Artist: Alexander Krichel
Label: Berlin Classics
Release Date: 24/03/2023

My Rachmaninoff

Alexander Krichel released his new album on Berlin Classics on March 24, 2023 under the title “My Rachmaninoff” and with it, a very personal tribute to the Russian pianist and composer, whose 150th birthday will be celebrated just a few days later. For his eighth album, Alexander Krichel has selected works that have shaped his strong connection to Rachmaninoff. From the world-famous Prélude Op. 3 No. 2 in C-sharp minor to the virtuosic Corelli Variations and Études-Tableaux, some of the most difficult repertoire written for piano, to the concluding Vocalise, Krichel invites listeners to musically discover Rachmaninoff’s biography. He wants to inspire his audience with the music of this great composer in the same way that it once captivated him.

2023 has been the year of Rachmaninoff anniversaries: April 1 would have marked the 150th birthday of the Russian composer, pianist and conductor, and March 28 marks the 80th anniversary of his death. High time for Alexander Krichel, after the great success of his first Rachmaninoff album in 2015 on Sony Classical, to dedicate himself once again to the composer who has always accompanied and shaped his playing and his career.



"Krichel (…) belongs to the few Germans who approach Rachmaninoff with seriousness and real understanding. He emphasizes, especially in the Corelli Variations, the sharpness of articulation, the strict tempo relations between individual pieces, and the uncompromising nature of the tempo. One understands, through Krichel's recording with its often dry and pedal-less play, why Béla Bartók and Witold Lutosławski were so impressed by the sharp-edged, slender, yet complex piano writing of the late Rachmaninoff. (…) In the Étude-Tableau in D minor Op. 39 No. 8 he finds a deeply personal, singing, reflective tone that touches and captivates the listener. In these moments, wisdom and courage come together."

- F.A.Z.

"Until now, Michael Pletnev has been the reference for me. (...) Now he has competition. Alexander Krichel convinces with his fine voice and sound organisation. Every detail is well thought out, nothing is left to chance and yet everything seems natural and breathes. Krichel takes his time and makes the character of the individual variations shine nobly in this work. (...) this album is a great asset."

- NDR Kultur

"His Rachmaninoff is clear and transparent, with a sure instinct for light and dark and the finest shadings. With a unique intuition for the appropriate tempi. With a sense for narrative details as well as for great virtuosity. And yes: with a knack for putting Rachmaninoff's melodies in exactly the right light, sometimes slender and restrained, sometimes pleasurably full and palatable. (...) With "My Rachmaninoff" Alexander Krichel has struck exactly the right note - and it gets under your skin!"

- hr2

"Alexander Krichel's interpretations of important piano works by Sergei Rachmaninoff convincingly capture the poetic moment and the narrative power of this deeply felt music - it is an emotionality which, however, never "derails" into an exuberant sentimentality. Krichel's playing, for all its emotion and sensuality of sound, shows a clear design and structure. The virtuosity of the pieces, some of which are technically extremely demanding - for example the famous "Études Tableaux" op. 39 - is conveyed in a sovereign and striking manner, but the technical skill of Alexander Krichel never becomes an end in itself, but is inspired."

- SWR2

"It goes without saying that it takes a pianist of stature like Alexander Krichel to bring these pieces to life. His playing is of great maturity and mastery; he knows how to find the right tone in pieces with demanding content, to bring out an imaginary world and all the emotions and subtleties that the aristocratic and virtuoso composer exudes."

- Mundo Clásico

"Krichel brings with him a central talent for Rachmaninoff: that virtuosity in which a never-ending emotionality glows. Technically, nothing is impossible for the 34-year-old from Hamburg anyway: one listens in amazement as he illuminates the notorious, extremely intricate, enigmatically abysmal Études-Tableaux op. 39, which demand everything of a pianist. This is a game always in search of the composer's dazzling personality and credo, in the spectrum of triumph and foreboding of death, of salon and abyss. Once again, Krichel shows himself to be an extremely stylistically confident interpreter (subtle and beguiling in the details, even the Corelli Variations), but above all a gifted narrator."