Ruth Laredo






"America's First Lady of the Piano and the first to win international recognition."  -New York Daily News "A technical wizard...she can hold her own with any pianist alive."  -The New York Times"
"Ruth Laredo operated within a relatively narrow range at her piano recital, from first-rate to superb."  -New York Times "This was great Beethoven playing, and the impact was staggering."
- Washington Post 
"Ruth Laredo is possibly the most generally admirable yet under-valued pianist on the American Scene."   - San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner "She has dynamic interpretation.  She is romantic, but has a modern sense of clarity and understanding...absolutely superb."  -Ongaleu No Tomo, Japan
"One of Ruth Laredo's specialties has long been Samuel Barber's eloquent Piano Sonata, and her penetrating recorded performance is the first on disc that seriously challenges the classic version by Horowitz."   - New York Magazine "The play of light and shadow is built into Ravel's piano music - which is not to say that every pianist projects it as effectively, indeed as magically as does Ruth Laredo in "Miroirs" (CBS Records)."   - Los Angeles Times
"Laredo's performance of the Sonatine (Ravel) is a model of neo-classical elegance."   - Detroit Free Press "She's a big and bold player...It was an altogether arresting performance, but then, so was everything played by this artist of great stature and distinction."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Ruth Laredo conveyed the tempestuousness of Beethoven's writing without sacrificing anything in the way of clarity or poetic nuance."   -The New York Times "Laredo displayed brilliant technique...This was great Beethoven playing, and the impact was staggering."  -Washington Post
Rehearsal in Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, NY"Whatever she plays, Ruth Laredo will be sure to play it better than most, and with a special kind of insight and beauty that are hers alone."  -Newhouse Newspapers "A dazzling virtuoso...her sound was big, her touch deep, her rhythm vital...the audience was swept away with the energy of the performance."
-The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Her pianism is marked with a special blend of intensity and rare kind of introspective poetry.  She played up a storm."  -Washington Post "...Impressive and commanding tour de force."  -Records & Recordings, London
"Her playing is virtuosic."  -Los Angeles Times "Queen of the keyboard."  -South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
"Miss Laredo's performances were superb. Her phrasing went beyond the markings on the page and let the musical line breathe in a natural, almost conversational way."  -The New York Times "She plays with such authority and expressive strength that Laredo has again made Rachmaninoff more exciting than any other pianist of this generation."
-Cosmopolitan Magazine

 

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

Rachmaninoff 
- The Complete Works for Solo Piano

     If Hercules had been a tireless pianist rather than a compulsive stable-cleaner and girdle-stealer, he might have included among his labors the complete solo piano music of Rachmaninoff.  Only a pianist of Herculean industry and virtuosic gifts would set out on such a road, and only a keyboard musician of Ruth Laredo's quality would have a chance of finishing the trip successfully.  With this album, half of it devoted to the transcriptions that Rachmaninoff himself played with such legendary grace and brilliance, she has completed five-sevenths of her project.

     Miss Laredo does not manhandle (or womanhandle) these pieces in the razzle-dazzle style of some Rachmaninoff performers.  Whether the topic is a Bach gigue or a Mendelssohn scherzo, she manages to allude to the original master's style as well as giving the transcriber's virtuosity its head.  And so, there is a bubbling songfulness in the Schubert, flighty humor in the Rimsky-Korsakov, rude ebullience in the Mussorgsky.

     Now and then, like most other Rachmaninoff players, Miss Laredo finds it necessary to adjust a tempo or pull a phrase a bit out of shape, simply to fit in all the notes.  That happens near the end of the Bach Preludio, for instance.  But such slips from grace are rare and fleeting, and completely overshadowed by the prevailing élan, grace and clarity of Miss Laredo's playing.

     She even manages to keep one interested throughout the convolutions of the Variations on a Theme of Chopin (the subject is the Prelude No. 20 in C minor).  This piece is long and difficult, but you might not suspect either if you knew it only from this clean and shrewdly paced performance.

-The New York Times

 

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