Triple forte, in musical terms, means as loud as possible, but this all-Canadian trio made up of pianist David Jalbert, violinist Jasper Wood and cellist Yegor Dyachkov excel in fine nuance, not noise. They’ve collected piano trios that show off three very different types of art music from the first quarter of the 20th century: the ethereal impressions of Ravel in his popular 1914 trio; residual late-Romanticism in Shostakovich’s effusive teenaged love letter trio from 1923; and Charles Ives’ patchwork quilt trio of musical experimentation from 1911.
Changing rhythmic and expressive gears with deceptive ease, Triple Forte entrance with their single-minded grace, finding a sensible balance between musical muscle and subtle expression throughout. The Ives piece, too fearsome for anyone to tackle in public until 1948, is a particular treat.
This interpretation reveals a bright inner glow in its elegiac third movement, while the threesome has the time of their lives with overlapping American folksongs and Yale University frathouse drinking sitties in the second movement, marked “TSIAJ” (This Scherzo is a Joke).
John Terauds, The Toronto Star, August 28, 2012

Haydn C with Ensemble Appassionata

Appassionata : Yegor Dyachkov, hero of the evening
     Myssyk et l'orchestre attaquèrent ensuite le premier Concerto pour violoncelle de Haydn à un tempo beaucoup trop rapide pour le «Moderato» qu'indique la partition. «J'ai suivi le tempo choisi par le soliste», d'expliquer le chef à l'entracte. Yegor Dyachkov traversa le concerto avec la maestria d'un soliste de première grandeur. L'interprète tira une expression profonde du mouvement lent et, au finale, le virtuose en rajouta une fois encore en transformant l'«Allegro molto» en «Presto». J'écoutais, médusé, me demandant s'il est possible de jouer du violoncelle plus vite que cela!
     La plupart des violoncellistes s'accordent pour dire que les deux Haydn, le Do majeur et le Ré majeur, sont les plus atrocement difficiles de tous les concertos destinés à leur instrument; ils hésitent simplement à déterminer lequel des deux est le plus redoutable... Par son tempo précipité, mais aussi par l'incroyable précision de son articulation, en dépit de cette vitesse casse-cou, Yegor Dyachkov a peut-être répondu à la question. Myssyk et l'orchestre le suivirent sans trop de peine.
     Ovationné, M. Dyachkov ajouta la Sarabande de la quatrième Suite pour violoncelle seul de Bach. 

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, September 24, 2011

Premiere of Jocelyn Morlock's _Aeromancy_ with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

Canadian Yegor Dyachkov and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and MCO principal Yuri Hooker have a special affinity for contemporary music, so were ideal artists to debut Brandon University alumnus Jocelyn Morlock's Aeromancy for Two Cellos and Orchestra. In two movements, it is a fantastical exploration of the beauty of nature. The second movement evoked a slow awakening after a storm; creatures stirring and stretching, with richly satisfying harmonies and solo melodies full of emotion played to the utmost by Dyachkov and Hooker.

Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press, June 17, 2011

Interwar Duets album review

Interwar Duets (Analekta AN 2 9971) features familiar and unfamiliar works for violin and cello performed with aplomb and vigour by Olivier Thouin andYegor Dyachkov. Most familiar is the Sonata for Violin and Cello completed in 1922 by Maurice Ravel. I remember once, after not hearing this extremely virtuosic work in a decade or so, tuning in to a radio broadcast during the Vif, avec entrain final movement and wondering “Oh that’s so familiar, which quartet is that?” – such is the dexterity required of the two musicians. Thouin, currently associate concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and well known soloist Dyachkov take it all in stride. They make it sound easy, even effortless, while capturing all the excitement and nuance of the moment. This consummate musicianship is on show throughout the disc, which includes lesser known but delightful duets by Martinu and Honegger. But the real gem for me is the offering by Erwin Schulhoff, composed in 1925. More and more music of this Nazi-designated “Degenerate” composer is gaining attention in recent years and with each new discovery our awareness of the tragedy of the composer’s death in a concentration camp becomes more acute. Schulhoff’sDuet is in the classical four movement form of the sonata. Framed by dramatic rondos utilizing “modal language pushed to the edge of atonality,” the central movements include Zingaresca - a rollicking Gypsy dance - and a sombre Andantino. Although one might wonder whether the stark combination of violin and cello could sustain the listener’s interest for the duration of the disc, I had no problem with attention deficit during these marvellous performances.

David Olds, The Whole Note, Toronto, May 1, 2011

Michael Oesterle's Ironman with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

Brave souls who ventured out onto the ice Tuesday night were welcomed with fiery passion and warmth as the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra presented a program of intense music that stirred the emotions.

This included two works by German-born Canadian composer Michael Oesterle, evidently favoured by the CBC, who not only commissioned both pieces, but was there to record them for future broadcast.

Up first was cellist Yegor Dyachkov, a former CBC “Artist of the Year” and member of the popular trio Triple Forte. Oesterle wrote Ironman for Dyachkov and the MCO, who first performed it in 2005.

Opening with Fred Liessens clanging away at an anvil, the piece makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an ironworks during the Industrial Revolution. As the storyline progresses, Ironman takes us on a vivid musical tour of the industry’s progress — and struggles — with modernization.

The intensity is consistent and hard-hitting, with points of sound ringing out from every corner of the orchestra. Dyachkov showed fluidity and comfort with this piece, which he has clearly made his own. He handled the frequent skirmishes of notes with aplomb, while the MCO accompanied with dissonant tones, like the cacophony of many metallic hammers.

It’s amazing that instruments made mostly of wood and gut can reproduce such convincing industrial sounds. This speaks to the imaginative writing of the composer. Guest conductor Alain Trudel used his customary relaxed style to guide the orchestra through the somewhat fractured structure of the work.

Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press, February 11, 2009

Debussy and Messiaen with the Art of Time Ensemble

...The dramatic possibilities of love and solitude continue to be explored, this time without the edge of distracting from the beauty of music excellently played, when Yegor Dyachkov joins his cello to Burashko’s piano for Debussy’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano.” Originally entitled “Pierrot fait fou avec la lune,” the ‘Prologue’s’ introductory fanfare on piano presents Pierrot singing and playing the guitar. Mr. Dyachkov’s cello follows with a slow lament, remarkable for the depth and intensity of feeling he shows throughout this performance. The piano throughout maintains an accompanying role that nonetheless reveals the sensitivity and rhythmic precision of Mr. Burashko’s art.

The ‘Sérénade’ shows the moonstruck Pierrot’s agitation and distraction. In the cello’s pizzicato, you can imagine Segovia’s guitar, and from the walking piano’s sometimes weird chords, you can imagine Picasso’s drooping blue and earthy Harlequin. Altogether, I found the dramatic interplay of this piano and cello duo somewhat magical. Mr. Burashko mentioned an interesting point about Debussy, who is thought to be the founder of musical impressionism. The point was that Debussy denied any connection between his work and the work of the Impressionist painters who were his friends. The fact is, as I listened to this music, I visualized Modigliani and Picasso, not Monet. Debussy’s music, though intensely rooted in work of French composers past, Rameau, for instance, also seems to prophecy the music of Ravel and Poulenc that came after him. Perhaps Debussy was not only of his time, but ahead of his time.

The music of Olivier Messiaen takes us to his “Quartet For The End of Time,” a piece worthy of its frequent performances in this centennial year of the composer’s birth. James Campbell and Steven Sitarski respectively join clarinet and violin to piano and cello for a very respectable and in some sense unique account of this cosmic piece of music. Although clarinet and cello get the main virtuoso parts that indeed earn a big ‘WOW’ for their contribution, what most impressed me was the tightly laminated unison of the ensemble playing, led through a range of shifts both subtle and wide ranging, by the piano. Perhaps that’s how it happened at the première when Messiaen sat with frozen fingers on a damaged keyboard in the Nazi prison camp where he wrote this work in 1941.

Stanley Fefferman, Showtime Magazine, Toronto, December 13, 2008

Dyachkov makes sure there are moments to wonder at. His tone is beautiful, each note is exquisitely, easily placed, and he has a way of seeing a phrase, however long, as a whole and delivering it in one shapely, perfect gesture.

Elissa Poole, Globe and Mail, Vancouver, November 26, 2007

Recital at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival

Duo keeps standards high
If Saturday evening's Angela Hewitt-Daniel Mller-Schott recital got this year's Chamber Music Festival off to a flying start, another cello and piano recital last night at St. John's maintained a more than reasonable altitude. 

The Russian-born Canadian cellist Yegor Dyachkov and Canadian pianist Jean Saulnier play regularly together and have made a number of recordings. It's not surprising that they achieve an intimate kind of interpretive unity. 

The recital opened with arrangements of two dances from Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella. [...] Next came a Schubert sonata originally written for a now obsolete instrument called the arpeggione. It is usually played on the cello these days, but because the arpeggione had six strings compared to the cello's four and was tuned differently, it is a real finger-twister. 

Dyachkov's fingers proved twistproof, however, and his lovely sound was one of the keys to a convincing rendition of this popular sonata. 

After intermission, there was a four-movement piece by Montreal composer Michael Oesterle called The Agate Rosary. Inspired by letters exchanged between a seventeenth-century nun and her father who never saw each other, it is a hauntingly lovely work. Last night Dyachkov and Saulnier made a very strong case for it. 

The program ended with Britten's Sonata in C for cello and piano. Britten poses problems for some listeners, but last evening's performance was focused and persuasive and probably won the composer a few new friends. 

Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen, July 23, 2007

Schumann Concerto with the Thunder Bay Symphony

The solo work for the evening was Schumann's Cello Concerto, performed by Yegor Dyachkov. This is a challenging conerto in that it seems very simple in its lyricism, and must remain so even during the virtuosic passages. I usually have trouble with this piece, because it seems — to me at least — that every time a melody starts to develop it is interrupted by some accident of orchestration or a strangely-placed arpeggio.

However, in the hands of Mr. Dyachkov, it became an elegy of remarkable beauty. Dyachkov is an artist of astonishing intimacy and depth, so fluid in his approach to the instrument that mere mechanical demands prove no hindrance to his boundless artistry.

Steven Baric, Chronicle-Journal, Thunder Bay, April 28, 2007

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, April 2, 2007

Violin/Cello duo recital with Olivier Thouin

The tour de force by Thouin and Dyachkov
Curieux de répertoire, en plus de compter parmi nos jeunes instrumentistes les plus doués, Olivier Thouin et Yegor Dyachkov avaient monté pour le Bon-Pasteur jeudi soir un programme exclusivement composé d'oeuvres pour le duo violon-violoncelle sans accompagnement, un programme digne d'un festival ou d'une grande capitale qui n'avait attiré qu'une centaine d'auditeurs.

Écho d'une époque, sans doute, les quatre oeuvres se situent autour d'une douzaine d'années: 1920-1932, l'Entre-deux-guerres. Seule connue des quatre, la Sonate de Ravel était précédée de trois raretés. Le très long Duo du Tchèque Erwin Schulhoff, mort en 1942 dans un camp de concentration nazi, mêle audaces et banalités. De la Sonatine en trois mouvements de Honegger, les deux musiciens soulignèrent la savante polyphonie et, tour à tour, la gravité et l'humour. Avec ses brusques doubles cordes contrepointant à un instrument les folles arabesques de l'autre, et vice versa, l'oeuvre trouva les deux coéquipiers en grande forme, chacun semblant accompagner l'autre.

La Sonate de Ravel reçut une lecture en place - ils durent même bisser le deuxième mouvement -, mais le premier des deux Duos de Martinu, véritable tour de force et réalisé comme tel, avec tous ses effets instrumentaux, invita à une réévaluation : le Ravel n'est plus l'unique chef-d'oeuvre qui ait été destiné à la rare combinaison violon-violoncelle.

Notre radio d'État n'étant pas là - bien sûr - pour fixer l'événement et en tirer un disque, une marque locale pourrait assurer le suivi, quitte à éliminer le Ravel bien fréquenté. La prestation de Thouin et Dyachkov rejoindrait ainsi celles de Heifetz et Piatigorsky (pour le Martinu), de Suk et Navarra ou de nos Turovsky (pour les Honegger et Martinu).

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, February 4, 2007

Shostakovich Concerto with the CBC Orchestra

New works celebrate Shostakovich's birthday

Compositions in tribute to the artist lead up to beautiful performance by Montreal cellist Yegor Dyachkov with the CBC Radio Orchestra

You could probably call The Shostakovich Project, Sunday at the Chan Centre, a post-structuralist exercise: The CBC Radio Orchestra's commissioning each of 10 Canadian composers to write a three-minute work based on DSCH as a tribute to Shostakovich on the 100th year since his birth. We heard just six of them, arranged into two suites (this was a co-project with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and a side line in a concert that featured cellist Yegor Dyachkov).


One thing the three-minute commissions did very well was lay that DSCH cell in your ear. The First Cello Concerto is rife with it, as well as a mournful parody of Stalin's favorite sentimental folk song, and it sprang to life with the preparation it had been given. Inspired by a similar work by Prokofiev and written for Mstislav Rostropovich, it's the better of his two concertos for cello, just as his first of paired concertos for other instruments are also the better ones.

Montreal cellist Dyachkov was the soloist who gave us an intense, beautiful performance, with a solo cadenza that was a gripping, more than speech-like soliloquy. It rang from his strings and the orchestra's response was heartfelt and deft with an especially spirited reaction in the important horn and percussion parts. The players caught it all. A cello concerto is one of the most vocal forms there is, and Shostakovich's is eloquent with bitter sarcasm and longing, the bifurcations of a fractured soul.

Lloyd Dykk, Vancouver Sun, November 21, 2006

Prokofiev & Stravinsky: On Stage album review

This is a very interesting record both in concept and execution. Except for Prokofiev's Ballade, Op. 15, for cello and piano, all the pieces on the program are excerpts from the two composers' operas and ballets. The transcriptions, two of them the composers' own, are remarkably good. The dominance of one instrument over the other makes it easy to guess whether the arranger is a cellist or a pianist. Thus, Piatigorski's arrangement of Stravinsky's "Suite italienne," from the ballet Pulcinella, is a staple of the cello bravura repertoire and it works well here, while Jean Saulnier, the record's pianist, leaves the cellist struggling in his brilliantly pianistic, almost orchestral, transcription of two dances from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet. There are also excerpts from two little-known comedies: a suite from Prokofiev's ballet The Tale of the Buffoon, and the theme from Stravinsky's opera Mavra. Apart from occasional imperfect balance, the playing is terrific technically, tonally, and musically.

The two artists' unanimous ensemble proves that they are regular partners who succeed in combining virtuosity with close rapport and in enjoying flourishing careers separately and together.

Edith Eisler, Strings Magazine, November 1, 2006

Prokofiev & Stravinsky: On Stage album review

C'est un programme particulièrement intéressant que propose ici le duo Saulnier-Dyachkov : des chants et danses tirés des ballets et opéras de deux grandes figures de la musique russe du xxe siècle, Prokofiev et Stravinski. Les transcriptions pour violoncelle et piano n’enlèvent rien aux couleurs de ces musiques, qui conservent également tout leur potentiel dramatique. Certaines de ces transcriptions ont été réalisées par les compositeurs eux-mêmes. C'est le cas de l'Adagio extrait du ballet Cendrillon (Prokofiev) et de la Suite italienne tirée par Stravinski de son ballet Pulcinella. Quant aux interprètes, leur entente est parfaite. Ils peuvent extraire de leurs instruments toutes les couleurs de l'orchestre et donner vie aux images que renferment ces œuvres.

Isabelle Picard, Scena Musicale, August 1, 2006

Prokofiev & Stravinsky: On Stage album review

Dyachkov a tout compris : il joue avec des coups d'archet légers et brefs quand il le faut et, surtout, il met en avant la vivacité, le caractère bondissant, dansant, de cette musique néoclassique. Cette différence entre une musique trop soulignée, au point d'en perdre sa saveur, et d'une approche plus simple et naturelle vaut pour tout le disque. On peut donc conseiller ces Scènes de Russie de Dyachkov et Saulnier, qui viennent de paraître et comportent des transcriptions de scènes de ballets de Prokofiev et de Stravinski.

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, Montréal, April 29, 2006

Prokofiev & Stravinsky: On Stage album review

This disc convincingly makes chamber music of ballet – sometimes with the authority of the composer (the Adagio from Prokofiev's Cinderella and Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite). Prokofiev's familiar Romeo and Juliet music sounds like a high-end sonata as performed by the Montreal cello-and-piano team of Yegor Dyachkov and Jean Saulnier (the latter did most of the arranging). Feeling is tempered with intelligence and the balance of the two artists (Dyachkov velvety and Saulnier crystalline) is consistently just. There is an aura of integrity around this program, superbly recorded at the Domaine Forget.
★★★★½ |  2nd on the 20 top albums of the Year 2006 list, as chosen by the author

Arthur Kaptanis, The Gazette, Montréal, April 27, 2006

Shostakovich Concerto with the Kitchener Symphony

Russian-born cellist creates magic playing Shostakovich concerto


Next up, the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1, from the cold  climate of Russia, fit surprisingly well with this warm-weather  work.

Some of Shostakovich's music is easier to appreciate than to enjoy. However, the Cello Concerto, completed in 1959, is full of appealing emotion.

Yegor Dyachkov, the Russian-born soloist who now lives in  Canada, was spectacular. From the opening four- note theme played by  unaccompanied cello, he displayed a driving, insistent force that  single-handedly propelled the movement to its end.

Dyachkov's  intonation is impeccable. His tone is gorgeous and varied and his playing is effortless. 

The slow second  movement showed Dyachkov at his very best. Supported by a spare orchestral  accompaniment, he served up a lyrical, singing tone that was never  forced.

The movement features an achingly beautiful high melody and a  closing section of haunting, eery harmonics. Dyachkov played the following cadenza movement with unhurried sensitivity, allowing the music time to  breathe. The effect was magical.

The final movement returned to the  insistent energy of the first movement. The cellist continued his virtuosic acrobatics, egged on by a driving orchestral accompaniment, and earned himself a deserved standing ovation.

Mark Bachmann, The Record, Kitchener, December 3, 2005

Hétu & Prévost album review

There is some powerful music here. Jacques Hetu (b 1938) and Andre Prevost (b 1934) are prominent composers from the Canadian province of Quebec. They share the spacious, timeless, but not minimal kind of music that I have come to associate with Canada at its most typical. Their music is on the edge of atonal, but highly expressive.
Hetu's recent sonata of 1998 is only 15 minutes long but gives an impression of satisfying beauty. The earlier Prelude & Dance is an effective piano work as well. Prevost is a bit more dissonant in style, but just as rich in expressive meaning. The 7-minute improvisation starts at the bottom of the instrument and explores the idea of meditation from the ground up. The sonata is the same length as Hetu's but is in one long movement. The larger piece dedicated to and descriptive of Yehudi Menuhin is a 25-minute work with the dimensions and scoring of a concerto accompanied by what appears to be a string quartet and lots of winds and percussion. It is another work of power and presence. Dyachkov plays with a variety of tone and touch.

D. Moore, American Record Guide, November 1, 2005

Hétu & Prévost album review

Heureuse initiative que celle de l'éditeur Dobberman-Yppan, qui fait paraître à l'occasion –trop peu souvent sans doute– des enregistrements d'œuvres dont il est le dépositaire. Si cette tactique peut amener des interprètes à commander les partitions, tant mieux ; elle fera sans doute aussi le bonheur des auditeurs qui auront la bonne idée de se procurer ce disque. Soyons clair : s'il est recensé dans la section « musique contemporaine », c'est bien pour des considérations chronologiques, et l'étiquette ne devrait effrayer personne. André Prévost, dans sa dernière œuvre Menuhin : Présence, créée par le NEM et Dyachkov en décembre 2000, quelques semaines à peine avant le décès du compositeur, est certainement plus en phase avec l'époque que l'est Hétu, dont l'inspiration se colore de post-romantisme ou de néo-classicisme et épouse des formes en voie d'extinction. Cependant, on n'écoute pas ce disque pour prendre une leçon d'avant-garde, mais bien pour goûter le talent des solistes, très bien servis par une excellente prise de son. Chacun a sa pièce : Prélude et Danse, opus 24, de Hétu (Saulnier), et Improvisation II de Prévost (Dyachkov). S'y ajoutent les sonates (opus 63 de Hétu et no 2 de Prévost) ; l'hommage à Menuhin boucle magistralement le tout.

Réjean Beaucage, La Scena Musicale, October 1, 2005

Brahms Sonatas album review

Polished, sensitive playing, well recorded; Dyachkov and Saulnier present Brahms's musical argument with impressive clarity and understanding.

Duncan Druce, Gramophone, November 1, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

Their intimate playing brings an even greater autumnal feeling to this music than usual, though the outer movements lack nothing in dramatic bite and are tossed off with brilliant flair. Dyachkov and Saulnier also are more convincing than most in their cello transcription of Brahms' Violin Sonata in G. ...idiomatic, first-class Brahms performances.

Lawrence A. Johnson, Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, October 31, 2003

Britten Cello Symphony with Symphony Nova Scotia

     But the extremest playing all round came in Benjamin Britten's Symphony for Violoncello and Orchestra. It is horribly difficult, packedand cluttered with bizarre figures like the snarly contrabassoon in the first movement, as foul as dragon breath — what an image.
     From this severe opening [Britten’s Cello Symphony], underlined by tuba and basses, cellist Yegor Dyachkov had to extract himself and then spend a good deal of the movement dodging the knobby rhythms, all elbows and knees, of the accompaniment. No mercy here. He fought back with a warm, virile, intensely concentrated sound, even through a persistent attack by the timpani during his solo cadenza.

Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle-Herlad / The Mail Star, Halifax, September 24, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

This record by young musicians from Canada adds to the original canon of two sonatas a transcription of the D-major Violin Sonata that I have detested since it was first recorded back in the 1980s. 


Leaving that aside for the present, I must say that Dyachkov and Saulnier play with great intensity and involvement. I have seldom heard such effortless technical playing and such smooth phrasing. Some will feel that the clarity of their textures belies the weight of Brahms's work. I feel that way sometimes: the speed of the ending of the E-minor Sonata is a bit much, though it follows from the general energy of what came before. The Scherzo of the F-major Sonata is also very fast; it flies rather than swinging along as it usually does. The cello plays a little softly in the accompanimental moments, but this is part of the atmosphere of clarity that pervades this production, and there is such integrity in the playing that it rather disarms criticism.

There is much to admire in the violin sonata transcription as played here: the slow movement is very effective, the passages in double-stops are lovely. The outer movements have their moments too, though the sudden octave alterations are still most disturbing and the ending just distorts the whole piece. What is it without that lovely last phrase in the string line, here played by the piano? But the playing is beautiful and comes close to selling me on the transcription.

