Review of CD Recording - Centaur Records
Debussy Preludes, Bks. 1 & 2
Claude Debussy Preludes Books 1 & 2
Elaine Greenfield (piano)
Centaur - 2693/4 (CD)
Greenfield's performances on the two-CD set are
impeccable, the result of years of study. Debussy's intent becomes
clear, and for the first time I realized how this music was
meant to sound....
....ethereal qualities in the music seem effortless. "La
terrasse des audiences du clair du lune" from book two,
is the nearest thing to moonlight in sound I've heard...
....a slightly veiled, voluptuous sound
PHILIPPA KIRALY - Clavier Magazine / Dec.
The 1907 Blüthner grand belonging to the piano collection
of Michael and Patricia Frederick is of similar type to the
Blüthner that Debussy owned and composed upon....Indeed,
this piano's gentle resonance and acute timbral distinctions
come close to matching the composer's piano without hammers
There's no questioning Greenfield's sensitivity
to and control over the Blüthner.... She maintains the
soft arpeggios and sudden loud outbursts throughout Feux d'artifice
in a textural and dynamic perspective that makes the climactic
downward glissando all the more surprising. Alluring pedal effects
also help sustain Greenfield's leisurely spacing of slower pieces
like Danseuses de Delphes, De pas sur la neige, La terrasse
des audiences du clair de lune, Voiles, Feuilles mortes, and
La Cathédrale engloutie.... She meets certain technical
challenges with no effort, such as Book 2 #11's difficult-to-shape
..... the engineering does both piano and repertoire more than
JED DISTLER - ClassicsToday.com
Elaine Greenfield's Debut On Piano Is Admirable
to hear a young pianist present a debut recital of the sort
given by Elaine Greenfield last Sunday afternoon in Carnegie
Recital Hall. Not only was the choice of music well-balanced
and unhackneyed, but each piece was admirably tailored to the
pianist's capabilities and temperament.
Miss Greenfield, who lives and
teaches in Vermont possesses a formidable technique that she
uses more for intimate expressive purposes than for flashy surface
effect. This was especially apparent in Schumann's deceptively
difficult "Papillons." Each tricky phrase was exquisitely turned,
textures merged with crystalline clarity and the entire work
was infused with a tonal warmth and graceful airiness that caught
the capricious nature of the music perfectly.
A major proportion of Miss Greenfield's
sympathies apparently lie in the French repertory, for she offered
a generous selection from Debussy's second book Of Preludes,
Ravel's "Oiseaux tristes" and Faure's Theme and Variations (Op.).
The Preludes were particularly well conceived, characterfully
etched in a clearly drawn, rhythmically strong profile that
made a welcome contrast to the mushy Impressionistic haze that
many pianists consider appropriate for this composer. PETER
G. DAVIS - NEW YORK TIMES
"...clean, clear, insightful playing. The program
was innovative and absorbing from beginning to end " WASHINGTON
"...such variety of sound is rarely encountered.
Ms. Greenfield is a master colorist." PHILADELPHIA
"Beautiful playing!" LORIN HOLLANDER
"Elaine Greenfield played with feeling and sensitivity
THE RECORD Williamstown, Mass.
"A pianist of extraordnary
qualities Sensitive and knowledgeable interpretation of the
different styles. I was very impressed by her performance of
the Debussy compositions. I believe that she deserves special
attention!" JULIO ESTEBAN Peabody Conservatory
"an excellent performance!"
Robert J. Lurtsema "Morning Pro Musica" WGBH, BOSTON
"Elaine Greenfie1d seeks a
lyric balance between intellect and emotion. Though she plays
with wonderfully clear articulation, her precision always possesses
a touch of the lyrical. She more often plays for the precisely
captured insight than the overpowering clinax. " BARRE
"Greenfield a Treat -- Her performance
here was positively breathtaking. Ms. Greenfield was letter,
note, and spirit perfect... There was a storm of applause. BURLINGTON
About the cassette, Music of Her Own -Two
Centuries of Songs & Piano Works by Women:
"...music unfamiliar to me and all performed with artistry and
sensitivity--a sheer delight." DR. LOUIS NAGEL,
pianist/musicologist - University of Michigan
"In addition to an exquisite performance of the
highest calibre, the program was informative. Jill Levis and
Elaine Greenfield provide delightful commentary and always include
the audience in their presentation. I recommend them highly."
KATE TAMARKIN, Conductor, Monterey Symphony Orchestra
and East Texas Symphony Orchestra.