Press - ...Still Priceless Quotes
"Birthday Celebration Tour", Finale at "Memminger Meisterkonzerte"
The artist captivated with totally exceptional interpretations characterized with great seriousness and extreme energy, but also with much sensitivity. With her unpretentious and natural appearance she quickly won the hearts of the enthusiastic audience … this pianist narrates stories, creates pictures … as long as Janina Fialkowska performs, Rubinstein won´t be forgotten.
Memminger Zeitung, 29 November 2016, by Hans Baumgärtner
"Birthday Celebration Tour", Recital in Toronto
The poetry of Chopin is evident with every note that she plays. Her artistry comes minus the outward demonstrative excesses that are a part of so many pianists today. Instead it leads the listener into the heart of Chopin’s mind and soul. Her technique is brilliant, but it doesn’t astound for the sake of its own athleticism. Instead, her technique is always at the service of the music. The elegance and warmth in her phrasing is a rare commodity and was on display last night from the first notes executed. There was a gentleness to her lyricism that took one’s breath away and gave the dramatic moments immense impact … Her ability to maintain a poetic elegance and lyricism throughout is indeed, a rarity … an evening of the most sublime and tasteful music-making imaginable. It is no wonder that Fialkowska has been called “Canada’s first lady of Chopin” and “one of Canada’s finest gifts to the international piano world”.
Torontoconcertreviews.com, 26 October 2016, by David Richards
"Birthday Celebration Tour": Chopin e Minor with the Calgary Philharmonic
Performing music she knows well and plays beautifully, Fialkowska was impressive for both the straightforward honesty and security in her playing and for her natural, idiomatic way with Chopin.
Calgary Herald, 1 October 2016, by Kenneth Delong
"Birthday Celebration Tour": Gala concert for the International Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
… Her playing is vibrant, daring, intellectually curious and continuously evolving … Listening to Fialkowska play Chopin is like watching an embrace between old friends …There is something very soulful and honest about her artistry; with everything coming from a place of integrity. Although her virtuosity is boggling — I know pianists who would kill for her rock-solid left hand —her musicianship transcends mere technical athleticism … She took some big, admirable, thrilling risks ... The sound was always warm, generous and dazzlingly coloured … She finished with a fire and brimstone First Scherzo, the headlong rush of the finale galloping like a herd of wild horses. Try to keep up, boys.
Ottawa Citizen, 30 July, 2016, by Natasha Gauthier
"Birthday Celebration Tour": Birthday Open Air (Beethoven: 3rd piano concerto, Mozart: concert aria "Ch'io mi scordi di te" with the Suk Symphony Prague and Sharleen Joynt, Soprano
… after that Janina Fialkowska unfurled her pianistic Art. How she captured the gestural and harmonic twists and turns, with almost metallically brilliant splendor as well as with matiching perl-like virtuosity and breathing lyricism (the prayer-like Largo) was ravishing.
Augsburger Allgemeine, 25 July, 2016 by Manfred Engelhardt
"Birthday Celebration Tour": Official birthday concert (recorded by the Bayerischer Rundfunk), Mozart piano concertos K 415 and K 514, piano sonata in a Minor K 310
Mozart´s wonderfully shaped imagery, infused with contrasts, virtuosic passagework and echo effects Fialkowska implemented in a masterful way … it was with Fialkowska in best hands, poetic and gripping at the same time. Rapturous applause.
Augsburger Allgemeine, 12 May, 2016 by Manfred Engelhardt
"Birthday Celebration Tour", Chopin and Mozart piano concertos in chamber version at the Lake Side Arts Centre
Janina Fialkowska produced beautiful sound throughout as well as crisply agile virtuosity. The slow movement was a delight, revealing Chopin at his most generously lyrical, the soloist soaring to sublime heights of fantasy which the quartet provided warm and sensitive support. Janina's playing had wit, intelligence and tonal beauty. Textures were always crystal-clear …
Nottingham Post, May 6, 2016, by William Ruff
"Birthday Celebration Tour", Chopin e minor with l'Orchestre Sinfonique de Québec
... interprété de manière impeccable ... la musicienne d'expérience s'est attaquée à toutes les subtilités de la partition avec rigueur et précision ... cascades de notes cristallines et est ponctué de quelques éclats de joie juvénile.
