Review: Solzhenitsyn and Kremer in St. Petersburg

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Владимир Дудин в Санкт-Петербургских Ведомостях о моём выступлении с Гидоном Кремером на фестивале “Площадь Искусств” санкт-петербургской филармонии. Vladimir Dudin in St. Petersburg Vedomosti on my performance with Gidon Kremer and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic at the 19th international “Arts Square” Festival.

На концерте с участием Гидона Кремера и Игната Солженицына был аншлаг. В программе был Четвертый концерт для скрипки с оркестром Шнитке и Третья симфония Бетховена. Феномен музыки Шнитке, которая была чрезвычайно исполняема при жизни композитора и крайне редко исполняется в наши дни, причем не только в России, но и за рубежом, так и остается пока загадкой. Возможно, требуется временная дистанция, хотя Четвертый концерт показал, что его смыслы не утрачивают актуальности ни на минуту.
— Владимир Дудин

Review Roundup: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich at the Bolshoi

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Last month’s new production première of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich at the Bolshoi Opera garnered several favourable notices. 

In Kommersant, Ilya Ovchinnikov considers that “one of the stars of this production is the orchestra under the direction of Solzhenitsyn, an orchestra that has not sounded this confident in a long time”.

In Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Irina Muravyova writes that “Aleksandr Tchaikovsky’s music sets the measured rhythm of this daily hell, the horror of its routine and endlessness […] Under Ignat Solzhenitsyn the orchestra sounds grander and even more close-knit than in the original Perm production [of 2009]. The conductor brings forward those aspects of the score that lead to Shostakovich, to the burning tragic atmosphere of his symphonies and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk […] Out of the complex textures of the orchestral tutti the conductor also manages to extract all the purposeful allusions to Mussorgsky operas, Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible, polyphonic Bach-like textures, and Orthodox church music.

In Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Vladimir Dudin opines that “in Isaakyan’s staging there is nothing extreme or intolerant, and he has found so subtle a key to the music that the production impacts the listener without needing to explain itself, especially when on the podium stands the son of the writer, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, who did not allow a single note to escape from view, seeing in each one compelling resonances with his father’s text.”

One of the stars of this production is the orchestra under the direction of Solzhenitsyn, an orchestra that has not sounded this confident in a long time.”
— Ilya Ovchinnikov, Kommersant

Review 3: Премьера "Ивана Денисовича" на камерной сцене Большого театра

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Илья Овчинников в Коммерсанте о премьере “Одного дня Ивана Денисовича”.

Один из героев спектакля — оркестр театра под управлением Солженицына, давно не звучавший так уверенно.
— Илья Овчинников

Review 2: Премьера "Ивана Денисовича" на камерной сцене Большого театра

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Владимир Дудин в Независимой газете о премьере “Одного дня Ивана Денисовича”.

В постановке Исаакяна нет ничего экстремального и нетолерантного, но он нашел такой точный ключ к музыке, что спектакль действует на слушателя-зрителя «без лишних слов», тем более когда за пультом стоит сын писателя – Игнат Солженицын, не упускавший из поля зрения ни одной ноты, видя в них пронзительные резонансы к тексту отца.
— Владимир Дудин

Review 1: Премьера "Ивана Денисовича" на камерной сцене Большого театра

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Ирина Муравьёва в Российской газете о премьере “Одного дня Ивана Денисовича”.

Музыка Александра Чайковского задает мерный ритм этого повседневного ада, ужас его ординарности и бесконечности […] У Игната Солженицына оркестр звучит крупно и даже более плотно, чем в первоначальной пермской версии. Дирижер вывел на первый план линии партитуры, ведущие к Шостаковичу, к его обжигающему трагизму симфоний и антракту из “Леди Макбет Мценского уезда” […] Из сложной ткани оркестрового тутти дирижер вытягивает и все аллюзии на “народные драмы” Мусоргского, на “Ивана Грозного” Прокофьева, намеренно включенных Чайковским в партитуру, и полифонические баховские фактуры, и православные духовные мотивы.
— Ирина Муравьёва

Review: Tolstoy and Beethoven in New York

A belated review of the Tolstoy/Beethoven concert back in November.

Hence the talks which are such a crucial component of the ASPECT program came from one of the artists—most engagingly—from one of the artists, Ignat Solzhenitsyn… The Bard Conservatory has initiated a multidisciplinary program, which gives young musician a liberal arts education along with their musical training, requiring the members of its Orchestra NOW to give their audience a personal, but informed introduction to the works they play. Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s rich and personable presentation seemed an ideal they could strive for… Mr. Solzhenitsyn had a distinguished partner in Mark Steinberg, violinist in the Brentano Quartet, which replaced the Tokyo Quartet in residence at Yale. They played an energetic, even exuberant “Kreutzer,” tightly knit, but allowed to breathe, enhanced by characterful phrasingeven idiosyncratic in places—which gave the performance an engaging personal stamp.

Review 3: Philadelphia recital

And one more review of my Philadelphia recital.

The slow movement was unfolded with an easy flow and yet a mordant depth of insight that rendered any questioning of Solzhenitsyn’s choice of tempo otiose. The scherzo was dashed off with seemingly effortless charm. And the taxing textural and rhythmic challenges in the finale held no terrors for the pianist, even in the Presto coda that used to throw even the great Schnabel for a technical loop; Solzhenitsyn followed it, in response to an enthusiastic ovation, with a well-chosen encore in the shape of Schubert’s Hungarian Melody, D.817
— Bernard Jacobson

Review 2: Philadelphia recital

Another review of my Philadelphia recital last week.

A stunning recital… a rock-solid digital technique fully at the service of an ever-more mature musician who continues to explore the internal inspiration for the music he performs.… Employing a vast variety of touches from seamless legato to clipped staccato, a broad range of dynamics from softest to loudest, and a flowing feel for which voice to emphasize from one measure to the next, Solzhenitsyn showcased these expansive miniatures in their proper context of harmonic adventure through melodic development.
— Michael Caruso

Review 1: Philadelphia recital

Philadelphia Inquirer review of my Philadelphia recital last week.

The strengths of the pianist found an expressive home in Shostakovich. Solzhenitsyn chose four of the Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87, and each was of such boldly different character that they formed a satisfying portrait of the pianist. That golden tone drew you in at the start of the fugue in the No. 1 in C Major. This was the pianist as beauty. No. 8 in F Sharp Minor was about how making a circus of somber events can somehow just make a moment all the more inconsolable. The knotty chromaticism of No. 19 in E Flat Major gave Solzhenitsyn a powerful chance to contrast the proud chorale-like prelude with a fugue of fearsome clusters. He ended with No. 24 in D Minor, whose Brahms-like beginning didn’t last, and which seemed to evolve the pianist into an artist of fearsome intensity.
— Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer