Violinist for the "Hamburg scale"
Significant, major, successful and assured steps were taken by him in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire during this winter and spring. They were acclaimed by the public and highly appraised by the orchestra. The last is not a simple thing as to impress and to arise interest with the experienced persons, who almost every day meet with the real music, is a very difficult task.
The musician is one of the most dynamic, even, stable and precise violinists, in the best meaning of the word, who represent today the extinct profession and almost extinct style - Virtuosity.
Fedotov did not leave the stage for the whole part of the concert dedicated to the 60-th anniversary of the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia. He played the most popular hits of the violin music "Havanese" and "Introduction and Rondo-Cappriccioso" by Saint -Saens, the "Gypsy" Rhapsody by Ravel and brilliant fantasy "Carmen" by P.Sarasate. To overcome technical difficulties with the fury of a gymnast or a skater.., to manage the instrument in the way as a wrestler uses his body...- is a real achievement, it is "a worthy level", but has not much in common with the real virtuosity. Virtus is translated into Latin as valour, that is why a virtuoso is not a person who can play quickly.
Fedotov's paradox is that the word "virtuoso'' might be apply in its first meaning to his gift. His play complies to the high sport-music level - the XX century achievement, without which it is impossible to be successful today. On the other hand his preciseness, quality (absence of performing mistakes) - if these features were primary aims for the violinist, he would not play violin at all. In this case it would have been impossible to make the audience forget the complex passages, double notes, dizzy tempo, forget that there is an instrument between him and the public, to make the public to perceive the performance as some expression, that coveys some music meaning, and not a struggle with the violin aiming at some abstract technique.
The ardour with which the musician solves complex tasks, for example when his playing of Concerto by Brahms in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire is strange and at the same time natural, and the audience believes that the performer is right. Who heard this ardour in the unity with the violin energy and subtle interpretation of the complex Brahms texture, one could not say it was played by an excellent pupil. Yes, the same notes, but there might be some other music level -freedom from the notes' power, and sometimes Fedotov enjoys this freedom.
There is some touch of flippancy, that Fedotov added to his playing the above mentioned "gold violin hits", in major part - of the French origin. And this lightness does not contradict to the fact that the iron nerves and the full control of the performance and the sounding of the whole (i.e. the violin and the orchestra) -spontaneity and mastership, unexpected impromptu, seeming that way in hall, careful preparation again do not contradict each other.
The ability to restrict the passionate sounding of the violin when needed, so characteristic of Fedotov, - is also one of the musician's features. The refinement is also typical for the violinist's performance: nothing might sound sharply or impertinently. To say the truth nobody can deny him the feeling of taste, i.e. to realize the real value of each minute detail. Though he might be a bit "sweet", but he nether might be captivated by the "confectionery effects"... It will be unnatural and unreasonable not to follow the texts by the Romantic composers, who state doice almost in every cantilena theme. The sharpness of other violin gestures is needed to strike one's eyes and ears. When I asked Maxim Fedotov about the difficult tasks that he has chosen in order to solve them subsequently in his excellent manner, he answered : "I merely want to be a violinist, just for myself. Besides it is a pleasant thing, it is also a matter of honor. When I cannot be a violinist, then I shall pay much more attention to teaching, for example... Or shall set to something else."
«Muzykalnaya Zhizn», 1997, No.7