D. Moore, American Record Guide, September 1, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

Yegor Dyachkov and Jean Saulnier, who have already recorded a Shostakovich-Prokofiev-Schnittke program, are incredible. The pianist has really imbued himself in Brahms’ “northern” style, vigour, turmoil, his tumultuous and feverish atmospheres, but also his silky and voluptuous sonorities. The cellist is absolutely on the same wavelength: dense, ardent, lyrical but with temperance. And above all, the musical discourse, particularly structured and complex on all levels, lives and vibrates.
Too often, the best interpreters get entangled in these pages. None of this here though: at every moment, the musical instinct is wide-awake.

Jacques Bonnaure, Répertoire, July 1, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

The sound is so good that the timbres of both the cello and the piano are perfectly reproduced, and you discover with delight the very close rapport between these two musicians. Saulnier plays with precision and fluidity, and is always expressive. The velvet smoothness of Dyachkov's cello, due in equal parts to technical skill and expressiveness, is remarkable. An hour of pure delight!

Add this CD to your collection, and I think you'll agree. The more often you listen, the more it will win you over.

Reine Lessard, Ultra High Fidelity Magazine, July 1, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

Of these works [Brahms sonatas], that all cellists fight for, we have known several touchstone interpretations (…). Now, to this list we need to add the excellent Dyachkov/Saulnier duo. With rare intelligence, the two artists reveal both the atmosphere gentle melancholy of the Op. 38 as well as the power and mystery that permeate the Op.99.

Xavier Rey, Classica, May 1, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

Vingt ans séparent la Première de la Deuxième sonate pour violoncelle et piano de Johannes Brahms. Cela permet, entre autres, d'apprécier l'étendue des procédés d'écriture mis à l'oeuvre dans ces pièces de choix du répertoire romantique de musique de chambre. Ces sonates, qui réclament de l'ardeur, de la passion et de la profondeur, trouvent chez Yegor Dyachkov et Jean Saulnier de formidables interprètes.
D'un lyrisme sans complaisance
En complète osmose, ces musiciens forment un véritable duo, notamment sur le plan de la qualité poétique du jeu et celui du style, qui est ici lyrique sans être complaisant. En accord avec le mouvement inspiré qui le porte, Yegor Dyachkov joue chaque note de ces partitions exceptionnelles de façon très convaincante. Alignant des phrasés détaillés avec minutie et déployant une énergie rythmique allègre, le jeu pianistique de Jean Saulnier est ici digne de celui des plus grands chambristes.
Prise de son soignée
Un disque d'une durée généreuse de près de 80 minutes de musique, complété par une transcription de la Sonate pour violon et piano en sol majeur op.78, du même Brahms, interprétée de manière aussi inventive. Servie par une prise de son soignée qui laisse de l'espace aux deux instruments, sans que l'un prenne le pas sur l'autre, la musique vibre dans tout ce qu'elle a de beau et de touchant à offrir.

Michel Ferland, Guide Culturel, Radio-Canada, April 29, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

Cellist Yegor Dyachov and pianist Jean Saulnier won Quebec's Opus Award for CD of the Year with their recording of sonatas by Shostakovich, Schnittke and Prokofiev in 2001, and their new Brahms release more than lives up to the promise of that earlier disc. Theirs is the kind of dynamic, balanced partnership that recharges chamber music. From the fantasy-like freedom of the opening of the E Minor Sonata to the poise of its minuet, or from the way the surging power of the "Allegro passionata" from the F major Sonata makes way for the naiveté of its last movement (as if there had been a complete changing of the guard), these two players sense one another's tiny games with time with mind-reading ease. It's a soliloquy for two. The superlative recorded sound makes Brahms's dense textures wonderfully clear here too, but there's also a tidiness to the interpretations themselves that lets the music speak -- you can almost imagine the words between the lines.

Elissa Poole, The Globe and Mail, Toronto, April 24, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

Des Brahms superbes et enveloppants dans la tradition romantique
Revoici deux complices des premières heures, Yegor Dyachkov et Jean Saulnier, réunis dans un programme tout Brahms, précisément les deux sonates pour violoncelle et piano opp. 38 et 99. En prime, les deux musiciens ajoutent une transcription (il semble qu'elle ne soit pas de Brahms) pour violoncelle et piano en ré majeurde sa Sonate pour violon et pianoen sol majeur op. 78 (d'une étonnante et mélancolique efficacité). Voilà Brahms comme on aime: enveloppé, inspiré, émouvant. Avec l'excellent pianiste Jean Saulnier et sa sonorité pleine, riche et généreuse, et son sens du détail et de la texture, et la partie de violoncelle tenue par le non moins solide Yegor Dyachkov, subtil de retenue qui ne parle pas pour ne rien dire. Chez lui, le style n'est jamais affecté et reste campé dans la contrepartie plus intérieure de ces oeuvres au lyrisme et au romantisme à peine voilé. L'image sonore globale est chaleureuse, enveloppante même... Voilà une interprétation engagée et soutenue, dans le respect de la tradition romantique, et qui trouvera bien des adeptes pour qui aime Brahms comme tel.

