After a break of twenty-five years, Evgeny Kissin will launch a new exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon this August with the release of a new Beethoven album. The double-disc set – Evgeny’s first solo recital recording in more than a decade and recorded live in venues across the world – will showcase a programme that includes the composer’s Piano Sonatas Nos. 2, 14, 23 and 26, as well as the two-movement Sonata No. 32 Op. 111 and the 32 Variations in C minor.
Evgeny said: “These recordings were made in the moment of performance. Live recordings always surpass studio albums for me, because I feel more inspired when playing for an audience. It means a lot to me to be able to share the spirit of that live experience with others.”
A press release from Deutsche Grammophon said:
Any history of the great pianists would be incomplete without a chapter devoted to Evgeny Kissin. The 45-year-old artist is blessed with the rare qualities required to enter the pantheon of piano legends. A recent recital at London’s Barbican Centre inspired the Telegraph to describe his playing as “miraculous”, while the New York Times wrote of the pianist’s “blend of technical mastery and eloquent artistry” following a spellbinding performance at Carnegie Hall.
After a break of twenty-five years, Evgeny Kissin has signed a new exclusive contract with the yellow label. Kissin’s discography already contains landmark recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, critically acclaimed collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado among them, and the association between artist and label resumes with the release of a Beethoven album in August. The double-disc set, its programme personally chosen by Kissin from recitals given over the past decade, includes Piano Sonatas No. 14 Op. 27 No. 2, “Moonlight”, No. 23 Op. 57, “Appassionata”, and No. 26 Op. 81a, “Les Adieux”. It also comprises the evergreen 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80 and a profound exploration of the sublime two-movement Piano Sonata No. 32 Op. 111, the composer’s final work in the genre. The album, Kissin’s first solo recital recording in more than a decade, represents a major addition to his Beethoven discography and an essential document of his artistic development.
President of Deutsche Grammophone, Dr Clemens Trautmann, said: “Audiences have been captivated by Evgeny Kissin’s poetic artistry, brilliant mind and fearless virtuosity for more than thirty years. We are delighted to continue our relationship with an artist who takes pleasure in playing for people. This is underlined by the fact that Evgeny Kissin explicitly opted for a live album – with excerpts from recitals given around the world, from New York to Seoul, Vienna to Verbier. His new album records his evolving relationship with Beethoven, a composer to whom his approach is particularly suited. Rarely is the transformation of written music into an intellectual and emotional listening experience as palpable and compelling as it is with Kissin’s Beethoven.”
The announcement comes just after the release of Evgeny’s autobiography, Memoirs and Reflections, published by W&N (an imprint of Orion) and available to purchase now.