Till Fellner - Reviews


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"His musicality is such that everything sounded as it should: sparkling runs, purling tone, diamond-edged articulation, clarity of voicing. Above all, he brought to this marvel of a concerto an expressive understanding that ran deep below the music's pristine surfaces, most notably in the introspective slow movement." - Mozart's Piano Concerto K.482 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, April 29, 2016

"In the finale, Fellner again showed what a discerning Mozartian he is, the classical proportions never under strain, his right hand dancing brightly over the keys, and in the final short cadenza a twinkle-in-the-eye approach, almost Chopinesque in its brilliance" - Mozart's Piano Concerto K. 482 with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, BACHTRACK, April 16, 2016

"There are pianists who don’t quite know what to do with Mozart’s piano music.  And then there are interpreters such as the Viennese Till Fellner, musicians whose sound and interpretive sensibility seem tailormade for Mozart. His touch creates a precise and airy impression; his cantabile is obviously luminous. A former private student of Alfred Brendel, he does not use Mozart’s  Piano Concerto K. 503 in C Major to push himself into the foreground. Quite the contrary, in his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic the 43-year old Fellner’s approach had chamber music sensibility. He eschews virtuosity in favor of timeless, effective sound." - THE BERLINER MORGENPOST, December 7, 2015

"Fellner’s performance was long on dreamy textures and exquisitely voiced lines... A melting rubato allowed Fellner to stretch and twist the tempo, giving just the right improvisatory quality to the interpretation of this exceedingly difficult piece (Schumann‘s Kreisleriana)."   - Recital of Mozart, Bach and Schumann at Embassy of Austria in DC, THE WASHINGTON POST, March 8, 2015

“Till Fellner danced along with easy lightness of touch, showing a strong technical facility. He played with impressive control and attentiveness to the orchestra.“    - Mozart Piano Concert No. 22 w/ Malaysian Philharmonic, Bachtrack, February 17, 2014

“Till Fellner then made an impressive debut playing Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Piano Concerto No. 4... The clarity and cleanliness of Fellner‘s pianism was extremely impressive in its own way and served his Apollonian expressive stance. He took his cue from the second movment, in which the orchestra‘s blunt forcefulness is met and turned by the piano‘s calm inner voice.“   - Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 w/ Pittsburgh Symphony, TRIBLIVE, November 29, 2013

“Fellner established just the right approach from the keyboard, focusing more on engaging with the ensemble as a conversant... He also provided his own cadenza material, which tended to devote more attention to exploring Mozart’s thematic content... Fellner approached the concerto with a more personable intimacy, inviting the listener to share in the delights of the music“   - Mozart Piano Concerto K. 491 w/ San Francisco Symphony, EXAMINER, November 24, 2013

“... These are bravura and virtuosic pieces that build to an irresistibly majestic conclusion and, in the end, even Fellner seemed happy to let them off the leash, to great effect.“   - Wigmore Hall, THE GUARDIAN, June 26, 2013

“His approach to this highly traditional repertoire was refreshingly innovative without in any way seeming mannered. He clearly has a gift for thinking about the past with a mentality grounded in the present.“   - Recital, San Francisco Performances, EXAMINER, April 15, 2013

"He produces a crystalline sound with a delicate touch and a firm sense of line that feels natural, not effete. He was an ideal Mozart pianist."   - Mozart Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat, Boston Symphony Orchestra, THE BOSTON PHOENIX, May 8, 2012

"The evening's refined soloist was the young yet well-traveled Austrian pianist Till Fellner in his BSO debut. His playing was all Apollonian grace, with a sensitively spun Andante and a third movement cadenza that was remarkable in its clarity, musicality, and feline virtuosity. Haitink was a responsive partner, meeting him at every turn."   - Mozart Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat, Boston Symphony Orchestra, THE BOSTON GLOBE, April 27, 2012

"As solo protagonist, Fellner maintained his place in the spotlight, finding an illuminating middle ground between polished elegance and dynamic vigor. The pianist brought an individual rubato to Paul Badura-Skoda's first-movement cadenza (none by Mozart survive) and in the bleak introspection of the Andante, Fellner's pointillist shading explored the dark drama of the music without inflating it out of period."   - Mozart Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat review, Boston Symphony Orchestra, BOSTON CLASSICAL REVIEW, April 27, 2012

