Testimonials of Listeners and Colleagues

Thomas Ricoeur, 23 December 2002:

Three weeks ago, I found in Paris the Elena Kuschnerova Scriabine CD (Etudes Op. 8, Préludes Op. 11, Poèmes Op. 32). Like all of you, I had previously read some comments about this pianist which Dmitry had posted on this forum and, although I dislike MP3, I had listened to some clips, just in order to confirm that she was a "real" great pianist – no doubt, she is! So, I bought this Scriabine CD immediately when I saw it.

First, I have to say that I've listen to it six or seven times in its entirety – the last one this morning – which is quite exceptional, at least for me, concerning a Scriabine recording (like Richter, I think that "Scriabine cannot be our daily bread: it's a heady liquor"…) Absolutely no "saturation" with Kuschnerova's playing though…

The CD begin with the famous Etude Op. 2/1 which first surprised me: quite a slow tempo, as if Kuschnerova wanted to avoid the natural (and perhaps too "facile"…) lyricism of this piece. But I must say that after having listen to it several times, I'm fully convinced: Kuschnerova's playing for sure does have lyricism, but it's never at the expense of structure and dramatic progression – which great quality we can enjoy all through the recording.

I dislike Scriabine when it is played in an excessive "mystical" way, with some streams of "undifferentiated" notes, without enough characterisation. Everybody knows that Scriabine was quite a mad man, so many pianists transform this music into a kind of "unhealthy" music – in a sense, they confuse in my opinion music and psychology… I personally think that just because this music is "fragile", "unstable" or "fragmented", the interpreter has to be structurally firm!

The more recent example I can remember is a Volodos recital last summer: almost 45 minutes of music – "late" Scriabine first, in order to "stun" the audience! –, and it was quite impossible, at least for me, to understand anything. I could barely distinguish each piece he was playing… It was a kind of pianistic "soup", some "invertebrate" music, with a lot of "strange" effects (probably because Scriabine was a "strange" man…) Without any doubt, I think that it's possible to find another means of bringing out the dizziness of this music!

Kuschnerova in my opinion is standing at the opposite: she takes the music very seriously, and tries to give each piece she's playing its due. The lines of force – which do exist! – are coming out, and the construction is always very clear. Listen for instance to the "accompaniment" at the left hand in some Preludes Op. 11 which could be a little bit "salonnards": Kuschnerova always has class and behaviour (unlike Gavrilov, for example), without simplifying the rhythmical complexity. She characterises a lot, and this music seems immediately much more interesting…

But naturally, Scriabine, at least in his youth, was still a very romantic composer, and his music needs temperament, passion, etc. So, I have to say that Elena Kuschnerova possesses all of that: her playing is quite powerful (the MP3 of the Etude Op. 8 n°3 that Dmitry has uploaded will be enough to prove that), and she has, for sure, great personality, although not particularly "eccentric" (she's not looking for originality at all costs). In other respects, it's continually singing, with a lot of feeling, but without sentimentalising. Some typical Russian pathos, I would say…

So, at least here in France, some critics will certainly prefer more "transparency", indeed a more "impressionist" approach (cf. "Le Monde de la Musique", who required more "légèreté", and who quoted Kun-Woo Paik in his review…) Of course, Elena Kuschnerova isn't afraid of the pedal, for instance. But for me, no question, Russian musical lyricism needs some rich, dense and profound sound – which Elena Kuschnerova possesses (her technique is not only "digital", for sure!)

In my opinion, to play the piano with a lot of "colours" isn't really important if these colours have a purely decorative role. It only produces effects – which is quite frequent, alas, when "western" pianists are playing this kind of music… Nothing like that with Kuschnerova: her deep and varied sound really "conducts" the phrases.
And the colours aren't coming "after", in order to "ornament" the structure – the sound fully partakes of the architecture of the music.

To conclude, I would say that although I had for long time several other versions, I have really "discover" some of these Etudes and Preludes with this recording. This music became for the first time quite familiar to me. I love the Kuschnerova's poetry, always very stately and dignified (Op. 8 n° 4, n° 5, Op. 11 n° 2, n° 8, etc.),
and the more I listen to this recording, the more I like it – even if I would have preferred a less reverberated acoustic…

Naturally, I tried to "rate" Elena Kuschnerova with the greatest "established" references: Sofronitzky, Horowitz, etc., and I must say she has a lot going for her – and not only the modern quality of the sound! Sofronitzky is probably more "expressionist", more frenzied; but such a playing can tire… Kuschnerova's playing in my opinion has more "plasticity", and perhaps more charm… So, let's say that Sofronitzky remains a "heady liquor", whereas Kuschnerova could become my "daily bread"!

