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 Elzbieta Sternlicht presented a highly remarkable evening programme. Pieces that are almost un-manageable 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 …tudes, which’s playing from memory deserves high respect, were always presented according to their programmatic titles so that the real Ètude character of the pieces came to the surface, avoiding the usual romanticism.
Adelheid Krause- Pichler
Neue Musik Zeitung September 2003
Elzbieta 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 …tudes 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…
Berliner Zeitung 12/13 April 2003
…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 Elzbieta Sternlicht was the acoustic of the museum hall in the Deutschhof, which was less than ideal. The hall was completely filled when Elzbieta Sternlicht sat down at the grand piano and made clear at once with Menachem Zurís “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.
Heilbronner Stimme, September 23rd, 1999
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. Elzbieta Sternlicht invited the public in the Kammermusiksaal. of the Philhar-monie Berlin to the absorption appropriate to this work. The Messiaen-specialist challen-ged the 2nd part of the pianistic opus magnum with requirements on sparkling virtuosity and guarded concentration which she met brilliantly. Her colourbalanced 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.
Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), November 2nd, 1997
…the dark mood of Mozartís Sonata A minor K. 310, with which Elzbieta Sternlicht opened her piano recital in the Philharmonie. With Chopinís 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: Elzbieta Sternlichtís piano playing brought this thought to life.
Alexander Scriabinís 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. Elzbieta Sternlicht mastered the 2nd book of Debussyís “Preludes” with its high musical and technical demands in a manner highly astonishing: a Debussy-interpreter of rank.
Berliner Morgenpost, September 6th, 1995
A virtuous climax is to be expected next Tuesday with “New American Music”, the Polish pianist Elzbieta Sternlicht is known to be a master in her field.
Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), September 1st, 1992
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.
Lidova demokracie (Prague), November 20th, 1991
With her performance the Berlin pianist Elzbieta 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.
Deutsche Zeitung (Sao Paulo), August 9th,1991
A variety of nuances which she brought out impressively in Arnold Schoenbergís 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 Elzbieta Sternlicht with the utmost concentration and expressiveness… in this unheard-of, exciting piano recital.
Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), April 18th, 1991
But the real surprise of the evening was the pianist Elzbieta 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 Elzbieta Sternlichtís interpretation of Debussyís “L’Isle Joyeux” and Schoenbergís “Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op.19” a distinguished creative power based on a completely sovereign pianistic technique could be heard.
Cuxhavener Nachrichten, July 5th, 1988
In the “Erotiques” by Joanna Bruzdowicz the excellent pianist Elzbieta 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.
Das Orchester, February 1982
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; Elzbieta Sternlicht proves this thesis by playing the piano with a warmth and deliberateness of sound.
Frankfurter Neue Presse
December 4th, 1992
The Polish pianist Elzbieta 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 a music that is romantic through and through. This is what distinguishes this production.
Neue Zeitschrift für Musik
In the Thorofon production at hand, the pianist Elzbieta Sternlicht makes herself the champion of an undiscovered artist.
The small but committed label Thorofon puts a first recording of lyric piano pieces on the market.
The Polish pianist living in Berlin, Elzbieta 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.
Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), December 13th, 1992
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 Elzbieta Sternlicht deserves great credit for this very welcome enlargement of repertoire.
Fono Forum, August 1998