Mieczyslaw Weinberg with Kremer. He plans to offer more
contemporary works in the future.
Other offerings on the DG label include Transcendental,
containing exquisite renderings of etudes by Liszt;
Preghiera, an all-Rachmaninoff recital with Kremer and
cellist Giedrè Dirvanauskaitè (“Preghiera” is actually Fritz
Kreisler’s arrangement for violin and piano of the slow
movement of the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto);
and Rachmaninoff Variations, featuring Trifonov’s own
virtuoso composition, Rachmaniana, along with tour-de-
force accounts of Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of
Chopin and his Variations on a Theme of Corelli for solo
piano, and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano
and orchestra, performed with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and
the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Teaching is not on his agenda: “I did a couple of master
classes,” he relates, “and found them emotionally draining.
It’s difficult to convey everything in a single lesson, and
you can’t predict where it will go for the students when
there is no follow up.” Composing is a sideline, he says,
something he does only when time allows. And time has
become an issue.
He tries to limit his concertizing to 100 dates a year.
Stuart Isacoff’s latest book is When the World Stopped
Still, there is so much to do. “At the moment,” he says,
“I have three days in New York, and have to use them
to bring back the Scriabin Concerto and some chamber
music, and to prepare my program for next season. I used
to have summer vacations that lasted perhaps a month and
a half, so I had time to learn new works. No more. Now
I have to start pieces earlier, practicing five days here and
four days there.”
What about taking the time simply to lie on a beach
somewhere, I wonder. In response, he gives me a bemused
look. It is hard to imagine Daniil Trifonov on a beach, or
anywhere else, without a piano in reach. •
to Listen: Van Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph and Its After-
math (Knopf ).
Performing at a benefit event for American Friends of the Salzburg
Easter Festival at the Metropolitan Club in New York City, October
29, 2016. Photo: © Chris Lee.
Performing the solo part in Mikhail Pletnev’s arrangement of Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Kremerata Baltica at a Trifonov
“Perspectives” concert at Carnegie Hall, April 2018. Photo: © Stephanie Berger.
ARTIST of the year