Anyway, I have ordered online the other recordings she has made, and I really hope I could be present at one of her future recital very soon.

Dave de Lucia, Connecticut, USA, 7 June 2003:

I've spent the better part of the morning listening to mostly live performances on Kuschnerova's website as well as sound clips from various other areas, having previously been impressed by an upload of her playing the last movement of Prokofiev's seventh piano sonata. Oh my God! Her tone is ravishing, her rubato impeccable, her feel for tempo extremely well developed, her chords voiced like you've never heard them voiced....I could go on and on. I was particularly interested in her live performance of the last movement of Stravinsky's 3 movements of Petrouchka, Pollini's studio recording being my previous yardstick.  Kuschnerova's interpretation of this is more "plastic" than Pollini's, lines breath better and the amount of colors and shadings applied are only hinted at by Pollini.  As a matter of fact in the area of color, shading, and dynamic gradation, Kuschnerova is second to none, period.  She could even give  "Martha, Martha, Martha" lessons in sensitivity to color and line.  Remember those silly "Color by Number" kits?? To use an analogy, Kuschnerova's kit has 124 colors.  Martha's only has 48 (as do most other pianists!)  Whether she is playing Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, or Scriabin, Elena is a master. She is in absolute control yet never, even for a second, hysterical or theatrical.  Her choice of tempo is uncanny... you feel the piece simply cannot work at any other tempo. And while her live performances are not absolutely note perfect (who cares?) with music making like this wrong notes are an exceedingly minor part of the total presentation. Elena's Scriabin is mind boggling, her Liszt Sonnet out and out gorgeous (I cried), and her Pictures at an Exhibition noble and refined.  Interesting, she had a common teacher with Lugansky's! There are some parallels, notable in the poetic approach to music making and the suave, ultra smooth sense of line. Certainly, Elena is one of the finest living woman pianists.  Please listen to this amazing artist as soon as possible for some illuminating, thoughtful interpretations that are emotionally and intellectually satisfying.

Dave de Lucia, Connecticut, USA, 7 June 2003:

The amazing Elena Kuschnerova, who has exquisite tone that puts Kissin to shame! As a matter of fact, few living or dead pianists approach her in this respect. She is simply incapable of making a dry, ugly sound. This might be a good time to sing Elena's praises in general. So here we go with "Eight Reasons You Should Listen to Elena Kuschnerova":

1. Her sense of rhythm is beyond criticism.. listen to the Scriabin disc and prepare to drop your jaw to the floor!

2. There is a sense of joy in her interpretations that is largely absent from the classical music scene today. Elena's enthusiasm is contagious! One simply cannot get enough of this kind of playing. My advice to young people.. get off the smoking and drinking and latch on to Elena's safety rope.. she's the best kind of "drug" I can think of.

3. Elena is so musical, you will be in awe. The way she moves longer phrases is second to none and a model for us all.

4. Elena has recording a wide variety of literature, from Bach through Ravel and Chopin to Stravinsky. Whatever vein she chooses to tap, she is the master. And Elena is incapable of playing anything indifferently, not even for a microsecond!!

5. Elena has a natural feeling for climaxes. Her sound is round and full, never harsh or clattery.

6. Elena is so graceful when she plays, kind of like a ballet dancer pirouetting in time to the music. I love watching her play!

7. The perfection of her playing is inspiring.. as I said on her website, "How can you listen to Elena and not believe in God?"

8. Elena is obviously such a nice person who goes out of her way to make music interesting for you. Please repay the favor by listening to her uploads, buying her CDs, and supporting Dmitry in his touching faith in his wife's considerable talent. God bless you Elena, and may you be bequeathed many more years to bring musical pleasure to others!

Gerrie Collins, DMA, Florida, 28 October 2003:

This woman is a top-shelf pianist and hopefully she will be making a New York debut soon. The following comments are on just three of her videos: 

Brahms-Paganini Variations: Very solid musicality and technique. Nice to hear some wonderful tonal qualities not sacrificed for a  too-speedy virtuosity in some of the variations. I have always preferred the 2nd Book of these variations, principally for the two gorgeous inimitable-Brahms variations in A and F, which Elena played very sensitively. 

Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody #10: Exciting, involved playing, and virtuosity to spare. The style and rhythmic nuances of this genre are compellingly lucid and  intrinsically felt in this performance. Magnificent scales and glissandos.  How in the world did she manage to get just about every one of the numerous glisses to end so smoothly and precisely on the 'ordained' note!  Not my favorite HR, but Elena made it so much more interesting than others that I have heard in it.

Chopin Etude 10/12: A heady, blistering performance. Excellent clarity and shape in the LH figures and a commanding evocation of that RH octaves theme.  An attention-getting flawless performance. This pianist should certainly be better known and accoladed than she is, although she has garnered some very  impressive reviews already.

Adam Yoon, USA, 29 October 2003:

I received a couple of Elena Kuschnerova's CDs a few weeks ago - her debut album and a Scriabin CD.

These recordings confirmed my feeling that Elena is really one of the great talents today. There are remarkable, unique qualities about her playing, and strong musical sensibilities which, dare I say, separate her from most of today's crop of pianists.

Elena has an intense, personal sound world, and this is perhaps best captured in the recording studio where I feel she shines. Although she has an extroverted virtuosic side which we see in the videos of the Liszt/Chopin, Elena is actually more introverted and reflective.

Her Scriabin CD is top shelf material; it's evident that this recording was the result of "living" with these pieces and soul-searching.

On the debut CD, Kuscherova's program includes Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky (originally for orchestra), Faschingsschwank aus Wien Op.26 by Schumann, Debussy Image 1, and Prokofiev Sonata #3.

The Tchaikovsky variations are a real pianistic treat, and something I've never heard before on piano.

In the Op.26 work by Schumann, Elena gives this work much character and substance, in a great performance that will delight as well as raise some eyebrows. It seems to me Elena has a great affinity for the works of Schumann, and one looks forward to performances of Carnaval or the Symphonic Etudes. In the last piece of the Op.26, Elena injects a degree of romanticism which which is rare and breathtaking.

I really enjoyed Elena's very personal, colorful account of the Prokofiev Sonata #3, as well as Debussy's Images.

This disc is an outstanding one from one of today's most talented pianists. Elena's pianism is somewhat unique-Russian in it's sweep and virtuosity, yet Germanic in its poise and balance. In Elena, I hear a musicality which is rare nowadays, and one which perhaps whose best days are yet to come.

Loïc Serrurier, Paris-Lille, 1 November 2003:

Chers amis,

Après une absence de quelques jours due à l'organisation du Festival Clef de Soleil qui a démarré ce Samedi à Lille, je me permets de vous faire partager mes impressions quant au récital qu'Elena Kuschnerova donna en ouverture du dit récital ce Samedi.

Il s'agissait tout simplement du programme le plus audacieux qu'il m'ait été donné d'entendre dans un récital de piano. Les Variations Salieri de Beethoven, l'opus 116 de Brahms dans son entier et le second livre des Variations Paganini du Hambourgeois. Seconde partie encore plus exigeante et "folle" puisqu'après les redoutables petites pièces de Moussorgsky, 4 études de Scriabine et les variations d'Alexander Lokshin, Elena, insatiable, s'attaqua aux si injouables Mouvements de Petrouchka de Stravinsky! Et pas moins de 3 bis devant une "standing ovation" bien méritée: le superbe prélude de Bach transcrit par Siloti, une chanson sans parole de Fauré et l'époustouflante Polka de Moussorgsky (la plus dure des pièces de tout le récital dixit la pianiste!).

De nombreux mélomanes lillois mais aussi étrangers s'étaient déplacés pour ce concert... Et tous firent ce dérangeant constat: pourquoi une artiste si douée, une si grande musicienne, n'a-t-elle pas plus d'engagements? Le monde ne semble plus tourner très rond! Ainsi, pour la saison prochaine à Lille, un concert que Lugansky donnera au mois de Mars est déjà complet, alors qu'un autre concert de Zimerman en Octobre, ne l'est pas encore! Le monde à l'envers! La triste victoire du marketing sur la qualité...

