by Daniel Kepl
Santa Barbara Symphony review – April 15, 2023: Beethoven Dreams
Performing Arts Review
[On Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4]
Faliks has crafted a signature interpretation of the work. Her confident playing, bold and articulate, is also a puff pastry of tapered phrasing and delicate rubati. Faliks demurs discreetly at cadential points and enjoys with delight, the fun of harmonic crunches, especially the sneaky ones. Her cadenzas Saturday night, particularly at the end of the first movement, were a pleasure to hear, as the artist contemplated then dissected, the art of nuance.
by Christopher Axworthy
Review of Reimagine: Beethoven & Ravel performance,
from coverage of Cremona Musica festival
I was heading to hear Inna Faliks in ‘Reimagine Ravel’ , intrigued by the title,having studied myself with Vlado Perlemuter who had been coached by the composer himself for first performances in the ’20’s. It was indeed a fascinating story she had to tell of building bridges past and present, looking to the future.
Reimagine: Beethoven & Ravel — 9 World Premieres finds Inna breaking new ground, paying a respectful homage to source material by Beethoven and Ravel. The album was released by Navona records last June .Featuring nine contemporary composers, including Richard Danielpour, Paola Prestini, Billy Childs, and Timo Andres, who were commissioned to craft responses to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Bagatelles, op. 126 (incidentally, the master’s favorite) as well as Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit.
The results are exhilarating, not least owing to Faliks’ stunningly precise and sensitive pianistic interpretation: the Ukrainian-born American pianist ties together Classical, Romantic and modern pieces with disarming nonchalance and rock-solid technical skill. Defying the challenge of uniting three centuries of musical styles and social commentary, as well as producing an album during a global pandemic with the help of Yamaha’s Disklavier technology, Reimagine proudly raises a monument not only to the genius of Beethoven and Ravel, but also to the perseverance and verve of some of today’s most exciting and important composers.
[A] fascinating project that saw Paola Prestini inspired by the fluidity of Ondine, the water nymph. This was followed by Timo Andres inspired by Ravel’s depiction of the gallows with a minimal piece of Philip Glass proportions incorporating a quote from Billy Holiday’s Strange Fruit with Afro Americans hanging from the branches of a Becket type tree. Billy Childs’ an Afro American jazz pianist and composer inspired by Scarbo by a black man being chased by the police. Some very fine fully committed playing from Inna Faliks and knowing the background made it a truly fascinating mirror on this very well known suite by Ravel.
It was though her stunning performance of the full original suite that won the day. A ravishing performance of Ondine and a fascinating one of Le Gibet in which her pointed bass notes gave a fluidity and luminosity to the bleak repeated bell. Scarbo too was a revelation for the clarity of detail especially in the left hand figurations and of course her scintillating fearless playing of a piece that Ravel wrote specifically to outdo Islamey for transcendental difficulty.
A fascinating performer.
by Susan Hall
“A pianist of the highest order. … Faliks interprets like a conductor. … Faliks is such a consummate technician, that [Gaspard de la Nuit‘s] difficulty is never perceived. Instead we are led through pyrotechnics, always performed in service of the music.”
by Stephen Martorella
“For Faliks, music is about more than just playing it, which she does exquisitely. … Executed most beautifully, gracefully sweeping through its musical landscapes with eloquence, passion, and sensitivity. … Dazzling and scintillating performance. … Her amazing technique is matched by a deep and reverent musicality, passionate and inspiring, living up to her desire to be “more than…” … Inna Faliks is a personality who deserves to be explored and savored over a long period of time.”
by Mark Swed
The first week of May, I attended four concerts. All four, whether by chance or intent, had a connection with Ukraine. That was obvious the first day of May at a benefit concert for Ukraine put on by the Wende Museum and Jacaranda Music at the Robert Frost Auditorium in Culver City. And while Ukrainian American pianist Inna Faliks’ Ukraine-centric recital several days later at the Wende contained no Ukrainian music, its programmatic theme was “The Master and Margarita,” a novel by the Ukraine-born author Mikhail Bulgakov.
At her Wende recital earlier this month, Faliks premiered Veronika Krausas’ “Master & Margarita” Suite, written for the occasion. In the Russian novel, the devil visits and wreaks marvelous havoc on Soviet Moscow. In her suite of seven sly dances, Krausas, who is a Canadian American Los Angeles composer of Lithuanian heritage, lightly waltzes around and toys with fanciful passages from Bulgakov’s novel. As with Silvestrov, what isn’t there is as intriguing as what is. Each dance is a kind of fantasy, full of musical hints. Crossing borders is, and has always been, the way of music.
Review of Inna’s performance at NYC’s Bargemusic Here and Now Winter Festival
Whew!!! No other words describe it.
Stunning performance by Inna Faliks … a BargeMusic concert which whirled away from its hour-plus duration to a minute-to-minute revelation.
The last two works showed two miracles: First was the Pursuit (in response to “Scarbo”) by Billy Childs.
Mr. Childs’ piece was unfamiliar. The familiar miracle was Ms. Faliks. She succeed with digital faultlessness in Ravel’s original.
Ravel wrote [“Scarbo”] the year of Einstein’s great time/space discovery, yet Ms. Faliks turned his pre-quantum mechanics into a personal cosmic journey of hide-and-seek shadows and blazing light, a cosmic chase and a moonlit nightmare.
Review of Inna’s performance at NYC’s Bargemusic Here and Now Winter Festival
Inna Faliks is a superb concert pianist, who also heads the piano studies department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her recordings are devoted to revealing kindred spirits. … You too can be a kindred spirit.
Husband and wife, Robert and Clara Schumann, are offered together in The Schumann Project. Faliks has kept the composers’ magical, whimsical, heart-felt language central to her repertoire. … Her appreciation for Clara’s individual voice is clear in her recording of the Piano Sonata in G Minor. [Clara Schumann’s] Etudes move from dark to ebullient. Faliks places them where she feels they speak most powerfully and dramatically.
For the recording [Reimagine: Beethoven and Ravel, Faliks] asked a group of contemporary composers to respond to Beethoven’s Bagatelles, his last work for piano and also Ravel’s notoriously challenging Gaspard de la Nuit. Worth listening.
by James Harrington
“Best Of” list, Fanfare: for Reimagine Beethoven and Ravel, and Bargemusic recital
Inna Faliks told me when I wrote my original review last September that she hoped to be in New York City to play her Reimagine program. I ended that review saying, “You can be
sure that I will be there.”
I was there—on a cold December night—and she played exceptionally well at Bargemusic, a unique floating concert hall below the Brooklyn Bridge. With the Manhattan night skyline in the window behind her, we all bobbed up and down a little with the waves and heard the pieces on this program. She began with a world premiere of Voices, a work by Ljova for historical recordings and piano, followed by the Reimagine pieces and topped off with Ravel’s Scarbo.
There is no question that she is one of the best and most creative American pianists these days.
by David Wright
“Pianist Faliks worked expertly at the keys, the pedals, and inside the instrument to produce the volatile mix of roars, pings, and misty resonances in this world premiere of Johnson’s score.”