Lydia Artymiw is a lovely Mozart player and scarcely less appealing in Schumann. There is the heart for Mozart’s B Flat Sonata (K. 333) and a wisdom and culture that put that heart in the right place, along with concentrated musicality tempered by good taste. Ms. Artymiw has such a satisfying musical soul; she is a pleasure to hear.
Lydia Artymiw is a pianist of the old school, a romantic who can draw orchestral sounds from the piano and who can revel in a long, nuanced line. Her Beethoven Sonata (Op. 2 No. 3) was clearly articulated with clear definitions of polyphonic lines and a sense of well-balanced momentum. Her reading of Schumann’s Papillons offered vivid vignettes of dance and personality set off in a splendid array of tone colors.
Artymiw’s recital began with Mozart’s “Pöbel” Variations, and she played them incredibly well, with all sorts of lyric grace and felicity in phrasing and nuances. Her Schumann (Davidsbundlertänze) was a victory, full of warmth, lyricism, and romantic phrasing. But her Chopin was even finer. Her performances of the Fourth Scherzo and the Introduction and Rondo were beautifully achieved, something many of her seniors might well envy.
Lydia Artymiw has far more than a virtuoso’s technical equipment: she has warmth, sensitivity, and an instinct for the re-creation of music. Her Schumann showed a rare crepuscular tone, capriciousness of style, high flung bravura spirit, brushed with tenderness and wit. Her Prokofiev was from the top shelf of brilliant hands at jet speed but also knew the lyricism that sures from the music’s deepest roots.
Artymiw’s performance of Debussy’s Estampes was lavish in imagination, variety of touch, and sophistication of voicing. Her readings teemed with bright images—temple bells, gongs, flamenco guitars, and sheets of wind-driven rain.
Artymiw’s Wigmore Hall recital proved that she is a remarkable artist and a pianist of the very first rank. Her playing showed such quickness and imagination, and the sonority, like the play of inner voices, was everywhere alive.
Lydia Artymiw’s Wigmore Hall recital was both stimulating and satisfying. This American artist already has all of the attributes of greatness, her cast-iron technique and penetrating intelligence enabling her to get to the heart of the music. Miss Artymiw’s warm and flexible Mozart playing commanded the highest respect, and her lively imagination exactly caught the many moods of Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze.
That was a fantastic recital by Lydia Artymiw in the St. Lawrence Centre Town Hall mainly because her playing is full of fantasy. Artymiw’s special characteristic is the gift of cool while generating emotional heat. Her Schumann and Chopin soared, and her Debussy Images shone with luminous intensity. It is easy to see why she has won major prizes in international competitions.
If there were to be a corner of heaven especially for pianists, Lydia Artymiw would be on a cloud above her peers, so exciting and moving was her recital at South Mountain. Artymiw’s gift of sweeping her audience along the byways of her performance made Schumann’s Kreisleriana come to life in all of its moods. What makes one artist more outstanding than another? In the case of Artymiw, it is the degree of responsive feeling that shapes her every phrase, as part of a marvelous logic in the organic growth of the music. Her imaginative interpretations are exquisite, and her technique, while secondary to her musicianship, is phenomenal.