Mais bon, le sujet n'est pas là. La soirée fut formidable, mémorable à n'en pas douter pour tous. Et l'occasion de découvrir pour la première fois en récital en France une grande dame du piano. Pas une de ces virtuoses russes uniquement "digitales". Mais une musicienne qui à côté d'une technique incomparable émeut dans Brahms, époustoufle dans Stravinsky... Et je ne me souvenais guère avoir entendu des Scriabin si érotiques.

Un seul mot. Merci Elena. A coup sûr, elle sera de nouveau en France prochainement, car à l'occasion de ce concert, elle séduisit entre autres des organisateurs de concert qui promirent de la faire revenir dans la région Nord. Avant d'autres régions peut-être?

En tout cas, en attendant, je vous conseille à tous d'écouter ses disques! Ils sont édités chez Orfeo (1 Moussorgsky, 1 Bach) et Ars Musici (1 Scriabin, 1 Prokofiev). Un autre superbe enregistrement (dont la plus belle 3ème sonate de Prokofiev que je connaisse) est disponible en Allemagne chez Bella Musica...

Tout ces enregistrements et bien d'autres encore peuvent être écouytés sur le site web de la pianiste: elenakuschnerova.com.

En premier lieu, je recommande son CD Scriabine (Préludes + études), chez Ars Musici. Elena "érotise" cette musique à souhait. Un grand moment.

En second lieu, son CD Moussorgsky chez Orfeo, avec outre des Tableaux très singuliers (écoutez le Schmuyle!), d'autres petites pièces qu'Elena affirme être parmi les plus difficiles de tout son répertoire! Et harmoniquement, et du point de vue de l'art de moduler, ce sont de petits bijoux. Elena est l'une des rares à les jouer régulièrement en concert. La Polka qui figure sur ce disque, redoutable morceau de bravoure que Moussorgsky composa à seulement 14 ans (!), est l'un des bis favoris d'Elena.

Enfin, il faut connaître son disque Bach live (chez Orfeo également). Elena s'était fait une spécialité de Bach au Conservatoire de Moscou! Très tôt, elle jouait les principales oeuvres pour clavier de Bach (sauf les Goldberg, dans lesquelles elle n'ose pas, à tort à mon avis, se lancer). Son concerto italien est très chantant. Elena, contrairement à d'autres pianistes, ne cherche pas à mettre en avant la polyphonie dans Bach (à l'inverse d'un Katsaris par exemple, qui s'amuse systématiquement à mettre en valeur toutes les voix); elle préfère en faire ressentir la richesse mélodique et harmonique "sans effet appuyé".

Pour ceux qui vivent en Allemagne, deux autres joyaux: son disque chez Bella Musici (avec la plus formidable troisième sonate de Prokofiev que je connaisse) et son disque Prokofiev (avec en particulier une superbe suite de Roméo et Juliette), qu'Attila Csampaï, célèbre critique outre-Rhin, a classé parmi les 50 meilleurs enregistrements du XXème siècle!

Denis Rey-Bellet, Nyon (CH), 2 November 2003:

J'ai découvert Elena Kuschnerova dans le premier concerto pour piano de Liszt avec la Philharmonie de Baden-Baden.

Ce fut vraiment une révélation ! Elena est une femme charmante à la très forte personnalité disposant d'une technique impressionnante tout en n'étant jamais de la virtuosité pour la virtuosité, une maîtrise des moyens stylistiques... et quelle imagination ! La générosité et la chaleur des âmes russes ! Pour situer le niveau disons que si vous avez eu l'occasion d'écouter Svistoslav Richter ou Lazar Berman dans ce concerto, on n'est vraiment pas du tout dépaysé...

L'orchestre, la Philharmonie de Baden-Baden (à ne pas confondre avec le Südwestfunk Baden-Baden, l'orchestre de la radio) était correct sans plus, malgré quelques erreurs de direction, notamment au niveau des cors et des trombones dans le troisème mouvement du Liszt (trop fort et imprécis dans certains tempo).

Mais revenons à Elena que j'ai longuement rencontrée après le concert: une musicienne exceptionnelle, très exigeante avec elle-même, perfectioniste et profondément humaine.

Je conseille sans hésiter aux mélomanes d'écouter les disques suivant d'Elena Kuschnerova:

1) Modest Moussorgsky: Tableaux d'une exposition, Orfeo (C 284’021 A), 2002.

