|Concert Reviews 2011|
A sensitive concerto meets a wall of sound at the MSO
Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, a standard among piano concertos, received a fresh and sensitive treatment Friday morning from Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski (pronounced Trrrp’CHESky with a trill) and Edo de Waart’s Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Trpčeski approached the concerto methodically, with clear, biting phrases in the right hand and flowing arpeggios in the left. He treated slow, quiet passages with clarity and light touch and matched the orchestra in fortissimo sections.
The first movement cadenza effectively demonstrated Trpčeski’s style: quiet and reverent, with less flash than many guest artists but more effort to bring the right mood to each phase.
Prayerful, the second movement opened with sparkling, gentle piano phrases, blossoming into a glorious hymn reminiscent of Sibelius sung by winds, then closed reverentially with piano and French horn sharing the theme.
An evening of great satisfaction with HKPO and Rachmaninov
... Despite speeding through the almost inhumanly fast passages Rachmaninov sprinkled profusely throughout the work, Simon Trpčeski never for one moment sacrificed clarity for fluidity. His delicate touch might strike some as being a little diffident, but it enabled him to blend in and speak with, rather talk back at the orchestra, creating a unique sense of unity between the two. During the orchestral interludes, he would gently shake his hands as he let them hang loose, the physical strain on his muscle being palpable...
Philharmonia / Petrenko at the Festival Hall
By Geoff Brown
...before us the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski, who is always a pleasure to hear...that a thunderous passage was over, Trpceski’s arms and shoulders leapt back from...as if victims of an electric shock. Trpceski’s clarity of touch and rhythmic mastery...
CBSO/Russian Classics, at Symphony Hall
… Preceding the symphony was Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Soloist Simon Trpceski’s delicate touch produced an effective, silvery sound in the concerto’s quieter passages, but balance proved an issue in others with the hall’s resonance chambers fully open in premature anticipation of the symphony…_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Joie de Vivre from Frühbeck de Burgos, Trpceski
By Michael Rocha
Trpceski (repeat after me, Trrrrp’CHESky; informative BMInt interview here), a meteorically rising star from Macedonia, beamed out from the stage prior to plunging in, making an immediate connection with both audience and orchestra. This engaged and engaging performer seemed completely at ease as he bounded through this virtuosic romp. His playing was assured and highly energized, almost a tad too much so in the early going, as his initial approach to the thunderous passages made it seem as if he were translating fortissimo to mean “attempt to break string.” After pounding the yelping Steinway into submission, Simon (SEE-mon) settled in and treated us to a buoyant rendition that featured seemingly effortless hand-blurring technique and a tone ranging from feathery to fiery, as Liszt’s score explored the lyrical in addition to the bombastic. The communication lines between conductor, soloist, orchestra, and audience were all wide open, and the not-unexpected standing-O rivaled the performance in terms of enthusiasm. Once again: Trrrrp’CHESky. You may want to practice that until it rolls off your tongue.
Reger, Liszt, and Ravel (BSO, Trpčeski, Frühbeck de Burgos)
By David Allen
Why is Simon Trpčeski not better known? The man is a national hero in Macedonia, and a seriously competent pianist, far more interesting and possessing of interpretative pizazz than so many of the young pianists doing the rounds today. I was privileged, in fact, that he was the first pianist I ever heard in the concert hall – a brash, monumental performance of Rachmaninov‘s Third with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder that remains the best I have heard live. (He is currently recording the complete Rachmaninov concertos with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – the Second and Third available here – and gave a stunning rendition of the Second last year at the Proms with Petrenko.)
... Above all, Trpčeski presented a fundamentally Lisztian voice, conscious of influences forwards and back, but not the proto-Rachmaninov one so often, so unfortunately hears. Trpčeski has an old-school, almost patrician tone at times, Ravelian in colouration at others. Needless to say, technical challenges seemed unworthy of the label. An excellent performance, well backed-up by a subtle contribution from Frühbeck and the BSO.
