Fantastic Review from American Record Guide

“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

Great new review in Audiophile Audition

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.

 

 

Audiophile Audition

by Steven Ritter

Beethoven’s last piano sonata is somewhat of the odd bird; often people ask “where is the last movement?” In fact, the first movement itself is so perfect in structure, so complete in total that when we get to the longer two-thirds of the whole last movement it can almost feel like a separate work, so worn out are we at the conclusion of the first. But the amazing complexities and almost three-dimensional imaginings of the second movement variations, the jazzy arches (yes, jazz) creative explosions that take place in this final sonata utterance are little less than astounding in their breadth, and transport us to another time and place, or, rather, other times and places.

Variations are of course the essential theme of this disc. The “Eroica” Variations use the familiar theme from his Creatures of Prometheus and Symphony No. 3 to good effect, actually expanding on what we sometimes wish had gone on longer in the symphony. The piece is a piano tour-de-force that calls for big statements largely writ—no subtleties of expression are allowed here in the same way that many of the composer’s other piano works allow. The piece is to be played with boldness and lots of color-laden contrasts in texture and dynamics.

The Fantasia is a piece that is not played all that often, and enters into a rather Lisztian prelude of forcefulness and tremendous virtuosity. Though the notes call it a “soul sister” of the Choral Fantasy, that work seems to me far more pedantic and controlled that what we have in the Fantasia. This is Beethoven at his most explicitly radiant and ecstatic, not as concerned with form as for feeling.

The Polonaise is a piece from 1814, but hearkens back to Beethoven’s earlier Viennese years, and was written for the money. He got 50 ducats for this brash and really entertaining opener, covering the dedicatee’s previous owed amount for the Op. 30 Violin Sonatas from 12 years earlier. It’s a distinctive opus with a lot to offer.

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.

Full Review

Feb 4: Premiere of Music/Words in LA

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.

Faliks-PavlovaInna Faliks, left; Vera Pavlova, right

The next Music/Words will be held in Royce Hall Rehearsal Studio, Los Angeles on February 4th, 8pm and explores Tchaikovsky and Schumann. Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young is a cycle of simple yet profoundly beautiful pieces that poet Vera Pavlova has turned into poems. Schumann’s Davidsbundler opus 6 is one of the masterpices of Romantic piano works. A series of 18 short pieces, it invites poetric collaboration. Tonight’s performance, produced by CAP (Center for the Art of Performance), is an imagined dialogue between Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann, between poetry and music. Vera Pavlova and Inna Faliks have appeared in Music/Words together repeatedly, in NYC and in Chicago, in collaboration with the Poetry Foundation.

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.”

Pianist Inna Faliks has set herself apart in thousands of performances as a sincere, communicative and direct performer whose virtuosity, power and risk taking serve the depth, intelligance and poetry of her interpretations. Inna’s command of standard solo and concerto repertoire is highlighted by her love of rare and new music, and interdisciplinary and audience-involving programs and lectures. These include her award winning Music/Words, where she alternates music with readings by contemporary poets, her program of piano music of the poet Boris Pasternak (on MSR Classics Sound of Verse, which drew comparisons to Argerich and Cliburn), 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg – new variations on Bach’s Aria , music of women composers, and many other programs. She makes sure to present programs that include both beloved crowd pleasers and music that is new and challenging, creating an adventurous, moving and involving experience for the audience. She is a musical omnivore. Faliks debuted as a teenager with the Chicago Symphony and at the Gilmore Festival to rave reviews, and has been exciting and moving audiences worldwide since then. She is Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA, and her new Beethoven disc on the MSR Classics label has just been released. www.innafaliks.com

Please visit www.verapavlova.us for poet bio.

Music/Words at Brooklyn Public Library

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.

Faliks-PavlovaInna Faliks, left; Vera Pavlova, right

Brooklyn, NY – 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.”

Pianist Inna Faliks has set herself apart in thousands of performances as a sincere, communicative and direct performer whose virtuosity, power and risk taking serve the depth, intelligance and poetry of her interpretations. Inna’s command of standard solo and concerto repertoire is highlighted by her love of rare and new music, and interdisciplinary and audience-involving programs and lectures. These include her award winning Music/Words, where she alternates music with readings by contemporary poets, her program of piano music of the poet Boris Pasternak (on MSR Classics Sound of Verse, which drew comparisons to Argerich and Cliburn), 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg – new variations on Bach’s Aria , music of women composers, and many other programs. She makes sure to present programs that include both beloved crowd pleasers and music that is new and challenging, creating an adventurous, moving and involving experience for the audience. She is a musical omnivore. Faliks debuted as a teenager with the Chicago Symphony and at the Gilmore Festival to rave reviews, and has been exciting and moving audiences worldwide since then. She is Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA, and her new Beethoven disc on the MSR Classics label has just been released. www.innafaliks.com

Please visit www.verapavlova.us for poet bio.

  1. Rzewski "The People United Shall Never Be Defeated" (excerpt, improvised cadenza) Inna Faliks 8:36
  2. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - I Inna Faliks 15:12
  3. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - II Inna Faliks 10:27
  4. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - III Inna Faliks 8:26