"The piano soloist, all month long, is Yefim Bronfman, than whom there is not a better pianist in the world. He is not a pianist merely for now but for all time."
So begins Jay Nordlinger's review of Friday's concert in The New Criterion. He added, "Bronfman is made for Beethoven, given this strong lyricism, and the intelligence, and the technique, and everything else in this pianist’s arsenal. Not excluded from this arsenal is humor: Bronfman revealed some of that in the cadenza."
Nordlinger added that Music director Alan Gilbert "is adept in Beethoven. In fact, he conducted one of the best performances of the Fourth Symphony I have ever heard. ... Gilbert is both solid and smooth, and knows how Beethoven should be sculpted."
The New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, reviewing the June 11 concert, found the performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 to be "the concert’s emotional and musical highlight. With the help of Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Bronfman brought out the tension between the serenity of the opening statement and the nervy pulse that repeatedly tries to edge it onward."
In Concerto.Net, Harry Rolnick, reviewing the June 11 concert, said Bronfman played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 "with all the pellucid beauty of tone and clarity of conception which it deserves. ... Two more weeks of Bronfman, Gilbert and Beethoven? The mind is elated."
New York Classical Review's Amanda Angel was there the same night. Of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 she said, "The rapport between orchestra, Gilbert, and soloist, which flourished across this season, was clear in the rondo in which the piano and orchestra alternate showcased Bronfman’s virtuosity."
(Photo: Chris Lee)