What’s better than a night of Chopin?
A night of Chopin performed by Daniil Trifonov.
There was everything a piano concert should have: the loud and the soft; the fast and the slow; the touch and the feel. There are things many piano concerts lack: the emotion, the excitement, the energy, the presence. Trifonov was very much emotional and exciting and energetic and present. He managed to accomplish everything a musician hopes to achieve in their lifetime in just two hours of wondrous harmonies and melodies.
The first half of his program was all works inspired by Chopin. My favorite from this section was the excerpt from Carnaval, Op. 9 by Schumann. It was fun and lighthearted, and Grieg’s Moods that followed afterwards created a stark contrast that really captured the range of music and style that Chopin influenced, as well as the musicianship talent of Trifonov.
While all the music was masterful and amazing, my favorite pieces would still have to be the Chopin works in the second half. His Variations on “La ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni, Op. 2 were full of energy and attitude. I’m a sucker for variations, and this one was no exception.
Sonata No. 2 in b-flat minor, Op. 35 started out with a bang and it ended with a bang, and everything in between was just as grand. Trifonov showed off all the technique he has mastered, but the best moment came during Marche funèbre: Lento, when the entire room was silent, and the soft, somber notes from the piano filled the room in a way no fortissimo ever could. There were chills, and I was left speechless.
The music finished sooner than I wanted, and the entire auditorium was on its feet, cheering and clapping and whistling for more—and more is what we got. Trifonov came back out and played a slower piece, which I thought was unusual for an encore, but he pulled it off, treating the audience to this heartfelt piece. Again, it ended, but we wanted more.
And this is the point where I literally gasped and the entire night became more perfect than it already was.
For his second encore, Trifonov performed Fantaisie–Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. 66, which I myself played four years ago, and it’s been one of my favorite songs ever since I heard my older sister play it. Hearing Trifonov play it, however, was a whole new experience. The notes I knew by heart suddenly came alive in a way that’s never been played before, and I really felt this song in a whole new light.
Again, we hoped for more, but sadly, time had passed and it was officially over. However, his music has found its place into my memory and into my heart. The night came to an end, but his music lives on in me and everyone that attended this concert.
Daniil Trifonov has been called the greatest pianist of our generation, and after hearing him grace the stage with Chopin and many more at Hill Auditorium, I could not agree more.