FIVE STARS FOR SIMON TRPCESKI
Simon Trpceski’s latest CD with Four Scherzos and Sonata No. 2 by Chopin was released a week ago by British producer Emi Classics. Two days later on 9th February, critic Geoff Brown wrote an exalted review for the prestigious “The Times.” Read it below:
“Lovely sea breezes blowing through French windows that open on to a patio overlooking a starlit sea murmuring of endless love.” That was what a Toronto critic, Stanley Fefferman, wrote last October, clearly whisked to seventh heaven by Simon Trpceski’s concert handling of Chopin’s fourth scherzo for piano.
Modesty forbids us to imagine his raptures when faced with the pianist’s present disc. For it contains all four of Chopin’s scherzos, plus the second sonata — the one weighed down with the funeral march.
Yet we should not mock. If any young musician on earth deserves effusions, it is Simon Trpceski. Four years after his graduation and still not yet out of his twenties, this Macedonian pianist has already conquered some of the stoniest critical hearts around, and you don’t need to venture far into this CD to know why.
Give him a section marked “ presto con fuoco ”, or even a hard-driven allegro, and he hurls along with incredible muscle and velocity. It’s truly exciting to listen to; Horow-itz’s ghost, beware. Yet there’s no showman’s bludgeoning in his force. Intelligence and finger power serve the music first, and leave the pianist’s ego trailing.
Trpceski is also, on demand, intensely poetic. Time and again in these familiar pieces Chopin swings between fast fury and slow meditation. Trpceski underlines the contrast with reflections brought close to fragility with delicately managed rubato, replete with pocket pauses. Yet the sense of onward motion is never lost, as it might be with Evgeny Kiss-in; nor do we ever lose fibre.
Nothing wilts with Trpceski, or arrives drowned in tinsel. Listen to the extreme, poised beauty of the B major middle section in the first scherzo, or the way the second sonata’s cortege is carefully pitched between overt sobs and frozen grief. There are many other revelations on this disc. Young though he is, Trpceski already offers the mature virtuoso performances that seasoned players would die to command. Trpceski’s Chopin is an explorer of the soul, never a boudoir entertainer.
“Probably the best Macedonian pianist of all time,” says the current Wikipedia entry for Trpceski. But why garland him with faint praise? If Stanley Fefferman doesn’t update the entry, I might well do it myself.