AS A SOLOIST :
resplendent playing of Abbey Simon in Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto at
the Festival Hall last night was the focal point in the London
Philharmonic’s concert, a shining light putting all else in the shade in the
way of performance.
The Times, London
In the Brahms
(B-Flat Concerto), Mr Simon was spectacular. Seldom has a pianist managed to
make this awkward piano writing sound so easy, aristocratic and flowing.
New York Times
The shouts of
joy… were meant for the pianist Abbey Simon, a modest musician who turns the
piano into a well of sound…Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto glittered
like a multi-colored
delectable performance of the Chopin F Minor Concerto… his playing was
fresh, fluent, and gracefully expressive, with supple phrasing and handsome
shadings of tone and dynamics.
New York Times
performance in Beethoven’s G Major Piano Concerto… was extraordinarily
satisfying in its combination of easy technical mastery and natural, un
exaggerated musical sensibility.
AS RECORDING ARTIST :
Ravel : Valses Nobles et
Sentimentales; Gaspard de la Nuit (Turnabout TVS 34397)
Simon has achieved in this recording performances of the piano music of
Ravel which I can only describe as being among the best I have ever heard…
The Valses hang poised, and evanesce into clouds of
color with a suavity and
strength that are indeed “noble”. Gaspard de la Nuit flows like a
river at night, churned up here and there in sparkling reflections and waves
of mist-like emotion.
Carnaval, op. 9; Fantasie in C major, op. 17 (Turnabout TVS 34432)
A very intense
presentation which provides a key to Schumann’s manner of composition and
which is completely akin to Schumann. “Hats off, gentlemen – a musician !”
Sonatas : No. 2, in B-flat minor, op.35; No. 3 in B minor, op. 58
(Turnabout TV 34272)
… I was left
completely stunned by the experience of Abbey Simon’s performance of these
two movements (third and fourth of the B-flat minor) – not only by the
musical drama per se, but by his mastery of pedal technique and dynamics.
- Stereo Review