"The balance between soloist and orchestra was impeccable, with Fellner's fluid arpeggios and meditative, longer solo lines floating easily in and out of the musical texture. The Austrian pianist made his CSO debut in 2007 with a Mozart piano concerto, and in the Beethoven concerto Wednesday, he deftly blended crisply articulated phrasing with a sense of dramatic urgency."   - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, January 19, 2012

"Fellner's beautifully weighted tone, capable of infinite dynamic nuance, was all his own, as was the immaculate finish of his pianism in the outer movements and the expressive gravity he brought to the central largo. With Fellner, every interpretive gesture took on a convincing motivation that stemmed directly from the score."   - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, January 19, 2012

"The Austrian pianist brought a rapt inner expression to the meditative Largo, with glove-like support by Honeck, as with the delicate interplay of the keyboard soloist and John Bruce Yeh's solo clarinet. The rollicking Rondo finale - arguably Beethoven's most sheerly joyous concerto movement - was infectious at a fast tempo, with Fellner's bright-toned solo work showing faultless security."   - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, THE CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW, January 18, 2012

"He is a musician who most often speaks in an articulate, nuanced voice, mindful both of detail and the big architectural picture. The program Tuesday provided a glimpse into many facets of Feller's artistry. The repertoire ranged from the late 18th century (Haydn) and mid-19th century (Schumann, Liszt) to last year (Kit Armstrong). In everything, Fellner was a model of subtle observation and expressive acuity."   - Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer , November 2, 2011

"After Zhang led the bright, brittle Overture to Bellini's "I Capuleti e I Montecchi," Austrian pianist Fellner made his ISO debut in the Schumann concerto. His singing tone was evident from the first theme on, as were the balance and evenness of his articulation in all registers and through textures thick and thin. "Golden age" comparisons are usually anathema to me, but I couldn't help thinking of the spirit and glow of Arthur Rubinstein's playing. The accompaniment was lithe and well-judged."   - Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Xian Zhang, The Indianapolis Star, October 29, 2011

"Fellner isn't into pyrotechnics. He delivered a beautifully elegant and dexterous reading of the work. There's a lightness to his touch that belies its intensity and precision."   - Beethoven Piano Cto. No. 2, Kent Nagano, Montreal Symphony, The Globe and Mail, October 14, 2011

"It was exactly the sort of concert one has come to expect from this intelligent musician: reflective, understated, and meticulously shaped-with just the right hint of extremely dry wit... Once again, Fellner pointed the way to new ways of thinking about music one thought one knew."   - The Washington Performing Arts Society, The Washingtonian, October 3, 2011

"It would be hard to imagine a better pianistic exposition of this music. Colours were subtly mixed. Rhythmic coordination was impeccable."   - Final Beethoven Sonata Cycle program, Orford Festival, The Montreal Gazette, August 2, 2010

"...You will rarely hear playing of such an enviable, unimpeded musical grace and fluency. Fellner surely belongs among that elite who Charles Rosen so memorably defined as those who, while they appear to do nothing, achieve everything."   - CD Review, Beethoven Cti. 4 and 5 on ECM, Gramophone Magazine, August 1, 2010

"Till Fellner is a marvellous pianist, but is so closely linked to the performance as a whole that the impression left is not so much that of solo + accompanist, but of Beethoven's remarkable message performed in as convincing a way as I've heard for a very long time."   - CD Review, Beethoven Cti. 4 and 5 on ECM, MusicWeb International, May 10, 2010

"These are superlative performances...I really had wondered whether there was anything new that any team could say about these works, but listening to them in ECM's rich recording has shown me that there is plenty"   - CD Review, Beethoven Cti. 4 and 5 on ECM, BBC Music Magazine, May 1, 2010

"However many multiple recordings of these two masterworks completists and Beethoven addicts might possess, they should make room for this wonderful, naturalistic and wholly unpretentious coupling of Beethoven's most lyrical and most heroic concertos, featuring Viennese pianist Till Fellner with the Montreal Symphony and conductor Kent Nagano."   - CD Review, Beethoven Cti. 4 and 5 on ECM, The Herald, April 26, 2010

"He completely understands this music, the jokes, the surprises, the extroverted gestures and the introspective meaning. These performances were revelatory."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Sixth Installment, Met Museum, Seen and Heard International, March 27, 2010

"The architecture of the volcanic Opus 22 was realised with brilliant clarity, and he wove a wonderful spell as its slow movement receded into ever-darker regions; the ornate and muscular Rondo grew ever more exciting."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Sixth Installment, Wigmore Hall, The Independent, March 19, 2010