Le Soleil, 6 April, 2016, by Erick Labbé
Recital at the Klavierfestival Ruhr jumping in on short notice for Maria João Pires
… one of the Grandes Dames of piano playing … immediately Fialkowska creates a mystical atmosphere, something unreal enters the slightly illuminated concert hall … appears not like someone who overpowers you, but rather like someone who invites you in … does her magic with creating disembodied sounds: the upper register of the piano she commands like no one else … Fialkowska’s fine touch is always born out the situation, it is an evocative playing … and even in the encore a seemingly beaten-to-death Chopin waltz can be transformed into something great and unknown …
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 July, 2015 by Malte Hemmerich
Chopin, piano concerto No.1 in chamber version with members of the Dusseldorf Symphony, Dusseldorf (Germany)
... the great Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska ... Fialkowska is a first-rate talent …
Rheinische Post (Düsseldorf, 18 January 2014), by Armin Kaumanns
Gala-Recital at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
Janina Fialkowska is one of the finest pianists Canada has produced, and that all by itself puts her high in the world rankings.
Ottawa Citizen, 1 August, 2014, by Richard Todd
Lutoslawski piano concerto with the Toronto Symphony, conducted by James Gaffigan
It’s an intriguing work and Ms Fialkowska has the right mix of forthrightness and humour to put it across.
Concerto.Net , 26 October 2013, by Michael Johnson
Chopin piano concerto No.2 on a 1848 Pleyel Grand Piano, with the Tafelmusik Orchestra
Fialkowska’s exquisite touch and musical acuity … opened up worlds of meaning and interpretation usually closed off to this overly familiar piece … with virtuosity to burn, but with a touch and an approach that forced us to “really listen,” helped us beyond that barrier. And into new Chopinesque worlds … series of ovations that Fialkowska received at concerto’s end must have been rewarding to this gentle and generous artist … … I can’t imagine a more glowing a testament to the evening of fine music-making that we had just witnessed.
The Globe and Mail, 1 June, 2013, by Robert Harris
… In Fialkowska’s hands, the notes wafted by in pearly elegance … the dramatic way in which subtle changes in balance can transform a well-known piece of music is well worth experiencing … the beguiling allure of the Chopin.
The Toronto Star, 7 June, 2013, by John Terauds
Fialkowska has a knack for finding the right tempo, following the natural dip or arc of a phrase and striking a perfect balance of head and heart.
National Post, June 14, 2013, by Arthur Kaptainis
Chopin concerto No.2 with the Houston Symphony, conductor: Hans Graf
Pianist Janina Fialkowska brought out the youthful Frederic Chopin's exuberance, tenderness and drama in his Piano Concerto No. 2. The orchestra's heft made the drama even greater.
The Houston Chronicle, May 10, 2013, by Steven Brown
Berlin Debut at the Berlin Piano Festival
Janina Fialkowska's Schubert was even riskier, fresher and livelier. In the four Impromptus op. 142 she differentiated with absolute precison between no pedaling and rich pedaling, always using it for color of sound, never for legato purposes.In this way Schubert’s polyphonic articulations emerged in crystal -clear fashion. And there was a pianistic brilliance in the pieces, which had nothing to do with the cliché of the reclusive culture of the Schubertiades.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 April, 2013, by Jan Brachmann
... Janina Fialkowska succeeded with poetic, delicately sensitive Schubert-Impromptus. The awkward passagework she managed with glittering brilliance. Her impressive Chopin-playing …
Tagesspiegel, by Isabel Herzfeld, 23 April, 2013
Chopin concerto in f minor, Bremen Philharmonic, conductor: Hans Graf
Janina Fialkowska, a Canadian pianist with Polish roots, is not however an artist who takes advantage of any opportunity to bathe in applause or who fancies herself taking long and elegant bowing poses. Quite the opposite … Cautiously and with the focus purely on the music she obverses her environment only as far as it is actually necessary … The highlight of the concert was certainly Chopin’s 2nd piano concerto in f minor performed by Janina Fialkowska … convinced with a crystal-clear touch and pearl-like passage work, which was never drowned in pedal nor became superficially brilliant ... she dived into a magical, sometimes melancholic atmosphere, far removed from an athletic, overpowering way of playing. Heavy applause in the capacity hall.