Trpceski’s fresh path to Liszt
By Jeremy Eichler
In between comes Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which was for me the highlight of last night’s Symphony Hall performance, in large measure due to the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski’s fresh, glittering performance.Liszt’s Second Concerto tests not just a pianist’s technical arsenal but also his poetic resources, and Trpceski, an accomplished young pianist making a somewhat belated BSO debut, showed himself equal to every Lisztian task.
Phrasing in the work’s many lyrical moments was highly imaginative, full of air and light, and an audible sense of lift in the sound. Even rapid passagework that can sometimes sound generically virtuosic was here dispatched in distinctively characterful ways, and the many moments in which the piano embroiders themes from the orchestra were played with unerring sensitivity. One hopes that Trpceski, now that he has come to the BSO, will return soon.
Ljubav na prvi pogled pijaniste Simona Trpčeskog i Zagreba
By Denis Derk
Itekako zaslužan za posvemašnji euforični uspjeh filharmoničara bio je i ugledni austrijski dirigentski veteran Leopold Hager, koji je, ruku na srce, zbog eteričnog Trpčeskog mogao malo i obuzdati orkestralni tajfun. Bila je to ljubav na prvi pogled. Ne samo da je makedonski pijanist svjetske slave Simon Trpčeski rasprodao pretplatnički koncert Zagrebačke filharmonije, nego je svojom tankoćutnom i virtuoznom interpretacijom Lisztovog Drugog koncerta u A-duru za klavir i orkestar izborio zasluženi burni pljesak. A pljesak je bio toliko dug da je izmamio dva izvrsno odabrana bisa.Jedan Chopinov pun unutarnje emocije, a drugi, Skopsko oro Angela Nančevskog uz pomoć koncertne majstorice Sidonije Lebar i violončelista Jasena Chelfija pun neobuzdanog makedonskog ritma.
Makedonski pijanist Simon Trpčeski osvojio Zagreb
By Agencija VLM
… Bila je to ljubav na prvi pogled. Ne samo da je makedonski pijanist svjetske slave Simon Trpčeski rasprodao pretplatnički koncert Zagrebačke filharmonije, nego je svojom tankoćutnom i virtuoznom interpretacijom Lisztovog Drugog koncerta u A-duru za klavir i orkestar dobio zasluženi burni pljesak. A pljesak je bio toliko dug da je izmamio dva izvrsno odabrana bisa…
KONCERT S izvrsnim pijanistom Simonom Trpčeskim
By Zdenka Weber
… Upravo je ta maštovitost skladateljskoga sloga u interpretaciji Trpčeskog dobila potrebne uzlete inspiracije u dinamičkim suprotstavljanjima i virtuoznoj igri koja se prolama u susretima s orkestralnim dionicama naglašene bravure (osobito nježni pjev violončela).Solist i dirigent surađivali su u doživljajnim komponentama zahtjevne partiture načinom koji upućuje na dobro međusobno razumijevanje, a orkestar je u svim dionicama vrsno ostvarenim sudjelovanjem precizno i u nastupima disciplinirano iznosio Lisztovu nabujalu glazbu. Gromoglasni pljesak oduševljene publike potakao je solistu i na dodatke, prvo Chopinov jednostavni Valcer u a-molu, a zatim na posebno iznenađenje, Skopsko oro Angela Nančevskog u aranžmanu Damira Imarija. Koncipirana kao klavirski trio, ova je erupcija makedonskoga glazbenog slavlja tražila i sudjelovanje violine i violončela, pa su se razigranom Trpčeskom u izvedbi pridružili i koncertna majstorica Sidonija Leban i prvi violončelist Zagrebačke filharmonije Jasen Čelpi. Bio je to dodatak koji se gostu-solistu svakako upisuje kao primjerno populariziranje glazbenoga idioma njegove domovine, kao i doživljaj koji ćemo rado pamtiti.
