Elżbieta Sternlicht played two entire piano cycles, both obviously bound to the formal models established by Chopin:
The Préludes op. 34 by Dmitri Schostakowitsch – arranged in all keys as Chopin’s – and Douze Études by Claude Debussy written “a la memoire de Frédéric Chopin”, two great cycles that are heard much too rarely.
Sternlicht’s pianistic art is descriptive…
The fact that the Polish pianist is popular and well-known could be seen from the audience streaming into the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie. In addition Elżbieta Sternlicht presented a highly remarkable evening programme. Pieces that are almost unmanageable for every pianist, interlarded with technical and rhythmic difficulties, and also tremendously complex regarding the contents.
The pianist interpreted Schostkowisch (24 Preludes op.34) with deliberation and gave the cycle an own shape through articulate finesse.
Debussy’s 12 Études, which’s playing from memory deserves high respect, were always presented according to their programmatic titles so that the real Études character of the pieces came to the surface, avoiding the usual romanticism.
Adelheid Krause- Pichler
…on Thursday night the 4th International Piano Forum “…antasten…” was opened in the City Museums of Heilbronn. The only shortcoming of the opening concert with Elżbieta Sternlicht was the acoustic of the museum hall in the Deutschhof, which was less than ideal. The hall was completely filled when Elżbieta Sternlicht sat down at the grand piano and made clear at once with Menachem Zur’s “Center” and “Circle of Time” what an excellent pianist was presenting herself here.
The “…antasten…” prologue was a promising one which made clear: here the quality of previous Piano Forums is being continued without interruption.
But the real surprise of the evening was the pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht. The Polish pianist convinced the audience with a performance characterised by definition and richness of power that would not have been expected from her rather small and frail appearance. In Elżbieta Sternlicht’s interpretation of Debussy’s “L’Isle Joyeux” and Schoenberg’s “Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op.19” a distinguished creative power based on a completely sovereign pianistic technique could be heard.
One is the more thankful for the recordings at hand, which take into consideration the eight piano pieces of the time between 1838 and 1840. Thus Elżbieta Sternlicht deserves great credit for this very welcome enlargement of repertoire.
Olivier Messiaen began composing his full-length piano cycle “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus” in March 1944 during the occupation of Paris and completed it after the liberation. Elżbieta Sternlicht invited the public in the Kammermusiksaal. of the Philharmonie Berlin to the absorption appropriate to this work. The Messiaen-specialist challenged the 2nd part of the pianistic opus magnum with requirements on sparkling virtuosity and guarded concentration which she met brilliantly. Her colour balanced touch provided transparency in the tonally dense structures, and her concentrated articulation of even the shockingly rapid appoggiatura figures secured rhythmic clarity in spite of the complex structure. …This cultivated interpretation was not stingy with great moments of tonal delicacy: mystery was led to triumph.
…the dark mood of Mozart’s Sonata A minor K. 310, with which Elżbieta Sternlicht opened her piano recital in the Philharmonie. With Chopin’s Nocturnes she was completely in her element. In the Nocturne F minor sounds of pastel-coloured delicacy were to be heard. Referring to the music of the Polish composer, Heinrich Heine once spoke of virtuosity in the garment of poetry: Elżbieta Sternlicht’s piano playing brought this. thought to life.
Alexander Scriabin’s 9th Sonata seems like a cornucopia of pianistic possibilities. The pianist proved her great mastery once more in the forming of the soft and frail passages. Here she succeeded in creating a kind of shiver of creepy well-being in the audience. Elżbieta Sternlicht mastered the 2nd book of Debussy’s “Preludes” with its high musical and technical demands in a manner highly astonishing: a Debussy-interpreter of rank
The Polish pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht introduces the “Lyrische Stücke für Klavier” by Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn. She does it with pleasure of playing and precision, with atmospheric denseness and clear structuring. She refrains from pathetic gestures that could also be imagined in music that is romantic through and through. This is what distinguishes this production.
A virtuous climax is to be expected next Tuesday with “New American Music”, the Polish pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht is known to be a master in her field.
The lyrical pieces by Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn are becoming an object of speculation within feminist history of music. Fanny is in any case a master of the small form and the character piece; Elżbieta Sternlicht proves this thesis by playing the piano with warmth and deliberateness of sound.
The small but committed label Thorofon puts a first recording of lyric piano pieces on the market.
The Polish pianist living in Berlin, Elżbieta Sternlicht, interprets these “Lieder ohne Worte” both unsentimentally and feelingly, always bringing out the melody clearly and singingly, and so closes a small gap in the in no way depleted repertoire of this so far underestimated composer.
In the Thorofon production at hand, the pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht makes herself the champion of an undiscovered artist.
A variety of nuances which she brought out impressively in Arnold Schoenberg’s Sechs kleine Klavierstücke opus 19 and Drei Klavierstücke opus 11. The aphoristic style of the Kleine Klavierstücke as well as the differentiated “timbre melodies” of the Drei Klavierstücke were performed by Elżbieta Sternlicht with the utmost concentration and expressiveness… in this unheard of, exciting piano recital.
With her performance the Berlin pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht entered the hearts of the Sao Paulo friends of classical music. The concert was an absolutely beautiful aesthetic treat. The audience thanked her with rapturous applause.
With its traditional concerts the Polish Cultural Centre contributes to the musical life in Prague. In the previous concert the pianist E. Sternlicht, who is of Polish origin, gave a performance.
Three Mazurkas from op. 50 by K. Szymanowski impressed the audience with invention, humour and the harmonic harshness of the music of our century. In the performance given by the artist they revealed intense sound and sudden dynamic contrasts.
In the “Erotiques” by Joanna Bruzdowicz the excellent pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht shaped every nuance and drew a delicate dialogue between two compositional principles. A composition by Arvo Pärt with the title “Fratres” delighted the audience with a spherical lyricism in arpeggios, clear plainness, magically, beautifully.