‘Pictures at an Exhibition
05 January 2017
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.