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La Roque d'Anthéron 2004
Fleeting visions of the Georgian pianist in Schumann and Prokofiev.
Pedigree speaks for itself: the parents of Elisso Virsaladze were musicians and her grandmother, Anastasia, was a famous pianist. After going to music school in Tbilissi in Georgia, where she was born, she continued her training in Moscow with the famous Heinrich Neuhaus. But to become who she is today, Elisso Virsaladze the great pianist, pedigree is not enough.
From the first notes of the Kreisleriana by Schumann, we are captivated by the temperament of the artist which sweeps aside habits and taunts prejudices. With an iron hand, Virsaladze gives a stunning rendition of the Kreisleriana. What she played that evening was a game of hide and seek between life and death in which there is no room for a velvet hand.
"An incomparable Schumannian" Sviatoslav Richter said of her. Incomparable is the operative word. Sonata No .2 and the Sarcasms by Prokofiev are filled with the same searing intensity. To finish, the soft touch of a Waltz by Tchaikovsky. This great performer knows what she's doing.