Recordings

Clair de Lune
Klassieke Zaken, Oswin Schneeweisz (2-2016)

‘You’ll be captivated by his interpretation. Take his approach to the Nocturne opus 9 nr. 2 by Chopin, or the three Intermezzi by Brahms: his fingers bring these works to life, thanks to a beautifully balanced and light-footed touch and quick tempos, through which the pieces emerge clean cut and lean.’

Clair de Lune
Magazine Class: Aktuell (22.06.2016)

‘Fomin, who graduated from the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, is far removed from the production of just ‘easy listening’ and soft, whispering sounds. In this case, as a Gnessin graduate, and in good company with Kissin, Lifschitz, Maisenberg, Zylberstein and Trifonow, he stays true to his roots. 

Fomin also embodies the strongly virtuosic tradition of Russian pianists on this “Moonlight” CD. The big fists of a Gilels and Berman are audible in the octave basses in Beethoven’s introductory ‘Adagio sostenuto' part, as well as in the middle parts of the Brahms Intermezzi opus 117. The power in the attack and the richness of perspectives from the tones of the piano, whereby the recording evocative, sometimes with some force from the bass, allow Fomin to sound fully like an ambassador from the old Russian school. Beethoven’s C-sharp Sonata starts mightily, with relatively lots of rubato. The Allegretto comes with elegant light-footedness; the Trio again marked as vigorous. 
Fomin gains momentum in ‘Presto agitato’ with dynamics that are rich in contrasts. The espressivo melody could be somewhat clearer, but Fomin continues to captivate with the fermatas. Even in the singsong cantabile Chopin Nocturnes op.9 No. 2 and op. 27 No. 2, Fomin sets about his work in a wholly unsentimental way. 

Dynamic shifts are used a controlled manner. The accent placed on the Belcanto Allure is wonderful. Painful undertones are almost too sorrowfully played in the piece in D-flat major. Nocturnal sentiment is used very sparingly, in any case. [..]The depth of the three Intermezzi op. 117 by Brahms is fully understood by Fomin. The enduring melody, reflecting ritardandi and fine dynamic nuances are convincing.
At the end, Fomin shows himself to be a grandiose Rachmaninov interpreter!’

Clair de Lune
Gerard Scheltens, Magazine Pianist

‘But then! With Brahms the atmosphere suddenly becomes different. Here Fomin finds the nuance. In particular, the considered rubati in the second Intermezzo in B-flat are effective and full of ambiance. In Debussy’s Arabesques you might long for more subtle fingers, but Clair de Lune is beautifully done. The CD only gets better the further into it you go, as Fomin feels clearly at home in the Russian world. The pieces by Scriabin and Rachmaninov obviously come with waves of tension and something akin to improvisation. The switches between light and dark, which lie hidden in the CD’s theme, are showcased to their best here’.

Misha Fomin plays Chopin
Wenneke Savenije, Klassieke Zaken

His Chopin CD, with the third Piano Sonata and the Études Opus 10, shows an honest, sensitive and knowledgeable musician, with a classic feeling for timing, waves of tension, phrasing, rubato, dynamic and the relationships between sounds. Whoever is attracted to Fomin’s modest and personable approach, will discover many a jewel on this CD.

Misha Fomin plays Chopin
Siebe Riedstra Opusklassiek

For the celebratory year of Chopin, Misha Fomin made a CD of the Third Sonata and the first book of Études - not necessarily the favourites from the maestro’s pieces. It became a disk that I sat enjoying from beginning to end. Why? Because Fomin knows how to combine unblemished virtuosity with a natural feeling for poetry. His Études are miniatures not just decoration, they are ones that capture you.

Pictures at an Exhibition
Piano Bulletin, Olga de Kort Koulikova

Fomin plays Pictures from an Exhibition with the allure of a pianist for whom the score holds no technical secrets and, moreover, who knows everything about the instrument’s potential for expression. From the first accentuated and energetic notes of the “Promenade” to the last bars of the “Great gate of Kiev”, his playing is clear, nuanced, expressive and never forced. Add to this the well-dosed dynamic and the overwhelming strength (particularly in the orchestral sounding passages, with the doubling of octaves and stacked thirds), and you get a performance that carries you away, in which every note is audible, every bar autonomous and every phrase intensively experienced.

‘Fomin embodies the strongly virtuosic tradition of Russian pianists’
Aktuell, Prof. Kurt Witterstätter – June 2016 - Clair de Lune

‘Fomin also embodies the strongly virtuosic tradition of Russian pianists on this “Moonlight” CD. The big fists of a Gilels and Berman are audible in the octave basses in Beethoven’s introductory ‘Adagio sostenuto' part, as well as in the middle parts of the Brahms Intermezzi opus 117. The power in the attack and the richness of perspectives from the tones of the piano, whereby the recording evocative, sometimes with some force from the bass, allow Fomin to sound fully like an ambassador from the old Russian school. Beethoven’s C-sharp Sonata starts mightily, with relatively lots of rubato. The Allegretto comes with elegant light-footedness; the Trio again marked as vigorous. 
Fomin gains momentum in ‘Presto agitato’ with dynamics that are rich in contrasts. The espressivo melody could be somewhat clearer, but Fomin continues to captivate with the fermatas. Even in the singsong cantabile Chopin Nocturnes op.9 No. 2 and op. 27 No. 2, Fomin sets about his work in a wholly unsentimental way. 
Dynamic shifts are used a controlled manner. The accent placed on the Belcanto Allure is wonderful. Painful undertones are almost too sorrowfully played in the piece in D-flat major. Nocturnal sentiment is used very sparingly, in any case. [..]The depth of the three Intermezzi op. 117 by Brahms is fully understood by Fomin. The enduring melody, reflecting ritardandi and fine dynamic nuances are convincing. The hidden drama in the Intermezzo C-sharp minor No. 3 is notable through a worthy tempo. 

