“In the old days of stores with a large selection of classical CDs, I browsed for hours and would have purchased this on the basis of its content alone. Here is my favorite piano sonata and my favorite set of variations, in a program with a couple of compositions I didn’t know — an unbeatable Beethoven recital. Played with strength and imagination, the performances are hard to beat. The program is perfectly ordered, opening with the lighter-weight but charming Polonaise, followed by the hefty Variations. The Fantasia is a substantial eight-minute work vaguely reminiscent of Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and offers an interesting break before one of the greatest piano works of all time, Beethoven’s final sonata.
“Faliks’s excellent first CD included Rachmaninoff Sonata 2 and Gaspard de la Nuit (MSR 1333, Jan/Feb 2010). I have seen her perform in New York on two occasions and have a non-commercial earlier recording of Sonata 32. She teaches at UCLA and performs all over the USA and also in Italy and Israel. She is a pioneer in Yahama’s newest technology that allows long distance playing and teaching piano via the Internet, video, and their Disklavier recording and reproducing pianos.
“Her competition in the big pieces is formidable. I have spent many years listening to Richter (Olympic 339, May/June 1994) and Brendel (Vox 3017, Mar/Apr 1993) play the variations, and with this new recording in my collection, I doubt that I’ll return to the old favorites as often. I find a couple of these variations rare examples of Beethoven’s musical humor — and Faliks does not miss them. I don’t have a specific favorite for the sonata, though I’ve seen Barenboim perform it twice (EMI 72912, Mar/Apr 1999). Faliks captures the turbulent aspect of the first movement just right. From the stately theme to the jazzy dance elements of the middle variations to the heaven-bound trills in the upper reaches of the piano, II balances perfectly.
“I have purchased many CDs on the basis of their content. Rarely have performances measured up to the music as well as here.” – James Harrington for American Record Guide
Here’s an excerpt from Steven Ritter’s Audiophile Audition review of Inna’s recent Beethoven CD:
“Faliks is an excellent Beethovenian with keen insight into this most elusive of structures: the variation. … I was not familiar with Inna Faliks until now, and neither apparently is our site, but one hopes that the newfound acquaintance will be developed further. She is a remarkable Ukrainian pianist with chops to burn, a forceful technique and extremely attentive spirit to that of Beethoven. This is a fine recital in warm, resonant sound that highlights the clarity and reasonable sense of balance and voicing that Faliks brings to the instrument. With a desirable program to boot, this is an easy item to recommend.”
—Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition, January 12, 2014. Read entire review here.
In this video, Inna plays one of two polonaises written by the master composer. You can own a recording of this piece on Inna’s new CD from MSR Classics.
MUSIC/WORDS, the acclaimed music-poetry series (NY, Chicago and LA), invites the audience to be moved by free associations, interplay of moods, genres and different mediums in its 6th season.
Inna Faliks, left; Vera Pavlova, right
Pianist Inna Faliks, with poet Vera Pavlova, appear in Music/Words: Chopin edition on Sunday October 27th, 2013 at 4 pm at the Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY. Admission is Free. For more information, call (312) 787-7070.
Celebrated pianist Inna Faliks is the founder and curator of the award-winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words, which explores the connections between poetry and music. She is joined by Vera Pavlova, one of Russia’s most important contemporary poets, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Faliks will perform works by Chopin.
In this performance, Vera Pavlova’s passionate, sensuous poetry, with English translations, will intersect with selections of Frederic Chopin, including the Sonata # 2 in B flat minor. Music/Words has been featured in regular live broadcasts on WFMT Radio in Chicago, in collaboration with Poetry Foundation, at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, and at UCLA in Los Angeles.
The series MUSIC/WORDS was recently praised by Lucid Culture as being “surreal, impactful, and relevant” and was described as “a throwback to the Paris salons of the late 1800s.” It celebrates links between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between exciting solo performers and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Music/Words partnerships have included some of the most celebrated American poets.
