What's great about it? She has loads of technique, but it isn't that. All sorts of pianists have technique. She also has great control over dynamics, phrasing and rhythm. This last is one of the things that really makes a piece work. You have to start with incisive, crisp rhythmic control. But then you have to transcend that! As a great Baroque specialist once said, all notes are created equal, but played unequally--or something like that! What that means is that every note has a purpose and if you understand that purpose, you understand how to play each note. Just listen to the first phrase of the Rachmaninoff above. The tight, tossed-off rhythms of those accompaniment figures set up everything that follows. And listen to how she holds back the tempo at the end of the phrase. So many musicians play phrases without a clear sense of where they are going, in a kind of happy fog. No fog here! This is alert, intelligent, purposeful musicianship. With that in mind, you can bet she is going to play Beethoven well.
Yep. Listen to how the notes are dynamically handled. Not only the beautifully controlled dynamic over the whole first movement, but from each note to the next in the melody, reflecting the harmonic tension. And listen to the minuet: clear, articulated and not too fast! We are inundated with pianists that play everything slightly too fast, that blur details and that mime orgasmic expressions the whole time. Audiences have been falling for this. But once you hear the real thing, a true musician who brings the music to life without making herself the center of attention...well, once you hear that you realize what you have been missing.
Thanks Norman, I'll be following the career of Valentina Lisitsa from now on!