Simon Trpčeski - jednostavno briljantno
Virtuozni Trpčeski potvrdio zvjezdani status u Drugom koncertu Franza Liszta
Nakon jedinstvenog Pogorelića, sjajnog Luganskog, velikog Indjića i vatrenog Mustonena, na najnovijem koncertu Crvene oktave gostovao je briljantni makedonski pijanist - virtuozni Simon Trpčeski! Umjetnik čija se karijera doista poklapa s onom "preko trnja do zvijezda" danas se nalazi na
… Bila je to večer puna optimizma i pozitivnih emocija, u kojoj smo s virtuoznim Trpčeskim putovali visoko put neba svjetskog pijanizma, a poletnim zvucima Stravinskog i Mendelssohna - zajedno s Filharmoničarima i maestrom Hagerom - pozdravili proljeće koje nam sve jače kuca na vrata…
Dvoje pijanista izvelo dva Listova koncerta
Treće večeri Treće prolećne klavirske fešte koja je protiče u znaku Franca Lista, pošto se ove godine obeležava dva veka od njegovog rodjenja, dvorana je bila skoro popunjena, a publika, koja je zapamtila po dobru prethodne nastupe Trpčeskog, dugotrajnim aplauzom je pokazala da ceni ovog izuzetnog pijanistu.
By Rick Schultz
... The unexpected occurred when Trpčeski introduced the piece by singing four short sections of the rhythmically challenging Macedonian folk songs that inspired the work, accompanying himself at the piano. His voice is surprisingly good, warm and direct. When he performed the mostly tonal suite of six pieces, the score turned out to be a pleasant hodgepodge of Chopin and Keith Jarrett-like jazz flourishes, with the pianist adding his own formidable cadenza to the “Quasi toccata” finale. He dedicated the suite to his loyal Macedonian following in the audience.The recital opened with Haydn’s Sonata in C minor, given a gentle, spacious and very romantic reading. It led into four moody Chopin Nocturnes, two each from Op. 32 and Op. 48. Trpčeski’s sound was consistently rounded, even dreamy. But the recital’s aura of quiet consolation and the pianist’s unvaried beauty of tone suggested something more personal was going on here. His playing felt distant.In Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7, Trpčeski displayed tremendous virtuosity in the toccata finale, but in the andante middle movement, a Chopinesque melancholy dominated.
Trpčeski’s two encores were similarly low-key: the sixth of Mozart’s nine “Variations on a Minuet by J.P. Duport,” and Chopin’s Waltz in A minor, which the pianist dedicated to the memory of his father.
Simon Trpceski Recital: Haydn, Chopin, Pande Shahov, Prokofiev.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
By Laurence Vittes
Trpceski's method, although it hardly felt like it, was not to overpower the music or overwhelm the audience. Instead he drew the listeners into the music with performances that might have seemed improvisatory but turned out to be deeply revealing. The Haydn C Minor, which has been used by pianists as apposite as Richter and Brendel, served its purpose here, acclimatizing the audience to Trpceski's quiet poetry. No need for stylistic verity when the simple blueprints laid out by Haydn are so self referencing and profound. The Chopin Nocturnes were in a similar vein, the occasional gorgeous melodies played with hesitation leading to sublime illumination.
Simon Trpceski at the Kennedy Center
By Robert Battey
… Portions of it anticipated the Prokofiev that was to follow, though that was likely just clever programming on Trpceski's part. The piece was easy listening in both good and bad senses, though it was nice to see the artist having fun. There was certainly no question of Trpceski's ability to wrestle the fearsome Prokofiev Seventh to the ground, but he used jujitsu rather than brute strength. Instead of attacking the work head-on, he surrounded and outmaneuvered it. Whether this approach is ultimately satisfying is a personal matter; for those of us used to sparks flying from the steel hammers of Richter, Horowitz and Argerich, last Saturday's reading lacked the frightening, machines-out-of-control element that makes the piece so compelling. But there was no gainsaying Trpceski's complete command of his own arsenal and intentions.
As it always does, the Prokofiev brought the audience to its feet. Trpceski had his listeners eating out of his hand, and could then have regaled us with several more barn-burners. Instead, he figuratively turned the house lights on with a gentle, whispered Haydn encore and made a courteous exit. As with everything else, he did it his way.