Guy Marceau, La Presse, April 12, 2003

Dvorak Concerto album review

La première fois que j'ai entendu le violoncelliste Yegor Dyachkov remonte au Concours international de musique du Festival Orford en 1997. Depuis, je n'ai cessé d'être touché par ce vibrant musicien montréalais originaire de Russie.
À fleur de peau
Animé d'une sensibilité musicale à fleur de peau hors du commun, Yegor Dyachkov joue et respire en union parfaite avec le Concerto pour violoncellede Dvorak. Chaque phrase musicale s'écoute comme un poème, particulièrement dans le deuxième mouvement ainsi que dans les dernières mesures du Concerto, jouées de façon émouvante. Bien sûr, on pourrait s'adonner au jeu des comparaisons avec d'autres grands interprètes dans l'abondante discographie de ce célèbre concerto. Ce n'est pas la peine, la personnalité de Yegor Dyachkov dégage tout ce qu'il faut d'intensité et de force pour convaincre qui que ce soit de l'authenticité et de la beauté de son interprétation.
Clarté éblouissante
À la direction de l'Orchestre symphonique de Laval, Jean-François Rivest traite la musique de Dvorak avec beaucoup de soin. Dans le Concerto, il y a osmose véritable entre le soliste et l'orchestre. Le dialogue et les échanges entres les différents pupitres et le violoncelliste se révèlent d'une clarté éblouissante. Le romantisme de la Symphonie no 8 en sol majeur, op.88 du même Dvorak s'épanouit sans lourdeurs ni clichés.
Musique savoureuse
En somme, la virtuosité de Yegor Dyachkov, la direction minutieuse du maestro ainsi que le talent des solistes de cet orchestre, dont Élaine Marcil au violon et Marie-Andrée Benny à la flûte, rendent cette musique de Dvorak encore plus savoureuse. 

Michel Ferland, Guide Culturel, Radio-Canada, Montréal, January 20, 2003

Brahms Sonatas album review

The Examiner, San Francisco, January 18, 2003

Dvorak Concerto album review

Deux orchestres dominent les dernières réalisations de la jeune industrie québécoise du disque. Bien que le plus substantiel des deux programmes soit celui de l'Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, avec, de Dvorak, le Concerto pour violoncelle et la huitième Symphonie, nous donnerons d'abord la parole à l'Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.


Dvorak encore, mais, cette fois, des oeuvres dont il faut bien admettre qu'elles pèsent plus dans la balance que les aimables Danses slaves: le Concerto pour violoncelle, sans doute le plus beau de tous les concertos destinés à cet instrument, et la huitième Symphonie, plus attachante encore que la fameuse Nouveau Monde.

Ici, la concurrence est redoutable: huit versions différentes de Rostropovitch pour le concerto et, pour la symphonie, les authentiques témoignages des plus grands chefs tchèques, Kubelik en tête. Personne, bien sûr, n'ira préférer Yegor Dyachkovà Rostropovitch, Jean-François Rivest à Kubelik ou l'Orchestre de Laval au Philharmonique Tchèque. Et pourtant... oui, et pourtant, le résultat est ici très impressionnant.

Procédons encore à l'aveugle. Chez Dyachkov, l'attaque, la musicalité et la sensibilité sont celles d'un grand violoncelliste, le commentaire orchestral suit toutes les inflexions du soliste (et jusqu'à ses moindres rubatos et maniérismes!) et les interventions des premiers-pupitres sont impeccables (la flûte, à signaler). Occupant seuls la deuxième moitié du disque, Rivest et Laval se maintiennent au même niveau de jeu et d'inspiration à travers les quatre mouvements de la symphonie.

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, January 4, 2003

Haydn concerto in D major with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra

This excellent musician, who is also well known here as chamber musician, possesses a clear and warm sound, an impetuous bow and an almost baroque – in its detail and articulation – sense of phrasing. The concerto [Haydn D major], which is considered as being one of the most difficult in the repertoire because of its constant technical traps (double stops, high register and virtuosity), gave Dyachkov the opportunity to show all of his potential, especially in the brilliant cadenza of the first movement. As an encore, the soloist played the magnificent Sarabande from the D minor Suite by Bach. It proved to be a moment of great intensity that would have alone made it worth coming to the concert!

Irène Brisson, Le Soleil, Québec, April 10, 2002

Shostakovich / Prokofiev / Schnittke album review

When Yo-Yo Ma listened to this disc, he invited Yegor Dyachkov down to Tanglewood as part of the team creating the Silk Road Project. That's how good this recording is. It was been honoured by Opus magazine with an award as best Canadian chamber music recording of the year as well as a prize from the Conseil Québecois de la Musique for best classical recording.  Shostakovich's Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 40 is a devil of a piece to play.  The cellist and pianist must, in rapid order, pass the lead back and forth or play in unison as a micro-orchestra.  Dynamics range from a whisper to full Russian intensity while Shostakovich employs the full tonal range of each instrument. Sometimes virtuosity must be exercised at a stunning pace,  other times with a languor that is even harder to maintain. Dyachkov and Saulnier acquit themselves more than admirably. Schnittke created post-modern compositions that encompass the whole history of twentieth century music. His 1978 Sonata is a good launching point for those who want to explore what lies beyond the classical repertoire. There's an attractive balance between melodic approaches that are roughly recognizable to classical ears with maneuvers that are quite outside the classical envelope. As fine as the concluding Prokofiev Sonata is, I find it somewhat of an anticlimax, yet I would buy the disc for the stunning performance of the second movement of the Schnittke Sonata alone. Dyachkov and Ossama El-Naggar (founder of this Montreal-based label) can be justly proud that one of Pelleas' first discs has attracted such critical praise and international recognition.

Philip Ehrensaft, The Score, Toronto, February 1, 2002

Shostakovich / Prokofiev / Schnittke album review

"The expressivity of the two partners [Dyachkov and Jean Saulnier] is always sincere and totally convincing. The Schnittke Sonata, in particular, is an absolute triumph…"
Un tel couplage, déjà proposé par Paul Marleyn et Sarah Morley (United, cf. No 68), permet d'utiles comparai­sons stylistiques entre trois créateurs dissemblables. Qui plus est, I'inter­prétation est excellente. Le jeu souple et délié de Dyachkov, son timbre chaud et homogène dans tous les registres, la finesse de ses aigus et la légèreté de son rebond rythmique s'accordent bien avec la pulsation toujours maî­trisée de Saulnier. Il est certes pos­sible de souhaiter plus d'exubérance sonore et de frénésie motorique dans l'Allegro final de la Sonate de Chostakovitch et peut‑être un peu plus d'acidité erratique et de mystère introspectif dans celle de Prokofiev, mais l'expressivité des deux com­plices est partout d'une sincérité to­talement convaincante. La Sonate de Schnittke, notamment, est une réus­site absolue, avec ses demi‑teintes douloureuses, ses cris étouffés, son tourbillon ostinato martelé au piano dans le Presto.