Inna Faliks created the series in order to foster a chance for poets and musicians to work together and inspire each other, as well as to allow different audiences to come together for these musical-literary events. New published and unpublished works are read alongside performances of music old and new and connected by content, intuition, and inspiration.
According to Faliks, “I pair performers together based on their personalities and styles, and encourage them to choose the poems and music in varied ways that are strongly and intuitively connected.”
Please visit www.verapavlova.us for poet bio.
As it turns out, Inna Faliks’ television debut was also a debut for Marc Vitali, segment producer for WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. As Vitali reports on Artbeat: Inside the Arts Blog: “In 1994, Inna was one of the stars of WTTW’s annual program, The Illinois Young Performers Competition. At the age of 15, she performed Tchaikovsky with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. … [T]hat story was the first story I ever did that made it to air.”
Inna was 15 at the time of the segment, as Vitali says, “a teenager brimming with talent and charm,” whose playing developed into the artist and teacher we know today. Vitali calls her a “concert pianist of the highest order” whose playing “can be as dramatic or as subtle as a great stage actor.”
Read the complete post (and view a video of teenage Inna) here. And taking Vitali’s tip, “if you want to hear the piano played with power and grace, Faliks has just released a new recording of Beethoven masterworks on the MSR Classics label.”
On Thursday, August 15, Inna Faliks will make her Peninsula Music Festival debut. Fresh from her debut at the Newport Music Festival, Faliks looks forward to the all-Prokofiev program, which includes two “athletic and exhilarating” concerti by the Russian composer.
The concert will take place at 8:00 pm at the Door Community Auditorium, 3926 Wisonsin 42, Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Tickets are $10-60. A pre-concert talk will take place at 6:30 pm, available with the purchase of an additional $5 ticket.
Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 10, D-flat Major
Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 26, C Major
Prokofiev, Symphony No. 6, Op. 11, e-flat minor
Inna will make her Newport Music Festival debut on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at the Breakers mansion, 8 p.m. Presenting works by Shchedrin, Beethoven, Schoenberg, and Schumann, she will be one of 88 artists performing from July 10-28 in the Gilded Age “summer cottages” of Newport, Rhode Island.
Inna will play a second concert at the festival, performing the “Heavenly Music of Franz Schubert,” which features an international quintet of performers from Germany, Russia, Canada, and the United States. Faliks, a Ukranian-American, will be joined by a cellist from Russia and an American violinist to provide Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-flat Major. The concert begins at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the Casino Theatre.
The Breakers mansion (location of her solo recital on 7/17) is at 44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI. Tickets are $42. The Casino Theatre (location of the Schubert quintet on 7/18) is at 9 Freebody Street, Newport, RI. Tickets are $32 for orchestra seating, $27 balcony seating.
SOLO RECITAL PROGRAM INCLUDES:
Shchedrin Prelude for Piano
Beethoven Polonaise in C Major and Piano Sonata No. 23, “Appasionata”
Schoenberg Three Piano Pieces
“SCHUBERTIAD” PROGRAM INCLUDES:
Schubert Trio in B-flat Major
performed by Inna Faliks (piano), Corinne Chapelle (violin), and Sergey Antonov (cello)
This Sunday, June 9, in Los Angeles, pianist Inna Faliks will perform Schumann’s romantic masterpiece The Davidsbündler. These eighteen short pieces offer a valuable insight into Schumann’s aesthetic vision, as well as an interesting analog to the persisting debate about contemporary music. In brief, the composer places the two sides of his personality in a musical conversation about his personal vision versus his public persona.
The concert will also include the Shchedrin’s Basso Ostinato and Beethoven’s Polonaise in C. It will take place at 6:00 pm at Bing Hall, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA. Admission is free.
(You can also stream the concert from the link on this page: www.lacma.org/event/inna-faliks-0)
Robert Schumann, Davidsbündler, op. 6
Rodion Shchedrin, Basso Ostinato
Beethoven, Polonaise in C, op. 89