In the Prokofiev concerto, Mr. Bronfman displayed an eerily relaxed mastery of every pianistic challenge: the crazed first-movement cadenza; the whirlwind Scherzo with its nonstop rippling runs; the spiky, hard-driven finale, with its keyboard-spanning leaps. His sound was steely in the aggressive outbursts yet tender in wistfully lyrical moments, like the middle of the slow movement, where a theme of folk-music simplicity appears.
– New York Times, 1-08-10 [Anthony Tommasini]
Shakespeare’s immortal rustic, Bottom, could have described Yefim Bronfman better than any music writer: “I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove. I will roar you as ‘twere any nightingale.”
Oxymoron or not, this fits the Russian-Israeli powerhouse perfectly. No matter what he plays, one feels that his fingers want to roar, to pound, to tear the piano to bits with the Promethean strength which he possesses. but no, he is Prometheus bound–bound by the notes, the conductor, the rules of the game.
– ConcertoNet, 1-07-10 [Harry Rolnick]
"To say that Bronfman and Mehta all but sailed through the Bartók Thursday is no slight. This happens to be one of the most virtuosic concertos in the standard repertory and Bronfman’s playing was a finely spun whirl of notes that verged on the unbelievable... it was impossible to take one’s eyes or ears off the bear-like, protean pianist, who has both technical brawn and a glittery grace. He can usually be counted on for an encore. This time it was Schumann’s “Arabesque,” and it was exquisite."
– Los Angeles Times, 12-11-09 [Mark Swed]
"Personality was abundant at the keyboard. It's safe to say there is no pianist around remotely like Yefim Bronfman. Labor doesn't seem to ever enter the equation; he is simply everywhere, instantly and all the time. And he does it with none of the narcissistic visual drama, the bang and the flash, of some others."
– The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10-03-09 [Peter Dobrin]
"Brahms’ massive four-movement work oozes with emotion and drama, and Bronfman rose to the challenge. His fluid technique and rich romantic color infused the music with passion from the opening movement."
– Kansas City Star, 9-26-09 [Tim McDonald]
"For Berg's Op. 1 Piano Sonata, the composer's first fully mature score, Yefim Bronfman was on hand to elucidate both the formal workings and the luminous rhetoric of the piece, with a colorful and muscular rendition."
– San Francisco Chronicle, 6-05-09 [Joshua Kosman]
"Watching Bronfman perform from this close-up vantage point, I couldn't help but wonder how it came across in other parts of the hall, though I doubt anyone could have thought this performance to be less than impressive, regardless of what one thought of the piece itself (there seems to be a number of Schubert partisans in the audience for these concerts). This again points to the the distinct pleasures to be had from the concert-going experience. The nature of the piece, of the work, is influenced, indeed it is ineluctably impacted, by the performer through whose hands or voice it is interpreted. Thank you Yefim- that was an experience I am never going to forget. You killed it. Seriously."
– Examiner.com, 6-05-09 [Mark Rudio]
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