***** five stars out of five
How would Beethoven sound if you threw a molotov cocktail between the keys? The answers comes from Olga Pashchenko, a russian keyboard player who graduated ‘cum laude’ on harpsichord and fortepiano at the Amsterdam Conservatory. Pashchenko’s explosive Beethoven matches the observations of his contemporaries […] Especially when improvising, he knew no limits.
Beethoven’s ingenuity shimmers through the variations for keyboard that he put on paper. Pashchenko invokes his spirit in an inimitable fashion. […] She let’s scales explode and arpeggios blow. All the more amazing the bars where she turns into herself. Here she water paints with colour, immersing chords under water, making them resonate smotheringly.
Her flawless technique shows that Pashchenko is steeled in the russian keyboard school. It’s the inflammable temperament that distinguishes herself from the regular fortepiano player. Meanwhile, she cocks a snook towards the other camp, where Steinway pianists indulge in their refined, but predictable Beethoven interpretations. The recording sound of this cd is unfortunately mediocre. But Pashchenko and Beethoven finish off with a brilliant fugue. You can hear them chuckle: let’s pump some life in this school marms form.