Weser Kurier/Bremer Nachrichten, February 4, 2013, by Markus Wilks
On tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing Chopin under Fabien Gabel
… clearly the highpoint of the evening ... Janina Fialkowska was the guest pianist, and what a player she is … the moment she touched the keys she created an atmosphere of intense emotion … How anyone can so modestly, so unpretentiously transport an audience into a mood of such tender and transcendent joy remains a mystery. The transforming power of art and music can never be explained - but this performance will certainly live for a lifetime in the memory.
Localsecrets.com (Cambridge), Jan 28, 2013, by Anne Marie Garvey
Fialkowska played with an assured quality of tone and the phrases as a whole were beautifully nuanced … Fialkowska had sure command of the situation in any and every piece of passagework … Every technical hurdle, however, was made to feel completely non-existent, Fialkowska raging against the orchestra in the forte passages without ever sounding harsh, and her attention to detail in bringing out the individual voices in the more reflective passages was thoughtful and simply stunning.
bachtrack.com, January 25, 2013, by Madelaine Jones
There's a strange mixture in Fialkowska of night-time modesty in the delicacy of her touch and diurnal pride in the brightness of her tone. 'I will play other things,' she insists backstage afterwards. Chopin will be jealous.
Words and Music, Rickjonesmusicblog.blogspot.com, January 25th, 2013 by Rick Jones
Recital for Virtuoso Series, Salt Lake City
Few pianists play with the kind of self assuredness and effortless virtuosity of Janina Fialkowska. Her musicality and technical mastery is superb and her pianism outstanding. A wonderful exponent of the romantic literature, Fialkowska brings her innate interpretive skills to bear in her interpretations of this music … The exquisite lyricism and profound depth of her interpretations were on display in one of the most fascinating piano recitals to be heard in Salt Lake City in a long time.
The Canadian pianist opened with Schubert’s seldom played Sonata in A major, op. 120. Her wonderfully nuanced account underscored the gorgeous lyricism of the work, and her playing was finely crafted and phrased.
www.reichelrecommends.com , Feb. 9. 2012, by Edward Reichel
Recital for „Meisterkonzerte“, Mönchengladbach (Germany)
... despite her not any more youthful age she delighted with the charm of a young girl … she appears completely unaffected, friendly and unpretentious … her playing is full of noblesse and beauty of sound, which even in complicated passages never pushes technique to the fore … the buoyant Polonaise in e flat Minor, the many layered Ballade in f Major or the dreaming e flat Major Nocturnes turned into a choice hearing experience also through her genetically inborn affinity to the works of Chopin . The Canadian finished a fascinating evening with the profound and virtuoso Scherzo in b minor and the audience cheered frenetically.
Rheinische Post, April 21, 2012 by Heide Oehmen
Recital for „Piano Solo“, Kempten, Germany
... unbelievable combination of musical intelligence and virtuosity … to experience personally this outwardly modest pianist who doesn’t appear at all as an international top piano diva, that´s simply breathtaking and hardly describable with words … with her hands and her soul Janina Fialkowska created unique wonders . It´s a critics’ cliché-phrase that she deeply “enchanted” her audience, but in this case it’s actually justified …
Allgäuer Zeitung (Germany), April 17, 2012 by Markus Noichl
Recital for „Grosse Pianisten im Kleinen Haus“, Oldenburg, Germany
When Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska finished her concert with Chopin’s beaten to death f Minor Fantasy, she had mobilized every virtuosic brilliance imaginable and what one thinks one has heard before appears under Fialkowska’s hands as a completely new work, essential with every note, which shows how modern prideful virtuoso could learn from the human and artistic greatness of this veritable piano master.
NWZ (Germany), Sept. 3, 2012 by Werner Matthes
Recital for the Chopin Festival in Warsaw
This soloist's Chopin was nostalgic and close to what one could call the "Polish Idiom": epic, contrasting, emotive, lugubrious and dancing (especially in the Mazurkas opus 24).
