REVIEWS

Master of Nuances

"Here we can hear why Ryabchikov has been called "the new Anton Rubinstein" - it is easy to hear the judgements of history repeat themselves: power and width, giving full expression to spontaneus passion, exquisite on the pedals, virtuoso technique. To this should be added Ryabchikovs amazing poetic vein... Victor Ryabchikov was here!"                  Sverker Magnusson, Arvika Nyheter mars 2009

 At the musical club ”Orphei” at the Mendelejev University of Chemistry and Technology, (St. Petersburg) Victor Ryabchikov played Chopin. Twenty four Preludes, waltzes, impromptus and nocturnes. This pianist, unknown to Moscow, has gone to the Tashkent Conservatoire under A.Danilova - pupil of Goldenweiser - and taken his candidate examn at the Moscow Conservatoire under Professor Tatiana Nikolayeva who has the Honorary title CCCP “Artist of the Sovjet People”. What happened after that is difficult to understand. For some reason he didn’t pay any importance to competitions and didn’t try to participate in them. He says: “Whenever I listen to another musician it seems as if I never could play like that myself.” How can you go into a competition with such feelings? Well, he didn’t, and became neglected. Although he plays a lot abroad, he would not try to push himself into Moscow’s concert halls and they ought to be saddened by this. He is an exquisite pianist. He is rare. A contemporary colleague of Chopin’s described Chopin as a closed person, who was unable to initiate others into his innermost thoughts. All the same, now he has initiated us into them. In each piece and particularly in the preludes lies in fact a personal diary. Victor Ryabchikov does not only understand this, but also manages to stir the listener with the specific uniqueness in each phrase from this diary, expressively and exactly conveying the poetic feeling, discovering a row of exceedingly pleasant nuances for the ear. He himself does not give the impression of being emotional. But with his instrument he discovers the most complex register of emotions - And all this on an ancient grand piano of the name “Moscow”. One doesn’t even understand when or where it was made. The artist took care of everything. And he received an extremely well deserved response. There were no students in the concert hall. The “Orphei” event had not caught their interest. They have missed a whole life. And this is the only thing which is deplorable.

Chopin - a successful case of ingenious limit”, wrote the same witty pianist whom I quoted in the beginning. It’s a pity if anyone yet hasn’t managed to discover this.

 Jurii Danilin, Literaturnaya Gazyeta 2008

  “Ryabchikov was making music fit for consumption by the gods."

“He was dressed in a white shirt, black bow-tie and suit and black shoes to cap it off. Unassuming. Maybe so that he would not steal the thunder away from the witchcraft his pale white though scarlet tipped fingers were performing. Scarlet from this piece of Russian divination.”

“If music be the food of love, then Victor Ryabchikov, indeed, play on!”
Robert Mukondiwa (SundayMail) Zimbabwe- 2006

“One has to be grateful that there are musicians who still allow themselves to be driven by the will to find something new. Chopin’s sonata for piano in b-minor is in normal cases totally predictable in an endless amount of CD recordings.

When Victor Ryabchikov played the sonata… it was as if a new piece appeared before one”.
Håkan Dahl - GöteborgsPosten - 7 September 2005

"What western-bred artist could play these works like this?" I asked myself. No answer , alas."
Derek Jole, Oxford Times 19 March 2004

"...stunning performance..." "One wonders: would the ideal Chopin Ballade lie somewhere between Claudio Arrau and Arthur Rubinstein? If Rubinstein celebrated mostly their rich, unpredictable harmonic colour, Arrau showed how, in these extraordinary pieces, Chopin's personal instinct for exact structure was the real key to their emotional punch. Amazingly, Ryabchikov almost touched base. His all-pervasive soul and exquisite perusal of detail held you like a book you can't put down."
Derek Jole, Oxford Times, 10 October 2003

