"... Liszt’s relationship with the piano was such that he required his performers to become part of their instrument, a kind of transmutation, which aimed at the materially impossible ideal of the pianist’s mind inhabiting the actual keys. Materially impossible but musically achievable. On today's scene, there is almost certainly no pianist who comes so close to this ideal as the young Russian Michail Lifits. Yes, he is master and commander of his instrument; so much so, that you get the feeling that the instrument would not dare to give him other than the sounds he wants. Yet for all his steely determination (and there is lots of that) you clearly hear the love affair he is having in his contact with the keys – his astonishing capacity to coax sounds out the piano which you won’t hear from any other pianist. Piano playing doesn’t come greater than this. Interestingly, there were a couple of miscalculations, where the piano seemed to be talking back: If you treat me like this, just listen to how nasty I can sound. And he even seemed to have got that message too!..."