Italy: / il / 13.02.2017. (link)


When Alexander Malofeev appeared on the stage of the La Scala Theater, he seemed younger than it was written in his birth certificate: he was born in Moscow in 2001. The fragile figure of a teenager and the face of a fair-haired cherub. And at the same time, a complete contrast – his large, magnificent, impressive hands of the pianist seemed to have been magically given to him by a much more mature person. As soon as he played the first chords – strongly, intensely, purposefully – the Moscow teenager appeared before Tchaikovsky's First Concert as David in the face of a giant Goliath. After that, he immediately started to demonstrate his technical abilities and maturity, making a huge impression on the audience by the accuracy and beauty of the sound. These qualities were even more obvious in comparison with the dim and sometimes uncoordinated orchestral accompaniment performed by the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev. There are not enough words to express thanks to the Russian conductor for such effective support of the young performer (for religious persons – one more confirmation of the existence of God), throwing a veil of silence over the very poor performance of the orchestra, which sometimes seemed to be an improvisation. In the solo parts, Malofeev showed an inborn craving for the sound and technical richness of the works of Liszt and contemporary French composers. This was completely confirmed by the encore of the gorgeously conveyed apotheosis of the finale of Tchaikovsky`s “The Nutcracker” and Ravel's “Night Visions”. If the pitfalls and temptations of success do not interfere with him, it can be said, that the piano music of the new Millennium already has a new prophet.

Giovanni Gavazzeni - Lun.

Italy: / Musica News, Teatro alla Scala / 08.02.2017. (link)


On Monday, the 6th of February, at the La Scala Theater in Milan, Maestro Valery Gergiev again conducted the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, performing the fourth concert of the season (earlier we wrote about the third concert of the season under the direction of Maestro Chailly).

The Italian debut of a young and talented pianist (born in 2001) Alexander Malofeev, the winner of many different competitions and awards, including the first prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2014 and the Grand Prix of the Grand Piano Competition in Moscow in 2016, took place in a crowded theater. When Malofeev goes up on stage and sits at the piano, he looks so confident that it just doesn't fit with his incredibly childish appearance. The first work he performed was Tchaikovsky's famous First Concert for the piano and orchestra, that he played confidently, impulsively and with professional experience. Supported by Gergiev's passionate and well-coordinated accompaniment, Malofeev fully conveyed the technical and performing nuances of the First Concert, making the audience hold their breath. Gergiev naturally joined Tchaikovsky's score and perfectly harmonized with the young Russian pianist, who is undoubtedly bound to succeed, and who will make everybody talk about him more than once. Malofeev was met with a storm of applause from the audience, which forced him to perform encores of two works that fully revealed the technical and performing abilities of the young man: the first – a piano version of the famous pas de deux from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker", and the second - the Aria of Undine from the frighteningly complex “Night Vision” by Maurice Ravel. A touching but very energetic performance of the pas de deux from the famous ballet was changed by Ravel's music, in that way the young Malofeev showed the audience all his skills. In this, one of the most complex works of music for the piano, thanks to the continuous and extremely expressive rhythm, the young Russian pianist impresses with his ease of performing such a complex composition. Perhaps his performance has a lack of individuality, but considering his young age, we can be sure that a young man will be a master who can give us many exciting impressions of the piano music.

The second part of the evening included “Pictures from the Exhibition” by Mussorgsky in the concert adaptation by Ravel, the performance of which was deeply imprinted by Gergiev’s personality, who could emphasize the score with his interpretation and convey the truly Russian soul of this work, so rich in Russian folk motifs that come to life thanks to Ravel’s expressive orchestration.

This was one more big concert of this season performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of The La Scala Theatre, where the greatest conductors of our times perform the works, changing each other.