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Festival de la Roque d'Anthéron
Wagner under Lugansky's touch: a definite thrill.
Winner of the first prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition and second prize in the Rachmaninov Competition, Nikolai Lugansky, born in 1972 in Moscow, is one of the best pianists from the young Russian generation. Although he is particularly at ease with the Slav repertoire, as demonstrated in Rachmaninov's Preludes and Musical Moments, he also gives a beautiful rendition of Brahms' Six Piano Pieces Opus 118 in which he combines cutting accents and great delicacy. But the surprise comes from his own arrangement of excerpts of Wagner's Twilight of the Gods in which he deploys a telluric energy. The piano sounds like an orchestra with one hundred and twenty musicians, and one shudders during the Funeral Music and The Fire in Valhalla…