by Donald Rosenberg
In a programme-note introducing her new solo disc, “Sound of Verse” pianist Inna Faliks states that she was inspired by literature and poetry in choosing the repertoire. What’s also intruiging about the recording is Faliks’ prowess in rendering each piece with a keen combination of expressive acuity and textural clarity.
Faliks, a Ukrainian-born American pianist, plays these (Pasternak) pieces with the same concentration and attention to detail that she applies to the Ravel-beautifully limned and paced – and to Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata # 2 in the original 1913 version. Intensely felt, her Rachmaninoff abounds in poetic phrasing and finely gauged drama.
“… is a rapturous work for the stouthearted pianist. The composer himself (Rachmaninoff) was a piano virtuoso with gargantuan hands, and it takes an artist with at least the same matching ego if not the digits. Inna Faliks has both … pyrotechnic performance.”
“… is an authoritative performer who infuses every note with brilliance and personality … delivered with impressive accuracy and uncommon self-assurance.”
“Faliks… who performs all over the world… knocked the socks of this difficult work, with focused accuracy and zero histrionics. The orchestra responded with equal poise.”
“Faliks is a dynamic pianist with lots of passion for Rachmaninoff. It was electrifying.”
“… never sounded better than under Faliks’ fingers. This reviewer does not recall hearing its equal in propulsion, authority, lightness, and full dynamics.”
“Inna Faliks, born 1978 and living in New York, began with Bach’s Fugue in G Sharp Minor (Wohltemperiertes Clavier Vol I), which projected a great conviction from the first note. Altogether she succeeded in achieving a majestic conception. Beethoven’s Bagatelles op.126 also demonstrated a mature musical personality, which revealed the six miniatures, their inner content sharply defined without exaggeration. In the Sonata op 111 Faliks played with the courage to take risks and with an expressive intensity, which went beyond all technical perfection and showed a musician at rest within herself, as she constructed her interpretation with clear vision.”
“Faliks offered powerfully driven, technically accomplished accounts of Rodion Shchedrin’s Basso Ostinato and Alexander Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5.”
“Firm and vibrant playing … tonal weight and great expressive flourish … a delight to hear… riveting passion and playfulness, warmly poetic.”