Stories » Does Grigory Sokolov, 'The Greatest Living Pianist,' Speak To A Higher Power? / WBUR - The Artety

Top 10 for Aug

Does Grigory Sokolov, 'The Greatest Living Pianist,' Speak To A Higher Power? / WBUR - The Artety

Bookmark and Share

You look at Grigory Sokolov and you say, "Just what the world needs. Another aging white guy in formal attire playing music of the 19th century." And then you listen to the first few notes of Schubert's "Impromptus" and you say, "Yes, this is exactly what the world needs now." Forget the ironic contemporary spin on the word, this new DVD is truly awesome, as are his two latest CDs, also on Deutsche Grammophon.

The greatest living pianist? The list of those who say so is growing. I got turned onto Sokolov when Jeremy Eichler, writing in The Boston Globe, chose his first Yellow Label recording as the best in 2015: "The revered and reclusive Russian master Sokolov had sworn off recording for years. Happily he has relented, and now comes this mysteriously spellbinding disc from a Salzburg recital in 2008. Why is he often described as the greatest living pianist? The answer begins here." That disc, his first since 1995, featured Mozart and Chopin. Now comes a second disc on both CD and DVD focusing on Schubert and Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" piano sonata. The playing is every bit as uncanny and magisterial.

READ THE FULL WBUR: Boston ARTICLE