, n.3 in B major and op.33, n.1 in G sharp minor, n.2 in C major, respectively) often resulted in hardly audible “pianissimo”, as well as in a brilliantly clear touch and in timbric contrasts sometimes enhanced by a significant reduction of the use of pedals.

The Polonaise op. 26 n.1, on the contrary, was played with a heroic attitude as if she recognized in a mannered practice the authenticity of the reference to a patriotic and popular background. A very effective result was achieved with the performance of two far-reaching works : the Ballad n.2  and the Sonata n.3, in which besides the enticing touch (for example in the Scherzo of the Sonata, of rare beauty) the most convincing feature was the structural development founded on the economy of great tensive arches based on the harmonic pillars of the whole structure

Stefano Fogliardi ,


 

 

27th August 2005

“Accademia delle Opere” Orchestra. Concert, music by W.A.Mozart. Anna Kravtchenko conquers the audience at the Meeting.

 

Even more appreciated the second piece played by Anna Kravtchenko, a pianist of international renown. Accompanied by the orchestra, the young Ukrainian played the “Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra K414 in A major - Allegro Andante Rondeau (Allegretto)”

 

It was a performance so passionate and thrilling that everybody in the hall was fascinated. With a long clapping the audience “compelled” the pianist to play two encores: a part of the concert by Mozart she had just finished playing and “The Waterdrop” by F.Chopin. After these performances the reaction of the audience was even warmer and more affectionate.

E.M.Rimini, 26 August 2005

 

Brescia Oggi 09/03/05)  

·         After a not enthusiastic beginning of the orchestra appears Anna Kravtchenko, the pianist that once upon a time we have known as the winner of the Busoni competition. In her performance with the National Orchestra of Prague (Beethoven concerto n° 1) we found a pianist raised in every aspect, except the same incredible talent, a poetic feeling with a beautiful thoughtful touch shows  to us how is grown this still young artist.

Luigi Ferantoni


 

THE FESTIVAL

 

by Monique Ciola,"Trentino",2004

 

Really wonderful was the concert we listened to in Bolzano for the second edition of the Busoni Piano Festival last Thursday. On 2nd September we were fascinated by the skill of the English Chamber Orchestra led by Ralph Gothoni, its Finnish main conductor since 2000.

Two previous winners of the Busoni prize were the guests of the appointment: Alexander Kobrin (first prize in 1999) and Anna Kravtchenko (first prize in 1992). Thanks to her constantly growing talent Kravtchenko literally conquered the audience. We were present when she won the Busoni Prize at the age of sixteen and year after year her skills have become more and more outstanding. In playing the first concert by Schostakovic op. 35 she showed an uncommon musicality, an extraordinary technique, a touching rendering of the musical tension and an enviable mastery of the keyboard.


 

(„Abendzeitung of Nurmberg“ U.M., 01.12.2003)

·         Like Glen Gould and Keith Jarret the twenty-seven years old piano soloist Anna Kravtchenko played the “Third Piano Concerto” of Beethoven with special intensity.

This characteristic brings as an “Obstinate persistent” the expressive fingers game of the Artist bringing her performance to the highest artistic level.

In spite of the surprise of the beginning, Anna Kravtchenko was going to make the publics in the “Meistersinger Hall” of Nurmberg absolutely enthusiastic.  Pure Virtuosity. 

It’s incredible how much energy is inside the body of Anna Kravtchenko. The Artist dominates over the entire orchestra “BBC-Philharmonic”, included its Director Yan Pascal Tortelier. After a few chords it was clear that we were going to listen a primordial Beethoven full of vital energy, rich in tension and extremely alive.”

·       (“NURNBERGER NACHRICHTEN” of 10.11.2004)


 

·       Jens Voskamp:  The unique pianist Kravtchenko

·       London Philharmonic orchestra in Nurnberg
 ”
The unique pianist, Anna Kravtchenko dominated, with an intense emotion and a never heavy technique, in the solo part of the Chopin piano concert. 

Cascade of sparkling gurgles notes in a narcissistic way were controlled by a superior force the came from the inside and they became true and real. 

The 28-year-old old pianist creates soul movements: she doesn’t know any kind of presumptuous ostentation of force.  She is able to create moments of delightful emotions, fragility and sensuality.

The quality of a performance can be understood also when a piece as often executed as the Preludio “Regentropfen” of Chopin, results in something completely new with an extraordinary effect.

Anna Kravtchenko was truly the “Queen of Hearts.”                                                                                  (“NURNBERGER NACHRICHTEN” of 10.11.2004)


     

 

The Daily Telegraph, 19.01. 2001

Joyful piano playing to warm the heart and thrill the senses
HIGH-OCTANE playing in graphic performance of Smetana’s  symphonic poem Sarka put the Royal  Liverpool  Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert on a sound footing from the outset, but there was an additional factor that rendered it exceptional.

The  pianist Anna Kravtchenko, now in her mid-twenties and much discussed as a talent to watch, played Chopin’s F minor Concerto in a way that thoroughly warmed the heart and thrilled the senses.  All credit to the RLPO for having the boldness to book an artist who is not yet perhaps, a household name here, but who is surely on the threshold of an outstanding career.

Moreover, by setting the Concerto within a good, strong programme, with a well-known conductor in Walter Weller and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony to finish, it ensured that there was a healthily sized audience there to hear her. 

The wonderful thing about the performance was the utter joy that emanated from it.  It almost goes without saying that Kravtchenko has a faultless technique in terms of agility and accuracy:  in pianism today, that is accepted as a fundamental facet.  What matters, though, is the thinking behind the notes on the page, and in that respect Kravtchenko revealed herself as an artist of refined judgment. 

She incorporated Chopin’s decorative writing into a vision of the concerto that had cohesion, vitality and fluency. The poetic reverie of the slow movement was set against the glistening roulades of the outer ones in a performance that, with justification, showed complete confidence in what it wanted to say, and knew how to express it eloquently. If you have not yet heard Kravtchenko, then the rewords await for you.     
Geoffrey Norris


 

 

The Indipendent

Review: CLASSICAL MUSIC Anna Kravtchenko Wigmore Hall, London

Adrian Jack

Wednesday, 22 January 1997

Anna Kravtchenko is 21 this year and won the Busoni Competition in Bolzano, incredible as it may seem, in 1992. She's still studying in Italy. She began her Wigmore Hall recital on Saturday night with Schumann's Kreisleriana, and in the crazy, passionate, opening number at once asserted a big, warm personality....

Kravtchenko has plenty of technique, and something more special - a panache and generosity of feeling if not always with someone so young. If you had heard her playing Liszt's Rapsodie espagnole the way she did on Saturday, without knowing who it was, you would have guessed it was someone who had a lot of experience of life and every confidence in her emotions. At the climax she seemed to grab us and hug us to death. It was irresistible...