Resmusica, Sept. 9th, 2011, by Maciej Chizynski
Janina Fialkowska performs at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival
The forte of her playing was evident already in Schubert’s A major Sonata … Janina Fialkowska’s playing breathes remarkably naturally, and as a correct consequence it is well-thought out, deeply felt, discreetly powerful, but never exaggerated … She also showed her authority in a group of Chopin pieces. The a minor Mazurka appeared like soulful dance, built on a delicately clear, tenderly pedaled sound.
The Chopin highlight was the enigmatic b major Nocturne, which was not a distended teary-eyed affair but was articulated as a longingly discreet “chanson”.
Her beautiful interpretation got to the heart of three Lisztian piano transcriptions of songs by Chopin. And a stroke of luck during the the heavily acclaimed evening was Fialkowska’s interpretation of Liszt’s “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude” kept free of any pious acting, keyboard “bell- ringing” sentimentality by her heavenly sobriety, her water colored intensity, so to speak.
Kieler Nachrichten, August 16th, 2011
Janina Fialkowska plays the opening concert of the 18th Singapore International Piano Festival
… Schubert … the way she shaped its sunny themes, filled with songlike radiance and suppleness, left little doubt of her artistry … in the music of her fellow Poles, a sure-footed authority held sway … her delicate and always imaginative touch were a premium ... it was a thrilling ride from the first to the last note.
The Strait Times (Singapore), June 18, 2011, by Chang Tou Liang
Chopin with the Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, conductor: Michel Tabachnik
… proved to be once again an extremely sensitive and in the best sense a poetic interpreter of the work. With her it is all about feeling. Despite all the tender nuances and all the elegant loveliness, she manages to keep her Chopin free of “perfume” and affectation. Rather, her Chopin demonstrates in a fascinating way an equal balance of depth of feeling, sense of form and a serene effortlessness.
„Rheinpfalz“ April 16, 2011
Chopin with the Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart
Her interpretation of the f minor concerto stands out due to a very clear, very precise touch and rare use of pedal. This way she pointed out Chopin’s reference to the composers of the classical style, above all to Mozart. The coordination between soloist and orchestra was impressive.
Badische Neueste Nachrichten, April 13, 2011
Recital in Grünwald (Munich)
… painted in warm colors, at times magically creating light passages, at times taking in the hesitant beauty of a pianissimo. It was so impressive how she performed this dreamy, lost-in-thought piece, that at the end nobody dared to clap …
Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 16, 2011
Finally she has entered center stage again as a unique interpreter, the Canadian „Grande Dame of piano playing“. Janina Fialkowska … fascinated the audience in the August-Everding-Hall in Grünwald by her eloquent intensity, by such a vividness of playing that she made us believe we were hearing the works of Chopin and Liszt for the first time … proves herself a “Virtuosa assoluta”
Münchner Merkur, April 16, 2011, by Manfred Stanka
Chopin Recital in London
It was not until I heard her play live, however, that I realised quite how extraordinary she is. The long history of performing traditions in Chopin, though extremely varied, tends to move by stealth, with pianists piling further traits on to the practices they have inherited from their teachers and models. Some work, some don't. With Fialkowska, though, you get the impression less that the music is being interpreted than uncovered – as if all the discoloured resins and glues have been removed, everything pulled to pieces and put back together from scratch.
With very light pedal use, some rubato but nothing forced, and a steady emphasis on the music's inner lines that both clarifies Chopin's often exceptionally adventurous harmonies and, ironically, frees up the melody by diverting attention away from it, old warhorses such as the Grande Valse Brillante in A flat, or hardy perennials like the B major Nocturne Op 62, shine with newness.
The Guardian (London), May 28th, 2010, by Guy Dammann
Chopin with the Royal Philharmonic, London, Conductor: Jahja Ling
As she demonstrated in Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra … Fialkowska is by any standards a truly outstanding pianist. The first thing you notice is the gorgeous tone: warm, rounded, bell like in the upper register, rich lower down. It's well supported too, so that forte passages make their effect without discomfort. Characterised by subtle nuances rather than demonstrative gestures, her Chopin is poised, natural and exquisite without any trace of affectation.
We have had many celebrated executants in London in this Chopin anniversary year -- Zimerman, Pollini and Yundi Li among them -- but none has taken my breath away quite like Fialkowska … If you have the chance to hear her, cancel all other appointments.
The Evening Standard (London), May 28th, 2010, by Barry Millington