Simon Trpceski

Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev

****

I guess young musical geniuses have always presented an attractive vision of precocity but these days the big record companies seem to be finding and promoting them at great speed. The 24 year old Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski is the latest youngster set to play the opera house. He won the London international piano competition in 2000 and has since played to glowing accolades world-wide. He has been acclaimed for both his technical virtuosity, his imaginative musicianship and a sense of youthful flare. His debut album on EMI which was released last year amply demonstrates these qualities. The pieces include the familiar concert suite from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker suite, Scriabin's one movement sonata 5, Stravinsky's piano version of his Petrouchka and Prokofiev's Sonata 6. Each of these works is in their own way highly demanding and Trpceski manages to discover the right idiom for each. He manages to make the Nutcracker seem fresh and vital giving into its lyricism on occasion then reminding us of its simple power. The Stravinsky and Prokofiev are the disc's key pieces and here we hear both his virtuosity and percussive power. But my favourite is the Scriabin which has a lively freshness and showcases the ease with which Trpceski moves from delicate moments crafted with great care to powerful full orchestral playing. It is clear in all the work that he is in charge of the overall architecture of the music rather than just the notes at hand. This is not music to relax to it is passionate, demanding and at times harsh but it is here played by a captivating musical personality.

Marcus O'Donnell originally published in the Sydney Star Observer