New Isler’s Insights Mini-Review

By Donald Isler

Voices – A Three Movement Suite for Piano and Historical Recordings by Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin
Inna Faliks, Pianist

This work should be of interest to those interested in Jewish traditional music, modern compositional techniques, and excellent pianism. The first movement was completed some years before the other two, and I liked it when I first heard it. The idea of a pianist on stage accompanying musicians from long ago struck me as wild, but exciting, and still does.

In that first movement one hears a repeated D minor chord over and over, but it has a mesmerizing effect, and leads into the body of the movement, where the pianist accompanies a 1912 recording of the famous cantor, Gershon Sirota (born 1874 – died in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising – 1943) and his choir.

Is the past, past, or is it really part of the present?! This performance makes you rethink this………

The second movement, Zhok, features Ms. Faliks playing with a recording of a klezmer trumpet player, and that, in turn, leads to the finale, Freydele, in which she plays with a 1953 recording of the Yiddish cantor (they had female cantors in those days?!) and actress, Freydele Osher. The Suite concludes with a calmer, smaller version of the D minor motive which one heard at the beginning of the work.

A very big part of the success of this performance is the fact that the pianist, Inna Faliks, who commissioned Voices, is so impressive. She has strength, technique, intensity, and an ear for interesting sonorities that’s constantly at work.

Well worth hearing!

Donald Isler

LA Opus Reviews Hollywood Piano Trio at the South Bay Chamber Music Society

by David J Brown

 

“…the improvisatory freedom of the Trio’s playing made particularly relishable the harmonic and melodic twists and turns that Beethoven executes in the first movement’s development section—which seem at the same time exhilaratingly unexpected and immediately inevitable.”

 

“…the concisely tensile Finale, kicked off by an imperiously arresting handling of the opening flourish by Ms. Faliks, was duly navigated back in masterful fashion through echoes of its predecessor to the final haunting reappearance of the first movement main theme…”

 

“…their combination of powerful emphasis and observation of the Allegro moderato marking enabled a truly exultant acceleration into the final Presto that set the seal on a fine performance of one of the greatest piano trios in the repertoire.”

 

San Francisco Classical Voice

by Ben Kutner

“Pianist Inna Faliks gave the convincing world premiere of composer Richard Danielpour’s Eleven Bagatelles for the Piano along with a program of Chopin and Schumann, Sunday night at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. A concert pianist has the task of maintaining momentum throughout an evening of solo works, and Faliks delivered.”

Full Review

Culture Spot LA Reviews February Mahler Performance in Santa Monica

Culture Spot LA reviews Inna’s February 2019 performance at Jacaranda Music in Santa Monica of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in a piano four-hands arrangement, together with pianist Daniel Schlosberg:

“…a decidedly pianistic performance, with beautifully executed trills, judicious pedaling and richly shaded textures. If not supplanting the orchestral original, Zemlinsky’s version as played by Faliks and Schlosberg was a valuable opportunity to peer beneath the symphony’s instrumental garb and hear the symphony’s fascinating inner workings…”

FULL REVIEW

Colorado Boulevard

by CP Wren

Guest pianist, Inna Faliks, and members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, violinist Roberto Cani and cellist John Walz took the stage and deftly swooped Barrett Hall into an intensely animated and tension filled performance. Inna Faliks plays with a kind of expression one could imagine of a highly accomplished jazz artist. But this was chamber music. She entertained with humor, delivering a rollicking performance using her expressive facial gestures and playful spacial flourishes above the keys. With her tautly moving, driving force, she balanced the hall on tiptoe, her antics often directed at violinist Cani, who played the “straight man” throughout the spiraling progression of Piano Trio No. 1.

Full Review

LA Opus

by David J. Brown

Ferocious and torrential, firmly establish[ing] her virtuoso credentials. Her playing [is] engagingly impulsive and improvisatory, skillfully observing turn-on-a-dime contrasts. [Faliks’s fingers are] positively diamond-tipped.

Full Review

  1. La Campanella, Paganini - Liszt Inna Faliks 4:53
  2. Rzewski "The People United Shall Never Be Defeated" (excerpt, improvised cadenza) Inna Faliks 8:36
  3. Beethoven Eroica Variations Inna Faliks 9:59
  4. Gershwin: Prelude 3 in E-flat Minor Inna Faliks 1:25
  5. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - II Inna Faliks with Chamber Orchestra of St. Matthews 10:27
  6. Gaspard de la Nuit (1908) : Scarbo - Ravel Inna Faliks 9:07
  7. Sirota by Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin Inna Faliks 7:45