Reviews

Gramophone Magazine (Variations—Chandos)

For a debut recording, this is out of the ordinary: but it is clear that Lydia Artymiw is no ordinary debutante. Her first record announces that she is already an artist, naturally and exceptionally musical in everything she does, and it leaves me wanting to hear more of her. Miss Artymiw makes you listen. It is not given to many young artists to marry sound and sense and to communicate as she does, and in sum, she seems to me rather special.

Gramophone (Best of the Year, 1980)—Variations

For its Haydn and Mozart in particular, I recommend an unusually planned debut record by Lydia Artymiw, who brings to the British catalogue, at long last, a perceptive and intelligent account of Haydn’s homage to Mozart, the f minor Variations.

Gramophone Magazine (Variations)

Pianists come and go in ever increasing numbers yet Lydia Artymiw’s recording debut suggests only the most durable and poetic virtues. Of all recent piano issues this seems to me among the most deeply imaginative and refreshing. Composure as well as vitality are among the many virtues of her delightfully varied achievement here, with a degree of commitment and devotion rare in so young an artist. One can only marvel at such early quality and attainment.

Piano Magazine, England (Mendelssohn—Chandos)

Lydia Artymiw, too, has recorded the E Major Sonata of Mendelssohn, along with the Op. 16 Caprices, the F# Minor Fantasy, and, again, the Rondo Capriccioso. Her Chandos CD is a recording of enormous distinction, which can hold its own with Murray Perahia’s in the Mendelssohnian pantheon.

Hi Fi News (Mendelssohn)

Lydia Artymiw is one of the finest pianists of her generation. Her previous recordings for Chandos have all shown her to have outstanding musical insight and technical expertise, and her Mendelssohn disc is no less impressive. Artymiw breathes life into every detail, producing a complex interpretation that commands attention throughout. It is good to hear a pianist who can play at full volume without sounding harsh. An exciting and inspiring issue (A:1 rating).

Penguin Guide (Schumann—Chandos)

Lydia Artymiw attracted attention at the 1978 Leeds Competition as a player of temperament and personality. Her finely delineated accounts of the Schumann Davidsbundlertanze and Humoreske can both hold their own with thee best now on the market. Artymiw shows her finesse as a Schumann interpreter. Her cleanly articulated playing has true artistry to recommend it.

Fanfare (Tchaikovsky—Chandos)

It is a pleasure to encounter a gifted artist like Lydia Artymiw playing the relatively neglected piano music of Tchaikovsky. Her recording of the Seasons goes right to the head of the list. It is the best of the currently available versions, and indeed, it is one of the best Tchaikovsky piano recitals this listener has ever heard. Artymiw brings an elegant sense of phrasing to this music, playing them as a singer might sing them. She brings more love and imagination to these melodious miniatures than anyone else on record. Her Seasons is likely to be the classic version for years to come.

Hi-Fi News (UK) (Chopin—Chandos)

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this is Chopin playing to be reckoned with: it is authoritative, intelligent, fiery, and pianistically superb. Ms. Artymiw’s control is admirable (A: 1/2 rating)

Ovation Magazine (Recording of Distinction) (Schubert—Chandos)

What emerges above all from this very fine, successful Schubert recording is a personality: you get the feeling of self-originating ideas, command and projection that only comes with a major talent. Here is a pianist, Lydia Artymiw, whose every bar of playing is infused with innate musicality and expressive conviction. Artymiw’s playing is not far removed from the Schubert of Sviatoslav Richter.

Gramophone (Brahms—Chandos)

Lydia Artymiw’s performance of the Handel Variations of Brahms is nothing short of superlative. By no means is the quality only related to technique; as well as rewarding clarity everywhere, the music is shaped splendidly, beautifully graded in dynamic levels. Highly recommended.

Diapason (France) (Brahms—Chandos)

On est confondu par l’intelligence de sa lecture, la beauté de son de son piano, la maítrise des couleurs qu’elle déploie. Lydia Artymiw est une révélation, une pianiste singuliére, d’une grande autorité. (Brahms CD)

Fanfare (Tucson—Brahms and Rorem—white cover)

There have been many excellent recordings of the Brahms f minor Piano Quintet over the years, including especially famous ones of Richter and the Borodin Quartet and Pollini with the Quartetto Italiano, but this one(with the American Quartet and pianist Lydia Artymiw) certainly matches the best I have heard.

A special word of praise must go to pianist Artymiw, whose contribution could hardly be bettered.

Journal of Singing (Debussy and Faure songs—Centaur)

These performances are as outstanding as one might expect from an artist of the caliber of Benita Valente, who is admirably supported by pianist Lydia Artymiw, a distinguished pianist in her own right.

Fanfare (Debussy and Faure songs—Centaur)

Benita Valente is in excellent voice and sings these songs beautifully. I am also especially impressed by Artymiw’s playing. She makes herself an equal partner with the singer and plays with skill, imagination, and wit.

Classical Music: The Listener’s Companion, edited by Alexander J. Morin, 2002. (Tchaikovsky Seasons-Chandos)

Lydia Artymiw takes the prize for pianistic sensitivity, beauty of sound, and variety; she moves between the quiet and loud fluently. Her fluid Chopinesque account of these miniatures is abetted by the most beautiful sound on disc, always lucid but also full and rounded.

Musical America (Duets with Valente and Aler)

This is a well-conceived and thoughtfully executed program of enjoyable rarities. Benita Valente and John Aler project the poetic texts with clarity, in performances that benefit from the musical understanding and lively collaboration of their pianist partner, Lydia Artymiw. Schumann’s Tanzlied is a special delight.

Audiophile Audition, July 2008 (Thuille and Dohnanyi Cello Sonatas with Marcy Rosen, Bridge)

In Dohnanyi’s Cello Sonata, Artymiw conjures up gorgeous sounds from her Steinway while Rosen captures the quirky romantic nostalgia that suffuses so much of Dohnanyi’s music.

Strings Magazine, 2009

This excellent recording (Sonatas of Thuille and Dohnanyi with cellist Marcy Rosen and pianist Lydia Artymiw) should help these unfairly neglected sonatas gain the recognition they deserve. The playing throughout is beyond praise: brilliant but not showy, expressive but not sentimental, free but not willful, always in the service of the music.

Classical Net, 2009

In the Thuille and Dohnanyi Cello Sonatas, Lydia Artymiw provides the expert and musically sensitive collaboration that one expects from her. The Bridge recording ideally balances the performers, Marcy Rosen and Lydia Artymiw, and David Grayson’s booklet notes are detailed and add to one’s appreciation of these works.