VALENTINA LISITSA Live at the Royal Albert Hall 4784572

. . . a thrilling mix of Rachmaninov, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. There's an energy and excitement about it that only a sensational live recording can deliver.

. . . a guaranteed chart-topper . . . there's an admirable lightness of touch and appreciation of rhythmic flow to her "Für Elise", and her negotiation of Liszt's "Un Sospiro" is captivating . . .

The most natural efforts emanate from Lisitsa's Russian forebears Rachmaninov and Scriabin. Alternately martial and erotic or some alchemy thereof, the preludes and poems project a ravishing palette and sense of interior space. Liszt, too, adds sheer bravura in "La Campanella" and later suave seduction in "Un Sospiro" . . . Her Chopin conveys power and poise and poetry. The three nocturnes urge opposing and complementary elements from Lisitsa, in terms of dynamic and dramatic suppleness of motion and liquid refinement.

. . . Lisitsa often plays beautifully . . . the pianist quickly settles down to a direct and eloquent "Für Elise", followed by a breathtakingly brisk, imaginatively shaded "La campanella". Her brisk, classically contained Chopin Op 9 No 2 and Op 27 No 2 Nocturnes feature lean, singing lines . . . a hundred years of accumulated expressive graffiti is purged from Liszt's potentially saccharine "Un sospiro" and "Liebestraum" No 3 . . . extremely capable Rachmaninov G major and G sharp minor Preludes . . . [Beethoven: Piano Sonata no. 14]: The famous "Adagio" flows simply, the finale is quick, clear and stingingly incisive . . .

Lisitsa emerges as a hugely confident and spontaneous performer. There's grace in her turns of phrase and relish in her sense of rhetoric; inner voices are often allowed to shine, and there can be lightness in her touch -- the Rachmaninov G minor Prelude has a delicious bounce to it and Liszt's "Un sospiro" sweeps and glints to the manner born.

Lisitsa ist ein Kommunikationstalent . . . eine hervorragende Pianistin . . . Rasant sausen ihre Finger über die Tasten, sie spielt vollgriffig, virtuos aber auch sensibel . . .

Die ukrainische Pianistin Valentina Lisitsa . . . ist schon zu Lebzeiten zu einem Mythos geworden . . . Lisitsa braucht sich vor ihren längst etablierten Kollegen nicht zu verstecken. Ihr Spiel ist brilliant, voller Leidenschaft und technisch makellos Eigenschaften, die besonders bei sehr virtuosen oder dramatisch angehauchten Stücken zur Geltung kommen . . . ihr Beispiel räumt gründlich mit dem Vorurteil auf, dass klassische Musik heutzutage nur eine gutbetuchte Minderheit interessiert. Schon allein deshalb verdient Lisitsa Respekt. Und ein Sympathieträger ist sie allemal!