With nuance-rich variety in his attack, Fomin was convincing in his approach of Debussy and Scriabin. […] The consistent, resounding tones fantastically showcase his self-composure. 
Fomin plays the rather monomaniacal Scriabin Etude op. 8 No.8 with sensitive phrasing, and the more emotion-filled piece op. 42 No. 4 also with a subtle finesse. At the end, Fomin shows himself to be a grandiose Rachmaninov interpreter!’

Sonatinas for violin and piano
Alexey Naumenko (violin) en Misha Fomin (piano)
Marjolijn Sengers Luister, November 2015

Fomin and Naumenko play in a fresh and energetic manner - strongly and compactly. Neither the score nor the content of this work are too demanding, making it easy to digest. It is music that evokes sympathy for the composer and, in this performance, also for the two musicians, who play directly en clearly but nevertheless with a certain modesty.
They put feeling and finely-tuned senses into this light, early romantic music. As their parts are equal, their play together as violinist and pianist are equal as well. No superfluous bells and whistles, in the form of vibrato or pedal usage or thickly laid accentuation, just pure music.

La Campanella
Luister Magazine, August 2002

A well balanced and engaging recital of the Russian born pianist, Misha Fomin [….] His interpretation of music composed or arranged by Liszt is outstanding with a subtlety of touch and phrasing, a refinement of musical expression together with a natural display of virtuosity.
From no.5 onwards the recital is of a superior quality, emitting superbly the distinctive styles of the European romantic and early-modern piano repertoire. Misha Fomin does full justice to the dreamy atmosphere of 'Les cloches de Genève', as well as to Debussy's subtle impression of a mediterranean summer evening in 'Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir', and to the more solid and dramatic work by Scriabin and Rachmaninov.

Shostakovich
Luister Magazine, May/June 2012

These interpretations get ruthlessly to the very root at a level easily to be compared with the highly-praised recordings of the Borodin Quartet and Svjatovlav Richter.”

‘Pictures at an Exhibition
Klassieke Zaken, Willem Veldhuizen

Russian pianist Misha Fomin begins his new CD with Ravel's Jeux d'eau written in 1901. His interpretation is transparent and flowing, with supple rubatos and luxuriant sparkling harmonies. The two Debussy Preludes demand no less riches: they are truly becalmed and a picturesque halfway house to the whimsical world of Scriabin which follows. Listen to the playful scherzo-like Etude op 1 no. 8 in which the speed of the virtuoso performance never smothers Misha Fomin's delicate touch. And do listen to Etude op 8 no. 11 in which a Rachmaninov-like theme of familiar Slav melancholia gets the fullest and most dignified characterisation. As a finale Misha Fomin produces a monumental performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. He has all the boisterous power to give the work both the orchestral allure and reflective pathos it needs to fill the music with mystery.

The Ballad of the Unhatched Chicks is finely-spun, his Two Jews, Rich and Poor, is deeply expressive and dramatic, and the Market Place in Limoges shows the limpid onward flow of the melody. The final Great Gate of Kiev combines Fomin's consummate musicianship with his deep understanding of the music. An excellent cd, beautifully recorded and put together.

Concerts

‘His interpretation of music composed or arranged by Liszt is outstanding’
Luister
‘Rarely have I seen so many in the audience listen with closed eyes’
The Eindhovens Dagblad about one of Misha Fomin’s piano recitals
‘Fomin has made a profound impression
with his Romantic programme’
C. Hoendervanger, Eindhovens Dagblad

‘He put his muse wholeheartedly into his technique and approached all compositions in a very direct and natural way. The high point of the afternoon was the beautiful and expressive execution of the Intermezzi opus 117 by Brahms. A balanced, dynamic construction and, moreover, a “Scream from the depths of the heart. This exceptional master of the piano that lives in our country and speaks Dutch well, will surely have success in the future on other (larger) stages.’

‘Genuine musical integrity’
Noord Hollands Dagblad
‘Overwhelming… leaving a great impression’
Trouw Newspaper
‘Fiery musicianship from the Balakirev Piano Trio’
Eindhovens Dagblad, Cornélie Hoendervanger 14-11-2016

‘Last year in Castle Geldrop he impressed with his solo recital: the Russian master pianist Misha Fomin, who lives and works in the Netherlands. Yesterday afternoon he was back behind the piano, together with his compatriots, violinist Anton Ilyunin and cellist Anna Gorelova. Since 2015 they have performed together as the Balakirev Piano Trio. The Strabrecht Theatre programmed this superb ensemble. The pianist played the demanding scores beautifully and with a lush colour palette. He proved to be a solid fundament and a unifying and inspiring partner. In excellently balanced dynamic lines, he gave the two string players every opportunity to showcase their passionate narrative.
Beethoven's Trio opus 11 sounded fascinating and clever, especially the virtuoso variations.
The instrumentalists possessed great affinity with romantic emotions of Rachmaninov. The "Trio Elégiaque" received a good dose of tension and a brilliant setting. They convinced with Brahms' vibrant Trio opus 8. What a fiery and hot-blooded performance; the slow movement was very delicately spun. With an encore, a lovely Arensky, the three consummate musicians thanked the enthusiastic audience. "A Mighty Group", this trio with the name Balakirev, the composer from one of Russia’s "Mighty Handful".’

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