In Janáček, not a note, not a gesture is rhetorical, is inertly for its own sake; every detail is to play for; every slightest instrumental or harmonic color fires its particular charge into the structure. [...] The greatness of In the Mists lies in its very claustrophobia, an austerity of means affecting every aspect of the music. The solo piano becomes a narrow space with four solid walls (p. 34).
Janáček Studies, ed. Paul Wingfield
Anne Midgette, Pianist Radu Lupu, following a quirky but rewarding path (Washington Post, January 29)
John von Rhein, Radu Lupu returns, but in lackluster form (Chicago Tribune, February 2)
Bryant Manning, Radu Lupu brings Zen-like calm to piano concert (Chicago Sun-Times, February 2)
Lawrence A. Johnson, Lupu’s detached style shorts Schubert’s drama in mixed program (Chicago Classical Review, February 1)
Allan Kozinn, Muscular Moodiness, Paired With Reflection (New York Times, February 3)
Although he has already recorded these late Schubert sonatas -- quite memorably, in fact -- Radu Lupu should consider recording at least the last three sonatas anew, because based on what we have heard in Baltimore and again last night at Strathmore, his interpretation of these rueful pieces these days is worth preserving. In my review of last year's recital, I noted of Lupu that "one could easily mistake his profile at the piano for that of the older Johannes Brahms." How delightful, then, to have some Brahms as an encore, the most restrained, fragile, wistful performance of the A major intermezzo (op. 118, no. 2). None of those dangerously delicious harmonies was indulged, filling the piece with a very Brahmsian feeling of subsumed, frustrated longing.
The next concert in the WPAS classical series will feature cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan (February 6, 8 pm) at the 6th and I Historic Synagogue.