Reviews on Debussy


“Gregory Haimovsky…chose to introduce himself to New York with a recital entirely given over to Debussy’s 24 Preludes, which he performed impressively…Mr. Haimovsky, a sensitive colorist, had the varied touch and the poetic insight for evanescent pieces such as “Voiles” and “La terrace des audiences au clair de lune”…He [evoked] the watery depths in “La cathedral engloutie,” and did so without sacrificing its shimmering translucence. He proved equally good in the angular, witty numbers…he gave a gently unaffected interpretation of “La file aux cheveaux de lin.” Debussy’s feeling for the Spanish idiom was caught in a sensuous and particularly guitarish interpretation of “La Puerto del Vino.” — Donal Henahan, The New York Times

“Haimovsky is undoubtedly the ordained interpreter of Debussy’s world of unique tonal patterns and moods…He is a magician, a wizard of sound, unprecedented with the possible exception of the unforgettable Walter Gieseking.” — Badische Zeitung, Germany

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“Mr. Haimovsky weaves magic, as if he were engaged in an intimate dialog meant for the ears of a lover…His Debussy is exquisite. Every moment on this recording is a jewel…This transcendent performance…joins Michelangeli, Gieseking, and Arrau as definitive”  — John Young, American Record Guide

“Haimovsky displayed all his artistic mastery in his performance of Debussy. It was such exquisitely subtle art: a combination of various touches, the nuances of pedaling, virtuosic cascades with revelations of the artist’s personal expressions.” — Olga Silberman, Maariv, Tel Aviv, Israel

“One could feel that Haimovsky lived in the music he performed. In Les fees sont d’exquises danseuses by Debussy, the audience could almost visualize dancing. During Ondine one had the feeling that the pianist was caressing the keyboard. Feux d’Artifice deftly recreated the bursting sounds of fireworks and their rockets’ ascending and descending movements.” — Zuger Nachrichten, Zurich, Switzerland

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“Superior artistry…the pianist conjured up the seductive magic of the three Preludes by Claude Debussy with a surpassing mastery.” — Luzerner Tagblatt, Switzerland

“In the ten Preludes of Debussy, Haimovsky displayed a picturesque world in a purely impressionistic style, while at the same time not disregarding the many nuances of a beating heart. BrouillardsFeuilles MortesGeneral Lavine – EccentricLa Terrasse des Audiences du Clair de LuneFeux d’Artifice and others presented an exhibit of small, hypnotic, impressive pictures.” — Jariv Israchi, Ediot Akhoronot, Tel Aviv, Israel

“Debussy’s ‘Four Images’ transformed the moment. One could see lights shimmering on the water; the pale moon rising behind wisps of clouds. Haimovsky masterfully wove the most perfectly wonderful seamless fabric of mists and veils. I was rapturously transported to another word. The hushed beauty of the moment was profoundly calm, whispering the secrets of the ages for those who would listen.” George A. Sinclair, The NAPA Register, USA

“Gregory Haimovsky…is not an interpreter in the ordinary sense of the word. The various pieces from the two books of [Debussy’s] Preludes sounded so full of vitality that one had the illusion that they had just been created…Haimovsky proved himself to be a specialist in Debussy. Here he presented the most subtle nuances of light and shadow (“Voiles”), fortepiano fogs and mists (“Brouillards”), resonating pearls (“Ce qu’a vu le vent d’oust”). He achieved the highest art in his piano touch and virtuosic technique.”  Badische Zeitung

“One has to not only have exceptional talent, but also a great amount of courage to chose for his debut in New York a program that consisted of Debussy’s 24 Preludes. From the first minutes of the concert, the audience did understand that Gregory Haimovsky, the pianist, a recent immigrant from the USSR, has not only enough courage, but also outstanding talent. For the following hour and a half, he absolutely captured the listeners.  Prior to his concert in New York, Haimovsky had a reputation as the finest, sensitive performer of Debussy’s music, to which he dedicated most of his life. His interpretation has a special poetic character, his playing is full of dreamy moods, delicate pastel colors. Pianissimo of Haimovsky is exceptional for its rare beauty, his phrases are elegant, and his pedal is very nuanced. In other words, the pianist’s command of the instrument is marvelous, he knows how to evoke from it the finest sounds. The 24 Preludes as a set are performed very seldom. But they are so different by their themes and composer’s intentions that to listen to them is a great pleasure. This listener especially liked La Terrasse des Audiences du Clair de Lune and La file avec les cheveaux d’or. These Preludes were performed with outstanding mastery. Haimovsky has this ability to capture a listener, to make him listen without pausing for breath. He is a pianist of the highest class, a true artist and poet. This is the case when it is so easy to manage one’s review without any criticism.” — A.S. (Andrei Sedykh), Novoe Russkoye Slovo, New York

“The evening’s climax came with ten Preludes of Debussy — here the pianist literally cast a spell on the audience with his artistry and refinement. Tone color and sound-painting play the main roles in Debussy’s miniatures. In Gregory Haimovsky’s performance, each one of the piano miniatures charmed with a noble elegance of sound, with subtlety, and with a technique like filigree-work. His performing palette abounds in highlights and semi-tones. A most subtle use of dynamics, a bewitching softness in sound transitions, refinement and elasticity of rhythm, plasticity of melodic twists, and sound aromas in BrouillardsLes fees sont d’exquises danseuses, Bruyeres, and Canopes; capricious breaks of lines, graphicness, eccentricity and grotesquerie in La Puerto del Vino; and finally, bright sound cascades and virtuosic technique in Feux d’Artifice — all this together caused an unforgettable sensation.” Orit Golan, Nasha Strana, Tel Aviv, Israel

This review should come as no surprise, especially when we consider Haimovsky’s performance of Debussy’s Les fees sont d’exquises danseuses. Debussy’s “dance of the fairies” was inspired by Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J. M. Barrie and illustrated by Arthur Rackman (Debussy’s daughter had recently gotten the book as a gift). Consider this illustration and brief quotation from Peter Pan as you listen to Haimovsky’s Les fees sont d’exquises danseuses: 

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“One of the great differences between the fairies and us is that they never do anything useful. When the first baby laughed for the first time, his laugh broke into a million pieces, and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies. They look tremendously busy, you know, as if they had not a moment to spare, but if you were to ask them what they are doing, they could not tell you in the least. They are frightfully ignorant, and everything they do is make-believe.”




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