Pianist Evelyne Brancart Reviews
La Libre Belgique, Brussels
Evelyne Brancart is a musician whose talents are in harmony with her great simplicity, she is an artist of great standing.
Arthur Balsam (Musical America)
“I have never heard the piece (Brahms’ Paganini Variations) played so well in my life”
ALICE TULLY HALL
LINCOLN CENTER, NEW YORK
New York Times (Bernard Holland)
Evelyne Brancart’s piano recital Thursday in Tully Hall consisted of Chopin Etudes and the Brahms ‘Paganini’ Variations, in their entirety. Miss Brancart, who is from Belgium and lives in the Unites States, has had considerable experience in international competitions, Her technical command of this very difficult music ranged from brilliant in the Brahms to very impressive in the Chopin.
More importantly Miss Brancart showed a distinctive musical personality with many of the tempos in the Chopin being unusual and even arresting. The expression as a whole seemed more intimate — sometimes almost dainty — then grand and declamatory. The melodic lines were marked by a surging graceful quality rather than any sense of strict proportion.
Miss Brancart negotiated Brahms’s virtuosos high hurdles with obvious confidence. In other words, the lyrical sense of the music was never strained or obscured by technical struggles.
Musical Mind & Prodigious Technique
There can have been little doubt in the mind of any of her audience at Wigmore Hall on Saturday evening that the 21-year old pianist Evelyne Brancart from Brussels is destined to greatness.
Winner of the 1974 international Beethoven Competition, she revealed a musical mind backed by a prodigious technique. Her performance of Liszt’s etude “Ricordanza” and the distinction and excitement of the true virtuoso, lyrically beautiful in tone and with complete mastery of the decoration. Perhaps the “Paganini’ etude No. 6 was taken too fast.
The rest of her big group of Etudes included Scriabin’s Op. 8 No. 10 in D flat and Debussy’s “Pour les Quartes,” played with a marvelous sense of timing.
Le Soir, Brussels (Felix Ledlerc)
Filling the hall with her breath-taking powerful sonorities, she did not retreat before even one of the work’s succession of hair-raising difficulties. Evelyne Brancart was one with the (Bartok Concerto no. 2) and with her splendid technique recast the Hungarian master’s work in inviolate marble
WIGMORE HALL— LONDON DEBUT
London Daily Telegraph – March, 1976
Le Correo de Andalacia, Sevilla
(Julio Garcia Casas)
I observe in Evelyne Brancart the obvious presence of a splendid pianist and a musicality which brings forth every phrase and design exquisitely. Within a context defined by an incredible technique, she is ever sensitive in phrasing, exact and cultured in her use of legato. Her Bach was plentiful in stylistic rigor, her Mozart deliciously crystalline, with lyricism and a wonderful sense of the Mozartian melodic flow…full of clarity and expressiveness.
LONDON WIGMORE HALL DEBUT
London Times— March, 1976
Though now a half century old, Bartok’s Piano Sonata is still a pugnacious work, and it suited Evelyne Brancart excellently, not least because she has the athletic technique to present its abrasively elliptical arguments with conviction. A large and well-varied group of etudes, from Chopin to Stravinsky, confirmed her virtuoso accomplishment but also left no doubt of her musicality. Thus Liszt’s Paganini etude No. 6 was all hard, clear brilliance, yet Miss Brancart also got to the poetic heart of his “La Ricordanza.” She exultantly negotiated the wide stretches of Chopin’s Op 10 No 1 but was equally attuned to some fleeting, elusive pieces from Scriabin’s Op.8.
QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL
London Times - January, 1977
Recital–goers may have to wait a long time before hearing a pianist as effortless as that of Evelyne Brancart yesterday. An erstwhile pupil of Eduardo del Pueyo, this Belgium aged 22 dissolved hair-raising difficulties in Brahms, Liszt and much else into child’s play, with hardly ever a wrong note, and always producing the loveliest sonority throughout a wide dynamic range.
The secret seemed to lie in muscular relaxation. The only trouble was that Miss Brancart sometimes too emotionally relaxed as well, her personal temperature at a steady 98.4 even in climaxes of fever heat.
Of her artistry there was no doubt. Her phrasing was perceptively pliable, and tempo and timing were nearly always judiciously judged. From the start she caught he ear with her subtly of varied textures and tonal shades in Prokoviev’s Toccata, opus 11, so often dismissed as mere percussive clatter.
In Brahms’s first book of Paganini Variations her virtuosity was again divorced from the mechanical. Without a loss of weight, her musical grace gave the Variations unusual charm, as though the composer had learnt a lesson or two about the instrument’s potential from Chopin.
In Mozart’s C minor fantasia and Sonata, contours were not sharp enough to be stylish, delicately expressive as it all was, she approached it just as music instead of specifically Mozartian music.
Prestidigitation, expansiveness and warm sound combined to bring her much closer to Liszt especially in the “Ricordanza.” But the Mephisto Waltz still betrayed immaturity in pack of intensity in yearning melody, lack of that little extra frisson in shimmers and bursts of excitement of all kinds.
In close personal identification with the music she was at her best with a cause to win: an early, truly pianist neo Scriabin-line one-movement sonata, new to England, by the Belgium Fréderic Van Rossum (born 1939). Which came over as though she meant it.