L’intelligence de Jeremy Denk nous a enchanté

09.27.16
Jeremy Denk
Quelle Intelligence

The New York Times called him a pianist worth listening to no matter what he plays. Full of doubts, but intrigued, did I go to listen – and must admit I do not see what else one could say after such an admirable concert by Jeremy Denk. Those artists who make the audience smarter are particularly precious and the audience at the Festival Piano aux Jacobins seemed very aware of this and particularly delighted at the same time. This surprising sequence of pieces played on a grand piano turns out to be deeply moving by its strangeness, and so we understand the history of Western music, in the matter of two hours, as a formation process for harmony, then melody and rhythm. A piano rendition of Monteverdi's 'Zeffiro torna' appears both utterly unlikely and totally irresistible and seductive. ... Jeremy Denk is an extraordinary interpreter of Bach. His rendition of the Chromatic Fantaisie & Fugue in D Minor is mind-blowing in its livelihood and rhythmic precision. After the intermission, the divine Mozart is all charm and elegance, subtle nuances and soft colours – everything is pure delight. ... His interpretation of Liszt's transscription of Isolde's Death is a staggering moment of the grand piano as the ultimate master of virtuosity turned into music. Jeremy Denk is an accomplished virtuoso who makes the different layers intelligible and knows how to dose the nuances up to an almost orchestral fortissimo.  ... We have made a grand voyage, lead by an amazing guide. A pianist of the highest level, a sensitive musician, a pedagogue full of humour. Jeremy Denk is a great artist, to be listened to again as soon as possible.  

Read the rest of the review here (French)