My CD of new South African piano music is finally here!
"Great musicianship, I would argue, springs from awareness, insight and a penchant for communication - captivating and arresting in equal measure. The best performers truly understand music and help it to speak......By this measure, Renée Reznek is certainly a great musician."
(Adam Fergler, Music Without Barlines)
Thanks to Simon Wallace, Dominique Brethes, Steve Plews and composers Neo Muyanga, Kevin Volans, Michael Blake, Robert Fokkens, Hendrik Hofmeyr, David Earl, Peter Klatzow and David Kosviner!NEO MUYANGA - HADE TATA
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On this CD, Renée performs music by Janácek, Debussy, Messiaen, Stravinsky and David Earl.
"Pianist Renée Reznek’s affinity for her chosen repertoire, maturity of conception, and superb technical command can be heard in every note of this highly polished, yet intimate, recital." (Fanfare Magazine)
These recitals have been cited as amongst the highlights of the London concert year by the Financial Times and Music and Opera Review.
"...pianist Renée Reznek probably never dreamt that, some day, composers would be writing music specifically for her to play in concert." (Fanfare Magazine)
Please click below to read reviews of the CD.
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The CD contains the following tracks:
Pianist Renée Reznek’s affinity for her chosen repertoire, maturity of conception, and superb technical command can be heard in every note of this highly polished, yet intimate, recital. “Recital”, a word that I believe was first used in a musical context by Liszt to compare his concerts to histrionic performances, is a most apposite term for Reznek’s way with these scores. Every subtlety of line and dynamic is exquisitely weighed, balanced, and declaimed so as to artfully play its part in the “drama.” These pieces don’t seek to overwhelm the listener with overt virtuosity, but rather to charm either through uninhibited sentiment (David Earl’s Old Roses), atmosphere alternating with wit (Debussy), religious contemplation of the infinite (Messiaen), or by stimulating reassessment of a familiar form through juxtaposition with a “modern” sensibility (Stravinsky). Reznek’s Janacek is tender and lovingly redolent of the distinctive Czech ambiance. At the same time, she delineates the sophisticated touches that set these pieces apart from folk music. She is a colorist of “the first water:” listen to Brouillards for as close a musical evocation of fog as can be imagined or to the “starry” sounds in Messiaen’s Regard de l’étoile — but she wisely applies her brush with restraint. She’s receptive to Debussy’s humor (“General Lavine”-eccentric; Hommage a S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C.) while endowing La puerta del Vino with perfumed sensuousness. In other hands, Messiaen’s minimalist Regard du Pere might lose definition, but Reznek’s concentration doesn’t waver. I’ve heard Stravinsky’s Tango attacked with more immediate sarcasm, but Reznek’s initially gentler approach doesn’t stint on that particularly 20th century emotion as the piece unfolds. In short, this is a most welcome introduction to an excellent pianist whose playing is sure to bring further pleasure and insight with each new hearing.
Reznek is one of the most lyrical pianists I have run into recently.This disc gives an excellent view of her wonderful pianism.
This collection of music is as diverse as it is distinctive and beautiful. Reznek is a smart and tasteful artist with superb rhythmic control. I would be quite satisfied to have heard such a recital in person; it is, overall, beautifully played, and put together in a way as to create a theatrical wholeness. This is a model of thoughtful programming, which is something of a lost art.
“Renée as performer and teacher clearly favours clarity. It is there in Janácek's On an Overgrown Path, crisp phrasing heightening the sense of light and shade, just as it captures the humour in Debussy's cameos of General Lavine and Homage to S. Pickwick. But she also manages a hypnotically smooth legato in Messiaen's Vingt Regards and spans the dynamic contrasts of David Earl's Old Roses with conviction.”
“I was very impressed with your performance, repertoire and production - you have a great program of works, your performance is excellent - very expressive and emotive ... your playing is deeply poetic - really great to listen to.”
“Piano Recital features pieces from five composers from the 20th and 21st centuries, a personal passion of Renée's. Full of feeling, Piano Recital puts paid to the idea that modern classical music is merely a mathematical and academic pursuit.”
“The CD programme is a splendid one, but it's the sheer focus of the playing, of course that makes it so. Every note has a purpose, musical intelligence and sense of direction...”