Jean-Marie Brohm, Répertoire, April 1, 2001

Recital in Toronto

Flamboyant playing charges cello concert
Moscow-born cellist Yegor Dyachkov, a recent recipient of the Young Canadian Musicians Award, is moving quickly up the ladder of success.

He gave firm support to his burgeoning reputation yesterday at Walter Hall, with a Mooredale Concerts recital showcasing his considerable strengths in muscular accounts of works from mainstream and less well-known cello repertoire.

With ebullient accompaniment from pianist Jan Saulnier, Dyachkov's flinty and flamboyant tones put a considerable charge into transcriptions of classics by Stravinsky and Prokofiev, a 1985 creation by late Canadian composer André Prévost and Brahms' warhorse Sonata in F Major greatly enlivened by forceful inner movements.

The opening Stravinsky, the Suite Italienne from 1932, based on his ballet Pulcinella, demonstrated the composer's new ideas - lean and glowing sounds emphasizing clarity and ``pure'' music that became the cornerstone of neo-classicism.

The crystalline tones in the Serenata and Aria and tough changes of tempo left the work too jagged, demonstrating intellectual energy rather than emotional commitment. All the flamboyance and technique could not caress the work into the sparkling, joyous vehicle Stravinsky intended, though the Tarantella flashed cheerfully in contrast to a stiff Minuetto.

The duo's arrangements of parts of Prokofiev's ballet Romeo And Julet was much better, the four selections bringing out the foreboding, sorrow and irresistible dances that drive the doomed lovers' story. Dyachkov called this a ``work-in-progress,'' but it's obviously already polished with new interpretive ideas, the dashing Mercutio and melancholic, rich Farewell outstanding.

Prévost's haunting Sonate elicited delightful playing. With big plummy phrasing, the cellist demonstrated remarkable delicacy in filigree passages, offering intensity without losing momentum and revealing, as with the Prokofiev, understanding of the anguish and neurosis deep inside the music.

The Brahms, rich and crammed with ingenious harmonic games, was given a clear, spacious treatment with shapely accents and pinpoint voicings by both artists, their vigour matched by the wit to examine the work from the inside rather than via embellishment.

Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star, March 12, 2001

Shostakovich / Prokofiev / Schnittke album review

Yegor Dyachkov is clearly a polished and sensitive cellist of great class. His instrument is magnificent in its presence, its warmth and its subtlety. The phrasing is noble, distinguished and devoid of ostentation, and the bowing bespeaks of a steadfast and sincere character. A recording remarkable for its clarity and intelligence.

Olivier Philipponnat,, January 16, 2001

Shostakovich / Prokofiev / Schnittke album review

Opus 2000 Recording Awards / Best Chamber Music Recording (Canadian)
Dour, fierce and rigourous, yet with splashes of joy and no shortage of modernist irony, the sonatas for cello and piano by the Soviet composers Shostakovich, Schnittke and Prokofievmake an especially complementary package here. The 26-year-old Russian-born cellist Yegor Dyachkov is an eloquent spokesman for these pieces from the mother country, with playing that neatly balances passion and restraint. The recorded sound from this Québec label is excellent.

Elissa Poole, Opus Magazine, Toronto, September 1, 2000

Shostakovich / Prokofiev / Schnittke album review

Dyachkov : déja, un grand violoncelliste
     Yegor Dyachkov, jeune violoncel­liste montréalais de 26 ans d'ori­gine russe qui fut d'abord membre des Musici de son professeur Yuli Turovsky, signa son premier enre­gistrement en 1996 : le Concerto bal­lata de Glazounov, pour la maison britannique Chandos, à titre de gagnant du Concours d'Orford.
     Son premier disque de sonates vint en­suite: un couplage Richard Strauss‑Hans Pfitzner avec le pianiste Henri Brassard, pour la marque américaine Brioso. Un deuxième vient de paraître, avec cette fois le pianiste Jean Saulnier, sous l'étiquette québécoise Pelléas. Il groupe les trois plus importantes sonates russes du XXe siècle, soit celles de Chostakovitch (de 1934), Prokofiev (1949) a Schnittke (1978). (Dans ce dernier cas, pre­mière sonate car Schnittke en composa une deuxième en 1994.)
     Cette nouvelle prestation se maintient au niveau d'excellence des deux précédentes. Avant même d'avoir atteint la trentaine, Dyachkov s'impose comme un violoncelliste de première grandeur : l'archet naturel, la sonorité riche et profonde, la concentration to­tale, le sens de l'interprétation, tout est là.
     Dans la réussite absolue que constitue ce disque, il faut compter l'apport de Jean Saul­nier, chambriste agissant et nuancé, et l'équi­libre d'une prise de son où violoncelle et piano sont toujours , où jamais une voix ne disparaît au profit de l’autre. Observer, par exemple, à la fin du Schnittke, cette très lon­gue tenue du violonœlle pianissimo sur un do qui, pendant 22 mesures, reste audible à travers les accords du piano (de 7'46 à 9'24 sur l'indicateur, ou entre les chiffres 10 et 12 si on a la partition).
     Classiques du répertoire des violoncellis­tes, les sonates de Prokofiev et de Chostako­vitch conservent, par leurs thèmes chantants, un certain romantisme auquel Dyachkov s'abandonne, rejoignant Rostropovitch et son maître Turovsky, les dépassant même, par­fois, dans le mystère ou l'espièglerie. Moins fréquenté, le Schnittke est une création abso­lument démente, d'une difficulté indescripti­ble, presque épuisante à écouter même, et que Dyachkov et Saulnier traversent en véri­tables héros, sans nécessairement faire ou­blier l'incandescente version de Torleif The­déen et Roland Pöntinen réalisée chez BIS en 1986.
     Il existe un autre enregistrement groupant les trois mêmes sonates: celui de Xavier Phil­lips et Hüseyin Sermet, paru chez Harmonia Mundi en 1997. Je ne l'ai pas entendu. Mais je ne vois pas en quoi il pourrait être supé­rieur à celui de Dyachkov et Saulnier où tou­tes les indications de la partition sont respec­tées, où l'esprit de chaque oeuvre est parfaitement rendu. ★★★★★

