Lydia Artymiw, making her BSO debut in Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto, proved a pianist with lots of temperament and plenty of virtuosity. Her cantabile playing was particularly lovely, and the big, fiery passages proved quite exciting too (Boston Symphony with Seiji Ozawa)
The evening’s interest was mostly the Mozart of the D Minor Piano Concerto with the extremely gifted and musical soloist, Lydia Artymiw. Artymiw found the drama that is close to the surface of this work. Phrases were softly rounded, passagework done with consummate ease and rhythmic purpose. Her tone was loving and warm, the feeling personal and intimate.
The event of the evening was Lydia Artymiw’s performance of the Grieg Concerto with the National Symphony. The Philadelphia-born pianist uses her small hands as though they were as big as Rachmaninoff’s, commanding a range of dynamics from a whisper to a roar. Her slow movement was a Nordic nocturne, and trolls, elves, and gnomes danced from her fingers in the finale. She proved as impressive live as she does on records.
If you haven’t yet heard of Lydia Artymiw, you will. Her performance of Mozart’s last piano concerto with the Detroit Symphony and Max Rudolf showed that she is no ordinary pianist. Artymiw, playing with a pearly tone perfectly geared to the revelation of the nuances within Mozart’s circumscribed dynamic range, unfurled it gracefully and conveyed an affecting twilight flavor as well. Always Artymiw’s tone sang translucently and clearly. Always her touch was not only graceful but gracious. In short, an accomplished performance of remarkable insight and maturity.
Lydia Artymiw plays the piano with more power than any woman pianist since the late Gina Bachauer. Her interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto is vital, convincing, and dynamic. She has a strong technique, and her impulsive pianism serves this music well. Previn and Artymiw showed a flair for this flashy music and exulted in its virtuosity. This was a solid and exciting debut by a young performer who gives every indication of a highly successful career ahead (Pittsburgh Symphony with Sir Andre Previn)
The first half of the program introduced a piano soloist who brought unusual satisfaction: Lydia Artymiw. The Mendelssohn D Minor Piano Concerto, as she played it, was full of melodic and rhythmic life. Artymiw’s playing of this difficult concerto was clear,bright, and fluent. In every page she found, and transmitted to the audience, that restrained eloquence, wistful, vivacious, and urgent at the same time, that Mendelssohn put into his music. Her sound was always big enough, but was finely gauged in its dynamics, so that phrases had vivid shape. Few concerto appearances in the course of a season are as musically rewarding as was Artymiw’s (St. Louis Symphony with Max Rudolf)
Pianist Lydia Artymiw added an extra measure of glamour to the evening with a powerful performance of Robert Schumann’s Introduction and Allegro, Op. 92 in which she proved why she is internationally renowned. She captured the plaintive reflectivity of the Introduction and tempestuous virtuosity of the Allegro (with the Minnesota Orchestra and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski)
Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 488 was a sheer delight with the gorgeous playing of Lydia Artymiw, a first-class pianist who plays with passion and precision. Artymiw’s glittering passage work was stunning and her interpretation was dramatic and expressive. She possesses a sensitive musicianship, and the audience could sense that she knows Mozart well (with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Artymiw brought a biting clarity of articulation to Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, and she gave each phrase a strong and supple spine. This kind of performance makes you sit up straight in your chair. Clearly she is a world-class pianist (Waukesha Symphony with Alexander Platt)
In interpreting Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K. 467, the nimble-fingered Artymiw unraveled Mozart’s incredible riches through an exhilarating mastery that induced breathless excitement. Her tremendous technical skill as well as the most sensitive artistry were strikingly patent for the audience to admire. Artymiw and Molina were one in spirit and mood throughout the piece, and applause was long and lusty for Molina, even lustier for Artymiw.
Lydia Artymiw proved an ideal soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K. 467 (with the Boca Raton Sinfonia), her romantically tinged and lyrical approach encompassing a generosity of phrasing and a full-blooded but Classically controlled expression. Her handling of the famous Andante was pure aria-like melody suspended with grace over the orchestra’s undulating accompaniment. The audience rose to its feet in approbation following the lively Rondo.