Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov extends his Deutsche Grammophon discography with yellow label’s first ever recording of Franz Liszt’s complete concert Études

“Daniil Trifonov proves himself an heir to Liszt” Washington Post

“Without question the most astounding young pianist of our age” The Times (London)

Transcendental, the title of Daniil Trifonov’s latest solo album for Deutsche Grammophon, could serve to describe the Russian pianist’s artistry and his ability to reveal the deepest truths in every work he performs. The power of Trifonov to transcend the ordinary and touch the sublime has inspired critics and commentators to liken him to the greatest keyboard virtuosos of all time. He was recently hailed by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung as a “Russian Miracle”, a pianist without equal for his combination of “spontaneity, risk and high-drilled technique”. The newspaper’s acclamation underlines the overwhelming critical consensus that Daniil Trifonov is one of the most remarkable musicians of this or any other age. His beguiling pianism can be heard at its finest on Transcendental, a double-disc set comprising Franz Liszt’s complete concert Études which is set for international release on 7 October 2016.

“Liszt changed music for ever: how it was heard, how it was performed, what music could express – what it meant to be an artist,” comments Trifonov. “He was the grandfather of us all! He was a phenomenon.” Transcendental includes captivating interpretations of “La campanella”, the most popular of Liszt’s fiendishly difficult Grandes études de Paganini, and of “Mazeppa” in its final, 1852 version, an ideal showcase for Trifonov’s virtuosity and musicianship from the dozen Transcendental Études.

Daniil Trifonov is one of the few pianists to have recorded Liszt’s concert Études in one concentrated period and the first to record them complete for Deutsche Grammophon. He set down his visionary interpretations within the space of five days, a feat in keeping with the tireless energy and superhuman spirit of Liszt himself. Trifonov’s approach to Liszt is informed by the legacy of the Russian school of piano playing in which he was raised and by his profound understanding of the composer’s musical language. “Liszt’s technical virtuosity is just a means to evoke extremes of emotion,” observes Trifonov. “His daring harmonic and structural innovations revealed new horizons for emotional and psychological expression in music. His compositions can be described as dynamic depictions of the spiritual experiences of a Romantic soul.”

Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, is certain that Transcendental will convey to listeners all the power and passion noted by contemporaries in Liszt’s own performances. “Daniil Trifonov brings unique qualities to these compositions, which are even more demanding musically than they are technically,” he comments. “Not only does he possess the supreme skills necessary to bring each one to life but he is also blessed with the spiritual insight and artistry that belong to the truly greatest performers. Transcendental is sure to become the benchmark by which all other recordings of these works will be judged in future.”

Trifonov’s busy schedule in 2016-17 includes summer dates at the Verbier, Ravinia, Aspen and Edinburgh festivals, recital tours in Germany and Austria in October, performances of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel and the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, and a major tour of Australia.