Review from American Record Guide - Carnegie Hall recital April 14th 2000

"Dimitris Sgouros, Piano"

Carnegie Hall


Author: HARRIS GOLDSMITH

According to the biography printed in the program for his April 14 Carnegie Hall recital, pianist Dimitris Sgouros has been dubbed "the Greek myth". I feel impelled to clarify the matter: Sgouros, an erstwhile wunderkind, may be legitimately called a legend (he began his career at 7 and recorded the monstrously difficult Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto at 14), but he has carved for himself a real niche in the down-to-earth world of music. At 30, the mature Sgouros plays soberly, as a decidedly serious artist. He is no creature of mythology.

His recital made it plain enough that much of his music making is emotionally warm and communicative, and he certainly has kept his virtuoso pianism in tip-top working condition. Not only that, his admirably self-effacing interpretations of Schubert's B-flat Impromptu, D 935:3; Schumann's C-major Fantasy, Op. 17; and Brahms's F-minor Sonata, Op. 5 had an admirable structural clarity, accurate as a blueprint.

The pianist, possibly ill at ease after so long an absence from New York, seemed overly diffident in delineating and "orchestrating" the coloristic possibilities in the Schubert; although tempos were right on the mark, a certain grayness clouded the musical events. (I question, however, his injudicious cut in the Tema, omitting the octave-lower repetition of the final cadence.) The Schumann, compared with so many contorted, barnstorming subjective interpretations, sounded somewhat straitlaced in its orderly classical decorum, and one might have wished, at times, for a more passionate vigor and boldness in parts of the stormy first movement. But the march-like second movement came off stunningly well (have the celebrated murderous skips at the end ever been more accurately negotiated?) And the serenely flowing "Langsam..." movement had the requisite feeling of transfiguration.

The account of the youthful Brahms Sonata after intermission turned out to be even more compelling. Sgouros, by now fully warmed to his task, added a degree of confidence and abandon to his impeccably efficient command of the sprawling, notoriously ungrateful figurations, and let the sonorities pile up with more darkness and amplitude. (I wish he hadn't chosen to bypass the first movement exposition repeat, just as Radu Lupu did some weeks earlier).

Of the two encores, Liszt's Valse Caprice was played with irresistible elegance and whimsy, Chopin's Etude Op.10:4 was brisk and accurate, but a trifle matter-of-fact.

Sgouros recorded the Schumann and the Brahms a few days after his concert. I look forward to hearing both.

07/01/2000

Sgouros at Carnegie Hall

 

 Flashback - November 1982, April 1985 & April 1986   

 

"Erick Friedman was overwhelmed by the boy's incredible keyboard memory and virtuosity...

Dimitris learned this piece before the concert in just one minute and 50 seconds..."

 

Friedman first heard Sgouros performing aboard a luxury cruise ship

  INTERVIEW with Dimitris Sgouros, Erick Friedman, Dr Mark P. Malkovich III on New York's WQXR radio ahead of historic Sgouros/Friedman concert in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
 Listen to interview  lofi.gif (90 bytes) Part 1  hifi.gif (134 bytes) Part 2

Clavier Magazine -  "Sgouros, on the basis of this performance, seems to have the makings of one of the century's great pianists" 

 

 .... his favorite pianist is Horowitz.  What does he like about him?  Suddenly he is interested, his face screws up.  "I can't tell you. It's a very difficult question, but I feel it in my heart." 

 

 

"He is.. very near the level of pure dexterity that made Vladimir Horowitz the wonder of the musical world.."

 

Sgouros plays Chopin's Piano Concerto No 1 at Carnegie Hall (April 30, 1986)

A review from The New York Times by Bernard Holland (onetime chief music critic)

"Mr Sgouros has a natural feel for melodic lines and seemed to rejoice in his rich, ringing instrumental sound..."

This, incidentally, was one of the last concerts to be performed in the famed original acoustic of Carnegie Hall before controversial renovation works began in May 1986


 

Sgouros performs Mozart Piano Concerto No 21 KV467 in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York


 


 

Back to Home Page - Free MP3 Music by Dimitris Sgouros