SUPERB PIANISM AT THE CHAN
Simon Trpceski, piano: Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, and Shahov
Chan Centre, February 20, 2011
The solo recital of Simon Trpceski, the acclaimed 31-year old pianist from the eastern-European Republic of Macedonia, turned out to be one of the real highlights of this year’s Vancouver Recital Society concert season. In a recital ranging from Haydn to contemporary Macedonian composer Pande Shahov, we saw a wonderful combination of a finely-tuned keyboard control, intellectual strength, and an acute sensitivity to the emotional dimensions of the music played. From the contemplative opening of Haydn’s Sonata No. 33, it was evident just how elegant this pianist is and how he could use his beautiful tone to give meaning to each note. His playing is exact, but it is his thoughtful control of dynamics and his ability to point phrases with just the right emphasis and weight that makes his playing so involving and ‘alive’. The two slower movements of this work showed great subtlety in emotional expression and awareness of fine detail, while the quick finale flowed from beginning to end, blending wit with intelligence.I would have never thought that a performance of two middle-period Variations by Mozart could be an engrossing experience, but Trpceski gave these minor works a stature that is rare. He developed both with a wide emotional range, bringing the playful and serious elements together into a telling whole. Here and in the Haydn, one noted that the pianist always brought out this variety within the bounds of ‘classical’ style. Often, young pianists who perform grand romantic works (e.g., Rachmaninoff) cannot find much emotional content or sense of style when turning back to classical composers. Here it was the opposite: a good test of the extent of Trpceski’s resources, since he has also been widely-praised for his recordings of Rachmaninoff (EMI Classics 724355794352 and Avie 2192).There was atmosphere aplenty in the four Chopin Nocturnes that followed, developed in a most concentrated, sculpted way. Pianistic control of the highest order indeed and what wonderful tonal hues and soft playing he produced! However, like Claudio Arrau’s classic Philips interpretation, these were clearly Nocturnes set in a granite-like foundation. With less rubato and caprice than others might employ, they may not be for all tastes or moods. Hearing these four pieces together was illuminating but I doubt that a complete set of Nocturnes could take this weight and intensity. The pianist’s recent Chopin recital is on EMI Classics 94638795254.The final ‘Songs and Whispers’ is a recently-premiered joint collaboration between the pianist and composer Shahov, a work that celebrates Macedonian folk history as well as Chopin’s 200th anniversary. In his introduction, the pianist actually sang for us the four Macedonian songs involved (a rare occurrence -- perhaps he will have another career before long!), also noting the quotations from Chopin. This work was a superb vehicle for Simon Trpceski’s talents – his fingering is simply remarkable -- but it remains a pleasant piece rather than anything more. Some of it has the feel of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, though with modernist touches thrown in.
This concert was an instructive example of how much maturity, vision and mastery a young performer can have. Simon Trpceski gave us a fully memorable and engaging recital with no ostentatious display whatsoever and in fact without performing one really major work. This is a pianist that the world must watch very carefully.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic / Vasily Petrenko / Simon Trpčeski
By Glyn Môn Hughes
... The relief came with a sparkling performance of Rachmaninov’s Fourth Piano Concerto (presumably to be recorded for Avie). Trpčeski allowed the humour in the first movement to shine through while the hugely attractive Largo constantly wound itself up to a climax and then gently let itself down again. In many ways, it was something of a relief to get into the stormy opening of the finale in which both soloist and conductor let rip. Trpčeski constantly kept staring at members of the orchestra, forging what seemed to be an intimate relationship with the players. There was an encore involving RLPO principals, Trpčeski announcing an arrangement of Dimcevski’s Skopsko Oro (Dance from Skopje) for piano, violin (James Clark) and cello (Jonathan Aasgaard), one of those typically eastern European dances, the rhythm five against four or four against three – hard to pin down and a constant source of both enchantment and fascination.