Fingers under control
It might seem strange that a small Swedish record company like “Intim Musik” risks investing in a CD by an unknown Russian pianist, Victor Ryabchikov, who plays Rachmaninov and Schubert. But Ryabchikov is simply an astoundingly fine musician. Not only does he have his fingers under masterly control, as many do today, he also has a rare musical intelligence and personality. Schubert wrote six exquisite character pieces and called them Moments musicaux and later on Rachmaninov did the same. It is logical to bring these two very different works together and Ryabchikov creates a fascinating spectrum of nuances out of both Rachmaninov’s great orchestral brilliance and Schubert’s subtle intimacies.
Lennart Bromander - AFTONBLADET - 2003

In a class of his own... ... a Rachmaninov played with weight, insight, honesty and an enormous emotional power, making his better-known countrymen. Such as Pletnev and Gavrilov, appear rather uninteresting... This record is absolutely not to be missed. Henrik Kyhle, Dagens Industri - 2003.

"Ryabchikov's Chopin interpretations are far more complex and many faceted than most of those of his piano colleagues. Here one finds the power, the brilliance, the drama, the poetic detail, but also the quick emotional throws and intellectual movements, which one usually connects with Mozart rather than Chopin. Listen for example to a choice of mazurkas. Under Ryabchikov's hands they portray a universe of feeling. "...the Nocturne in F major...breathes pure beauty... the great B minor Sonata gets an interpretation which can only be called grandiose. Virtually every aspect of Fréderic Chopin is made the most of here"
Leif Aare, Dagens Nyheter - 2002

"... one of the worlds’ greatest pianists... – at any rate when it comes to the Slavic repertoire: Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Chopin – where he has few, if any superiors... "I would refer those who doubt my judgement to this CD with Tchaikovsky’s Seasons (twelve, one for each month, which were published as as a serial in a magazine). This I would recommend everybody else as well."
Dagens Industri - 2002

"... Rachmaninov’s 6 Moments Musicaux....Ryabchikov managed to combine cogency in the pace with an enormous power which left the audience breathless..."
Upsala Nya Tidning - 2002 "

... Russian pianist Victor Ryabchikov - bare this name in mind! - offered, with lyrical performances, grandiose interpretations filled with temperament... ...one of the best performances of Glinka’s piano music that I ever heard. ... Chopin’s entire work of preludes was played as one suite. The entire fantastic construction - the approaching death in pulmonary tuberculosis - was movingly interpreted; dreamy beauty, desperation, capitulation, infinite longing, sorrow and flaming protest; the naked and brutal truths of existence - everything was found in Ryabchikov’s brilliant interpretations which didn’t flinch from any difficulty... ...genius..."
Arvika Nyheter- 2002

"Victor Ryabchikov at the Wigmore ...enterprise...sheer charm..."
Musical Opinion - 2000

"...a glittering display..allowing Ryabchikov to demonstrate a deft and sensitive touch that won him a warm reception." Chichester Observer - 2000

"Forgotten gems of the Russian repertoire beautifully presented: Thanks to the graceful performances of Victor Ryabchikov - a noted champion of lost Russian music - the pieces on this CD all get the best possible advocacy."
Michael Church - Classic CD - 2000

"To all these works Ryabchikov brings a highly sensitised touch and poetic sensibility. The sound he makes is unfailingly beautiful..."
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE - 1999

"Glinka would have been overjoyed by Mr Ryabchikov, a superb musician by anyone's standards... I got goose bumps just listening to him. ...it is the rare pianist nowadays who even thinks about role of bel canto, much less translates it as pristinely as Mr Ryabchikov. His playing ... is uncommonly elegant, buoyant and transparent... I dare say Mr Ryabchikov's brand of piano playing is precisely what Dinu Lipatti was after but never quite achieved. Of course, the comparison might be unfair: Lipatti was nowhere as imaginative as this pianist."
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE -1999

"… an absolutely masterly interpretation of Chopin's famous C-minor waltz, …fiery, disciplined and refined."
Svenska Dagbladet - 1999

"a rhythmical springiness... the nuances of the touch have many shades"
Fono Forum - 1999