CLASSIQUENEWS.COM / 13.08.2019. (link)

REVIEW TO THE LA ROCK-D'ANTERON INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL.

August 9, 2019. State Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Tatarstan conducted by Alexander Sladkovsky.

La Rock-d’Anteron International Piano Festival has invited us to a wonderful evening of classical music. Two Russian composers, a delightful young pianist from Russia, another pianist from sunny Argentina, as well as an orchestra from Tatarstan led by conductor Alexander Sladkovsky. Everyone was in anticipation.


The first part is devoted to two works by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), and the second one to two works by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). Two concerts, two symphonic compositions, the perfect balance of a magnificent diptych. An evening of piano music opens with an unusually talented seventeen-year-old youth Alexander Malofeev, winner of the First Prize of the International Youth Competition named after P.I. Tchaikovsky, who at the age of fourteen received recognition for his exceptional performance. Performed by him the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 with orchestra in G-major op. 44 sounds under the arches of a fantastic La Rock scene constructed using 121 white cubes. This hall has become one of the most enviable acoustic venues for open-air festivals.

Unlike the famous Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor with its magnificent introduction to the first part and grandiose chords throughout the keyboard, with a powerful and sensual melodic line of the theme, the little-known Concerto No. 2 (Tchaikovsky composed 3 concerts) includes three parts, like most concerts composed in the form established at the end of the Baroque period. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) contributed to the formation of a three-part composition with his numerous concerts and thereby provided the soloist with greater freedom in the manner of performance, the virtuosity and technique of which will develop over the next centuries. The cadence, completing the first parts, which existed first in the form of improvisation, and then, in the 19th century, recorded in writing, is a legacy of the era of bold Baroque. The concert № 2 consists of 3 parts: Allegro brillante e molto vivace, Andante non troppo, Allegro con fuoco.

Crazy evening of Russian piano music!

Looking at the young musician-prodigy Alexandr Malofeev it seems that he plays making his fingers dance on the keys. The easiness of performing of the sophisticated parts and the mastery of brilliant passages are just amazing. From the outside you see that the musician leant over the piano becomes the integral part with the sound and at the next moment he stands up straight and rises over the music score. Besides, the musician has a very good communication with flute, violin and violoncello. As a result the most feeling part of the sonata becomes extremely turbulent and goes up to the furor in Allegro con fuoco which is the theme of hoedown with glaring accords running on the piano key board. This is the true rhapsody style. Alexandr Malofeev performed two musical compositions as an encore to consolidate the success of his performing mastery. One of them is Islamey, op. 18 of Balakirev, one of the members of The Five. For the performing of this eastern fantasy the pianist constantly crosses the hands in the crazy race along the piano keys. The second composition is the part of The Seasons, op. 37a of Tchaikovsky (Song of the Autumn: October) which shows deep melancholiness. Tremendously! The State Symphony Orchestra of Tatarstan is accompanying to the young prodigy. This republic of the Russian Federation can be proud of such symphony orchestra. Conductor Alexandr Sladkovsky who became extremely popular starting from 2010 when he won the International contest of S. Prokofiev is able to express the power and the largeness of the music, making every instrument respond. He is very pretentious and impressive at the conductor's desk...

Alban Deags.

JOURNALZIBELINE.FR /August 2019. (link)

When La-rock is dancing.

This evening two pianists and the State Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Tatarstan showed the high level of mastery and virtuosity. The concert was held in the park of Florans castle (Parc du Château de Florans). The orchestra consists of 6 horns, 6 double basses, as well as a great number of strings. The orchestra's creative director and principal conductor is Alexander Sladkovsky.

The concert made it possible to appreciate the talent of the young pianist Alexander Malofeev. At the age of 13 the musician already performed in La Rock in 2014. Alexander brilliantly and passionately performed Concert No. 2 for piano and orchestra of Tchaikovsky in G major No. 2 (op. 44), dedicated to Nikolai Rubinstein. His performance helps us indeed to fully realize the ambiguous value of the word “play” (perform). The pianist performed some virtuosic techniques with unconstrained ease. Music for him is inspiration itself, an emotional impulse. His hands literally “run” on the keyboard connecting piano and the orchestra creating close ties as if in a very close family. The audience smiles, mesmerized by the wonderful performance of the young talent. The creative director of the orchestra Alexander Sladkovsky supports him with a gentle eye. While one pianist’s hand is occupied with sparkling arpeggios, the other one seems to repeat the development of the orchestra’s musical part (Alexander Malofeev has been conducting since 9 years old...). Malofeev encored Islamey, op.18 of Balakirev (a work of a monstrous difficulty of the score), as well as October (Song of the Autumn, from The Seasons piano cycle (op.37a) by Tchaikovsky. And immersed us in an aura of the Russian folklore. The pure virtuosity of Islamey was replaced by the poetic grace of Song of the Autumn. An incredible musical palette of colors! ..

MARYVONNE COLOMBANI.

France Net Infos / 15.08.2019. (link)

GORGEOUS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL IN LA ROCK D'ANTERON.

Surrounded with magical forest, the Chateau de Florence in La Roque d'Anteron has been home to a prestigious international festival of piano music for almost 39 years. Within up a whole month from mid-July to mid-August, this charming city in Provence turns into the piano music capital. During the world-famous festival there are more than 80 concerts given in different parts of this city. The high quality of the programs and the warm welcome with excellent piano music find their enthusiastic audience.


The editing group France Net Infos from Marseille was delighted to attend special evenings. The first one, dedicated to Rachmaninoff, was attended on Thursday, August 8, 2019, and the second one, dedicated to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, was attended on Friday, August 9. Switching places, four famous artists, four completely different personalities, performed for two evenings in a row, demonstrating the virtuosity of performance to the conquered audience.

They were accompanied by the excellent Republic of Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra, led by the unrivaled Alexander Sladkovsky. The orchestra gave a sense of a true sound splendor just in two evenings...

But they also prepared a pleasant surprises for the larger audience on Friday night. The concert opened with the performance of a true angel who descended from heaven: Alexander Malofeev. This young virtuoso has not yet reached adulthood (he was born in September 2001), but has been doing for a while and successfully his musical career. He looks like a moon boy creating magic from the moment when he appears on the beautiful stage of the piano festival. From the very first notes of Tchaikovsky’s Concert No. 2 the musician brings to the play the splendid dramatic tension and flexibility. The audience explodes in a single burst of applause, not sparing their hands and feet. The musician delights us with the maturity of performance, the bright future undoubtedly awaits him...