Alexander Malofeev

Alexander Malofeev
Alexander Malofeev, pianist (b. 2001, Moscow). Photo by Liudmila Malofeeva

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sergei Redkin plays Sergei Redkin: Blumenstyk, & Sergei Rachmaninov: Études-tableaux, Op.39 (HD 1080p)

Russian pianist Sergei Redkin (third prize at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015) performs his own work titled "Blumenstyk", and Sergei Rachmaninov's Études-tableaux, Op.39. Recorded at St Petersburg Music House, English Hall, on December 14, 2016.

Sergei Rachmaninov: Études-tableaux, Op.39

These Études are somewhat longer and more challenging than those of Op.33, even though the poetic aspect of the "Tableaux" is still present. They are without exception extraordinarily difficult.

Flying triplet figurations span the keyboard in the propulsive and driven Étude No.1 in C minor. There are two powerful climaxes, each preceded by rapidly repeated chords.

In the Étude No.2 in A minor, Rachmaninov indulges his love of the "Dies Irae" chant, embedding it in the accompaniment of this tragic and powerful piece. A contrasting central section builds to a climax that dissipates in chromatic passages before the reprise of the opening.

The Étude No.3 in F sharp minor has interesting and unusual metrical groupings of its underlying triplet rhythms. Combined with the fleeting nature of the figuration, this makes it particularly difficult to develop a sense of a regular beat. The result is effective, if somewhat unsettling. A cadenza ends the piece quietly.

A march-like work with shifting meters, the Étude No.4 in B minor had no time signatures, but most editors have inserted them for the performer's convenience. This Étude is primarily a study in repeated notes and staccato chords.

The Étude No.5 in E flat minor is a somber and grand work, almost too epic in mood for its scale. A powerful theme is played against triplet chords in the main section, while the contrasting middle section features a longing melody accompanied by widespread arpeggios. The build-up to the return of the main theme is highly effective and results in an extraordinarily powerful climax.

The large scale and extreme difficulty of the Étude No.6 in A minor seem more appropriate to this ambitious set than to Op.33, where it originally was placed. This exciting and aggressive piece features alternating sections of rapid staccato chords and tricky sixteenth-note figurations.

An elegiac work, the Étude No.7 in C minor starts out with slow sustained passages followed by a driving, march-like section. The repeated chords of this passage build to a sonorous climax before subsiding for the quiet ending.

The beautiful Étude No.8 in D minor has an underlying rhythm that makes it sound much like a Barcarolle. The harmonies are lush and romantic, supporting the sparse melodic material, which is constructed primarily of a repeated motive. There is something of a build-up to a subtle and understated climax before the interesting and staccato reprise of the main material.

Much like the final Prélude of Op.32, the Étude No.9 in D major uses material from the other pieces of the set. It is primarily a study of chords, ostensibly dramatic but not highly effective and somewhat anticlimactic when the set is performed as a whole.

Source: Steven Coburn (

Sergei Redkin (b. 1991)

♪ Blumenstyk

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)

♪ Études-tableaux, Op.39 (1916-1917)

i. Allegro agitato in C minor
ii. Lento assai in A minor
iii. Allegro molto in F sharp minor
iv. Allegro assai in B minor
v. Appassionato in E flat minor
vi. Allegro in A minor
vii. Lento lugubre in C minor
viii. Allegro moderato in D minor
ix. Allegro moderato, Tempo di Marcia in D major

Sergei Redkin, piano

St Petersburg Music House, English Hall, December 14, 2016

(HD 1080p)

Sergei Redkin was born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, on October 27, 1991. He began to play the piano at the age of five. At the age of six he began to study at the Music Lyceum of Krasnoyarsk, in the class of Galina Boguslavskaya. At the same time he began to study improvisation and composition with Eduard Markaich.

In year 2004, after becoming a laureat of the International Gavrilin competition of young composers in Saint Petersburg, Sergei continued his education at the Special Music School of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, in the class of Olga Kurnavina. At that time Sergei won his first several prizes at competitions for young pianists, such as Rachmaninov competition (Saint Petersburg, 2005, First prize) and Chopin competition (Estonia, 2006, Grand prix). Sergei also played his first solo recitals in Russia and abroad, getting engagements from Germany, Switzerland, Poland.

Simultaneously Sergei studied composition under prof. Alexander Mnatsakanyan, one of the last students of great Shostakovich. Among the young composer's works you can find a string quartet, a trio for winds, chamber music, a lot of music for piano. Suite for cello and piano won the First prize at the young composers' competition in Saint Petersburg in 2007.

In 2008 Sergei was honored to receive the Maestro Temirkanov Award as one of the best students of Saint Petersburg Special Music School.

In year 2009 Sergei successfully passed his entrance exams and became a student of prof. Alexander Sandler at the Saint Petersburg state Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He also continued his composition studies under prof. Mnatsakanyan.

During the year 2011 with the support of St Petersburg House of Music Sergei Redkin trained at the famous International Lake Como Piano Academy in Italy, studying under such musicians as William Grant Nabore, Dmitry Bashkirov, Peter Frankl, Fou Ts'ong among others.

In year 2012 Sergei became the winner of III International Maj Lind competition in Helsinki, in 2013 – the winner of VI International Prokofiev competition in Saint Petersburg. In 2015 Sergei Redkin won the Third prize and the Bronze medal at the XV International Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.

Currently Sergei is continuing his studies under prof. Sandler in Saint Petersburg Conservatory. In 2016 he's playing his first concerts in New York, Mexico and Paris (all with Maestro Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra), touring with solo recitals throughout the world, from Portugal and Israel to Vladivostok and Yakutsk, taking part at prestigious classical music festivals, playing a lot of chamber music and composing in the meantime.


More photos

See also

Sergei Redkin – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015

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