“A recital of Fantasies which doesn’t use Schumann’s as its starting point is rare, but that doesn’t surprise me coming as it does from a pianist of such artistry as Anna Tsybuleva. Better still, as the pivot of her first album she prefers to take the Wanderer Fantasy of Schubert, and what a performance! She doesn’t trumpet its C major as most do, but depicts its tempests in terms of inky black skies, a phantasmagoria fit for a forest king, where Wotan might wander, a landscape so singular that one cannot avoid listening to it more than once.
The young Russian’s tonal palette is marvelous, in its amplitude, its darkness; her finger work, revealing every polyphonic strand, fits CPE Bach’s Fantasy in F sharp minor like a glove as it also does the fantastic humours of Beethoven’s Op.77. But these two portals serve only to lead us to the sombre explosion of this Wanderer and to the great nocturnal ballade that her fingers conjure from Brahms’s op 116 Fantasies, more poetically conceived than in her concert at the 2016 Klavier-Festival Ruhr where I heard her for the first time.
This is a disc of dark magic which I hope will be the first of a beautiful collaboration between Anna Tsybuleva and this excellent English label [Champs Hill Records], whose piano recordings are always sumptuous.”
By Jean-Charles Hoffelé
© 2017 ARTAMAG’