"Words are inadequate to describe the sheer joy I experienced at listening to this disc...An ineffable poetry and grace illuminate their reading from within, such that I can honestly say this is how Beethoven's G-Major Piano Concerto was meant to sound."   - CD Review, Beethoven Cti. 4 and 5 on ECM, Jerry Dubbins for Fanfare Magazine, March 11, 2010

"Mr. Fellner's fresh approach allowed the middle section, with its rumbling chords and flourishes, to make more sense; here was a heroic salute to the departed. And every musical nuance came through clearly in his intriguingly subdued performance of the perpetual-motion finale."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Nos. 12, 13, 14, 22 and 21 "Waldstein", The New York Times, February 14, 2010

"The boldness of Beethoven's vision and harmonic imagination...could be truly, deeply felt anew at every turn in Fellner's performance. The closing movements of the "Waldstein" were magically shaped, from the sobering Adagio into the sweeping Rondo; the final prestissimo section, taken at a supersonic speed, was a marvel of musical muscle."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Fifth Installment, The Baltimore Sun, February 9, 2010

"Till Fellner, the Austrian pianist, plays Beethoven sonatas like a poet."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Fourth Installment, National Gallery of Art, The Washington Post, November 15, 2009

"The Austrian pianist's Beethoven has already included a marvel of a Hammerklavier, a pleasingly unmannered Appassionata, and a colorful, subtle op. 101, with the only reservation one might express being an occasional superficiality in the lesser sonatas. The latest program, of five sonatas from across the first two stylistic periods of Beethoven's career, stood out as the most consistently beautiful, showcasing Fellner's exquisite musical craftsmanship, technically impeccable but never showy or vulgar."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Fourth Installment, National Gallery of Art, IonArts, November 3, 2009

"Mr. Fellner's approach to the symphonic Opus 7, one of the less frequently performed of Beethoven's 32 sonatas, was distinguished by his singing tone and poetic approach...Mr. Fellner played the Vivace with sparkling and crystalline touch."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Fourth Installment, The New York Times , November 2, 2009

"Fellner delivered an excellent Op 90, admirably balancing the first movement's forceful drive with its successor's expansive ease. The two units were treated as one: a single drama of tension and release. Throughout the night he showed a similar grasp of Beethoven's structures, no matter how quixotic...Humour was present too; his ending to the diverting trifle of Op 79 was deliciously nonchalant."   - Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Fourth Installment, Wigmore Hall, The Times, October 22, 2009

"Fellner's op. 106 was nothing short of a technical marvel, an almost breezy handling of a viper that made one forget the poison in its fangs...It was a performance to remember."   - Third Installment, Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Washington D.C., IONARTS, May 13, 2009

"The pristine clarity of his playing prevents the music from becoming a jumble. Yet there is more to the magic than that. No matter how quick the tempo in any of these performances, Mr. Fellner's playing always sounds relaxed and confident, an effective blend of daring speed and cool control."   - ECM Records, Bach Inventions and Sinfonias, French Suite No. 5, The New York Times , May 10, 2009

"His performance of the "Appassionata" demonstrated a passionate fidelity to the score and an imaginative feeling for the mystical dimension of the music. Here was a complete pianist and probing musician allowing the excitement of this path-breaking sonata to come through without a trace of Romantic excess in the performance."   - Second Installment, Beethoven Sonata Cycle, The New York Times, March 8, 2009

"Fellner's mix of discipline and sensitive turns of phrase, his secure structural understanding and his feel for the essential character of the music brought out the diversity that makes these sonatas such an enduring source of fascination...This was deeply thought, illuminating playing."   - First Installment, Beethoven Sonata Cycle, Wigmore Hall, The Telegraph, October 26, 2008

"At Zankel Hall on Tuesday Mr. Fellner was as thoughtful and surprising as ever, but he has reconsidered the emotional core of his performing style. Where the interpretive variety in his work was once a matter of different shades of Apollonian exaltedness, Mr. Fellner has added a Dionysian current."   - Recital at Zankel, Carnegie Hall, The New York Times, May 8, 2008

"In his performance of Mozart's piano concerto No 18 in B flat, Fellner confirmed his standing among the foremost keyboard virtuosi of the day; exact, limpid and feather-fingered, he exquisitely conveyed the sense of yearning haunting the andante and cruised effortlessly through the teasing syncopations of the closing allegro."   - Mozart K456, Sir Charles Mackerras with Philharmonia Orchestra, The Observer, April 13, 2008