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Meeting with pianist Dmitry Masleev at the Granet Museum as part of the La Roque-d’Anthéron Festival.

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Dmitry Masleev: all humanity in his piano (Photo Alexandra Horoshvyan)

Born May 4, 1988 in Oulan-Oude (Russia), having begun to study music at the age of seven in the music class of his high school, Dmitry Masleev gave his first recital at the age of ten. He continued to progress until, in 2011, he won the international Chopin piano competition in Rome, where he received the grand prize, endowed with a piano and a tour of 12 concerts in Italian cities.

In 2015 he participated in the 5th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, which he won, not without having experienced a cruel family ordeal during the competition. Indeed, his mother died between the semi-final and the final and the sky seemed to collapse on his head. ” It is also to honor his memory that I continuedhe confides, remembering her was my strength “. Obtaining first prize by playing Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 in the final, he connects artistic experiences which are all also human adventures. In 2016, he participated in a project of the firm Melodiya and the conductor Aleksandr Sladkovski, and recorded all the instrumental concertos of Dmitri Shostakovich with the State Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Tatarstan and the winners of the international Tchaikovsky competition . Very attentive to others, a man of peace, sensitive and generous who, at 34, will soon be a dad, Dmitry Masleev is a pianist with a flawless technique that never spreads and remains at the service of the score. .

A friend named Kapustin

As proof, this concert given at the Granet Museum in Aix-en-Provence as part of the La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival. Dmitry Masleev knew how to seduce the public, fascinate it and carry it away with on the program compositions by Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Khachaturian, Liszt, and as a reminder Rachmaninoff (his favorite composer), and Kapoustine (1937-2020) with his Etude n°1 which is of particular importance in its program. A close friend of the composer, whose music he discovered at the age of 18, Dmitry Masleev was offered a few scores by Kapoustin himself, including Concerto No. 2, which he then recorded. ” I am very proud of the honor he did me and especially very moved that he was able to listen to my interpretation before he died. “, he reveals. Loving to play only what he likes, rejecting works that do not suit him, and whose result he thinks would be unsatisfactory, not liking music where dissonances are imposed, and which does not ask for words -he : ” A whole musical talent », he commits his mind and his body to each concert offered to the public.

From Tchaikovsky’s seasons to overwhelming humanity

So we received with enthusiasm, joy and emotion his interpretation of the cycle ” Seasons by Tchaikovsky given at the beginning of the concert at the Granet Museum. We are immediately in empathy with everything that humanity goes through. It is the round of life, spring following the death of winter, which returns here in torrents of notes.

Dmitry Masleev brings us to the pure emotion of what existence is, and in view of what the world is going through at the moment, his game has a way of bringing together all beings of good will behind him. No frills, his piano tells a story, the message of peace being found by his own admission in the score. All humanity in its piano while a Sonatina by Ravel in the same spirit will follow, a moving Adagio by Spartacus by Khachaturian and the Spanish Rhapsody by Liszt, pieces which will each in turn bring down lightning.

Rachmaninoff and his “Elegy” with poetic elegance

As a reminder, Kasputin, Rachmaninoff’s Elegy which touches our hearts. ” He’s my favorite composer », likes to underline Dmitry Masleev. ” I particularly like his “Variations on a theme of Paganini”. This work is in my eyes the total DNA of Rachmaninoff. He possesses with this score the panache, the virtuosity, the elegance, the hypersensitivity, the romanticism. I have such a pleasure to play this exceptional musician “. And when asked when does he feel like he has played well, he replies: On stage, we are in extreme concentration, the mind is entirely turned towards the music, we do not have the feeling of our body all the time. We don’t know if we are good or not. This pushes to humility and hard work. Humble then! So we are going to tell Dmitry Masleev that he actually played divinely and that the public who gave him an ovation at Granet, then came to show him during the signing session all their admiration, were not mistaken. And he was right.

Jean-Remi BARLAND

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