Un-fucking-believable. I could leave it there, but it’s just not enough to understand.
12 recordings since 2010 and look at him in that picture. How old do you think he is? 38? Younger you think? Okay, let’s go for 32. No, this motherfucker was born in 1991. He’s 27 at most. “Well, who gives a whore’s fuck?” you might say, “there are lots of talented pianists at a young age.” Don’t be fooled. Daniil is not just talented, he is probably the most talented pianist of our age. That’s not just me saying this either, The Times said the exact same thing. And, honestly? If you just listen to this guy, you’ll understand instantly. Those lanky ass fingers move like clouds. Some pianists hammer on those keys with precision. They’re piano machines. It’s played perfectly. But… Daniil’s fingers float above the piano and touch each key like he’s softly feeling the petals on a rose then, in the next moment, moves as quick and as swift as someone flicking dew drops off the top of dried leaves without a single crack. When I hear him play, I can’t think of hammers or pedals. That wood box just becomes something else. In short, this Russian motherfucker plays the living fuck out of Chopin. Before he starts a piece, you think he’s going to start sobbing directly onto the piano keys. He sweats and tears up and contorts his face every-which way. He opens an emotional vat within himself then, in a single instant, shuts it down as soon as the song is over. It’s so fucking cool.
Look… I get it. This may not be your thing, Chopin competitions or the who’s-who of whateverthefuckingville. Names like Sviatoslav Richter, Horowitz, Argerich, or Kissin might sound like names I’m reading out of a weird phonebook. But these people are regarded as the greatest pianists of all time, and this kid is being lined up right next to them.
Here’s a confession: I’ve always enjoyed Chopin competitions and the piano world because I find it as silly as it is enthralling. It’s such a small little group of people who really keep up with this shit, yet, somehow, it’s amazing. Take Ivo Pogorelic. Dude’s interpretation of Chopin back in the day was called a “historic betrayal” by most, but then Argerich, one of the names I put alongside the greatest of all time, resigned as a judge in the Chopin Competition cause people didn’t’ recognize his genius. What drama! What crazy emotions! I imagine insanely talented pianists just pounding bottles of vodka and snorting bowls of cocaine for getting second place. People who give a fuck about this shit, really give a fuck about this shit. It’s live or die. It’s the, “if I don’t win this, my entire existence is useless” type of mentality. It’s these backroom dealings with thin-wristed milquetoast motherfuckers about weighted piano keys. It’s a whole society about Chopin, and it’s super interesting. So, if this kid is seen as the Moses and Jesus Christ hybrid of Chopin of our age at such a young age, that really says something. It’s either this guy is baller as fuck or corrupt as balls. Give it a listen, decide for yourself. It’s all part of the fun.