“Études-Tableaux – Rachmaninov
Over faltering, metrically bumpy marching steps: as though chiseled, a syncopated melody full of internal tension. As soon as the first bars of the F minor Etude op. 33 No. 1 begin, it becomes clear that an extraordinary pianistic personality is at work here.
This music can seldom be heard to be so embossed with differentiation, metalically sprung and dynamic as under the hands of the Russian Zlata Chochieva. Her compatriot Sergei Rachmaninov would certainly have enjoyed this playing. The multi-layered, broad, and full-bodied lines of his piano music demand performers who are able to transcend technical difficulties, and to sweep them into a realm of blazing autumnal colours. The textures of these virtuoso etudes, which appeared from 1914, can give rise to moments of cosmopolitan vitality and a deep, genuinely felt, Slavic-toned melancholy, light tonal lyricism, and a sometimes opulently expansive splendour. It is part of the interpreter’s art to realise a lively balance – and Zlata Chochieva is constantly active in the quivering nervous network of the music.
The composer’s etudes have, on occasion, been criticised for a lack of any remarkable inspiration. Zlata Chochieva’s playing, however, relegates any such suggestions to clear falsehoods. With energetic accuracy and impeccable technique, this wonderful musician manages to open up the inner vastness of a fascinatingly lively world and make it transparent. Last but not least, the persuasiveness of her interpretations is also based on an unerring feeling for the architectural disposition of the pieces, which forms the basis for the occasional almost improvisatory gesture of blazing passion.”