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, August 26, 2000

Ibert Concerto with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra

Daniel Robellaz, Tribune de Genève, March 2, 2000

Dvorak Concerto with Orchestra London

Montreal-based cellist Yegor Dyachkov’s intensity, during his performance with Orchestra London in last night’s Masterwork’s concert, was powerful and thrilling.

…But it was Dyachkov, the 25-year-old Russian cellist, who soared the highest, plumbing Dvorak’s Bohemian melodies for their underlying poignancy. There were moments —especially during the first movement —when Dyachkov’s furious intensity seemed to suck the air out of the hall. And that kind of rarefied feeling can be, while it lasts, thrilling.

Ian Gillespie, The London Free Press, London, On, October 28, 1999

Strauss / Pfitzner album review

… the deeply focused and committed playing of Mr. Dyachkov, who possesses a ravishing tone but does not rely on it, as some cellists do, to the point of overkill. He is not afraid to dig into strings, foregoing surface beauty when appropriate to express emotion. It is this kind of assured flexibility that makes the cello "speak", and which separates true musicians, like Mr. Dyachkov, from mere technicians.

Bill Parker, NetRadio Classical Spotlight, October 1, 1999

Strauss / Pfitzner album review

     Dyachkov déploie le phrasé et la sonorité d'un grand violoncelliste romantique et il trouve en Henri Brassard le partenaire idéal pour s'abandonner pleinement à son interprétation. La superbe réalisation de musique de chambre que constitue ce disque nous fait même regretter la préférence de Brassard pour d'autres univers comme le jazz.
     Le disque, dont la parution coïncide avec le 50e anniversaire de la mort, en 1949, de Strauss et de Pfitzner, réunit des oeuvres de jeunesse des deux compositeurs. La Romanze de Strauss est d’ailleurs contemporaine de la Sonate et est offerte ici dans une édition inconnue, obtenue des héritiers du compositeurs. Si l’influence de Brahms, de Mendelssohn, de Schumann, est évidente chez l’un et l’autre, leurs œuvres n’en contiennent pas moins la marque de très fortes personnalités que les deux jeunes musiciens servent ici avec la plus totale conviction. ★★★★★

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, April 11, 1999

Kathleen Lavoie, Le Soleil, Québec, October 27, 1998

Shostakovich Concerto with the Montréal University Orchestra

The highlight of the concert was the Concerto for cello by Shostakovich. The young Yegor Dyachkov was xtraordinarily masterful and intense. The music was heated to the point of incandescence.

François Tousignant, Le Devoir, Montréal, November 24, 1997

Glazunov album review

Le Concerto ballata pour violoncelle, au titre original, s’inscrit dans la filiation des Variations Rococo. On nous permettra de le trouver d’un intérêt musical au moins comparable au «tube» de Tchaïkovski. L’aspect rhapsodique séduit immédiatement par la variété des couleurs qui ne cherchent pas la virtuosité pour elle-même, mais une unité architecturale parfaitement menée à son terme. Dyachkov joue avec simplicité et souplesse une partition qui ne souffrirait aucune digression dans la pureté de sa ligne mélodique.

Stéphane Friédérich, Répertoire, August 1, 1997

Glazunov album review

…Also from Russia is the fine cellist Yegor Dyachkov. Two years younger than Trostiansky, he is currently a pupil of Boris Pergamenschikow. He, too plays with considerable refinement, his tuning good even in the upper stratospheres of the instrument. […] But he has chosen to play a real rarity and while Glazunov’s rhapsodic Concerto Ballata, written in 1931 and dedicated to Pablo Casals, is no masterpiece, it proves immediately attractive.

David Denton, The Strad, London, June 1, 1997

Claude Gingras, La Presse, Montréal, March 4, 1991

Rostislav Dubinsky, Borodin Quartet / Borodin Trio

Linda Maria Koldau, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra

Marc Samson, Le Soleil, Québec

André Prévost, composer | compositeur

Arcuri: Migrations, album review

En recevant lundi dernier le disque ATMA d'oeuvres de Serge Arcuri intitulé Migrations, je n'anticipais pas le choc qui m'attendait.
(...)Je ne connais pas Serge Arcuri au-delà de ce disque, et son langage et son style n'ont rien à voir avec ceux de Jacques Hétu. Les partitions assez courtes mettent en scène des instruments seuls ou de petites formations, parfois en association avec des sons enregistrés.  Pourtant, il est émouvant de constater à quel point la phrase «Exprimer quelque chose en m'exprimant, moi» peut définir ce que l'on entend. Si Jacques Hétu dépeint le monde et son histoire, Arcuri semble mettre en scène son monde, un univers comme rongé de douleur et de tensions intérieures. Il y a, évidemment, les prétextes invoqués — les enluminures, les cloches, les étoiles —, mais la musique parle de l'homme. La sublime épure de Mystique, dernier volet des Torrents d'étoiles, sonne comme une impossible aspiration à la sérénité. Dans Migrations, flûte et sons enregistrés se mêlent avec une magie rare.
(...)Serge Arcuri possède donc ce qui fait l'essence d'un grand compositeur: un langage et un monde. En cela, il a l'étoffe de devenir notre Einojhuhani Rautavaara ou notre Peteris Vasks... en plus écorché.

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, Montréal