... oeuvre ô combien jouée et très bien que ce soit par Sviatoslav Richter, Pogorelich, Byron Janis.. j'en passe et des meilleurs. Terrain très glissant me suis-je donc dit et avant d'écouter Elena ! J'ai d'abord bien réécouter Richter, Pogorelich, Byron Janis ! Mais Elena Kuschnerova a réussi à me surprendre. Son disque est simplement fabuleux, car elle y met une vie et des couleurs merveilleuses. En l'écoutant, on visualise, on vit ces tableaux avec une facilité déconcertante et un plaisir immense. Toute semble aller de soi.

2) Segrei Prokofiev: Roméo et Juliette – 10 pièces pour piano Op.75 (1937) / Sonate pour piano No.2 en ré mineur Op.14 (1912) / Marche de l’opéra "L’amour des 3 oranges" Op.22 (1919)

... Prix de la critique allemande ce disque est magnifique. Vivant, habité, servi par une exceptionnelle technique (nécessaire chez un perfectioniste comme Prokofiev, lui même pianiste virtuose), le Roméo et Juliette est sans aucun doute la meilleure versions pianistique qu'il m'ai été donné d'entendre. Les pièces sont habitées, vivantes... le grand frisson !

3) Alexandre Scriabin: Etudes Op.8 - Préludes Op.11 - Poèmes Op.32

... encore une fois près des altitudes anglaises de John Ogdon ou russes de Richter. Aucun effet de technique pourtant impressionnante mais une musique qu'on écoute en se disant ....... mais oui bien sûr.

Quand on découvre Elena, on s'énerve en se disant qu'on aurait voulu l'écouter et de la découvrir plus tôt ! D'ailleurs les Japonais, mélomanes très pointus, ne s'y sont pas trompés puisqu'il l'ont invité en 2002 pour des récitals à Tokyo et que Steinway Japon a produit un disque remarquable (Scarlatti, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev). Et elle partira faire une tournée au Japon en 2004.

Une personnalité exceptionnelle et une femme magnifique. A découvrir et à promouvoir en France de toute urgence.

Alec Weil, Tokyo, 4 November 2003:

Elena Kuschnerova has been touring Japan for the past 4 years under the auspices of Steinway & Sons, Japan Ltd., and it has been my privilige to conduct these tours, during which she has played concerts not only in Tokyo, but in some fairly remote parts of Japan, combined with master classes.

Although much less unknown now than she was a few years ago, Elena Kuschnerova remains one of the great undiscovered talents of our day; a pianist with enormous range and power who continues to improve.  Her playing, although firmly grounded in the Russian pianistic tradition, can also be very un-Russian at times, as she is by no means a member of the loud and fast school.  To understand this, listen to her Bach, or her Prokofiev.

What one misses in a CD is Elena Kuschnerova's dedication to devising a program, as she takes utmost care in both themes and tonalities.  This, as well as her superb tone, which can get the most out of an instrument and a hall.  If she has a defect as an artist, it is her utter seriousness when it comes to music, which can be too much for those looking for mere entertainment.

I should also mention her pedagogic talents, as her master classes have been wonderfully received here.

In particular I find it a shame that North American audiences have yet to hear Elena Kuschnerova.  Here in Japan she has developed a following, which will continue to increase.

Gustavo Herrera, Ecuador, 23 November 2003:

Hello Miss Kuschnerova, my name is Gustavo Herrera, I'm 19, I'm from Ecuador South America, I was just writting to you to tell you how much I love your playing, I'm a really big fan of you, I've heard a lot of pianists but you are the greatest, I watch your videos everyday and listen to you really everyday, I wish that I can play like you... I play the piano since I was 7 with my teacher Angela Haratyunyan and now I'm looking forward to going to the Moscow Conservatory, I've been in some master classes with some pianists, Larissa Dedova and some others, and I am looking forward to be in one of your master classes sometime!!!  Because you are my favorite. 

Jerry Natkin, USA, Greensboro NC, 1 January 2004:

I've just gotten broadband wireless at home, & my son & I have been watching Elena's videos. They are simply stunning - particularly the Liszt 10th Rhapsody and the Petrouchka. I would dearly love to see her play in person; even on video she's one of the most exciting pianists I've ever seen.

Charles Hoffmeister, USA, Laguna Beach CA, 24 May 2004:

I just wanted to express my appreciation for your wonderful performances. The video of Petrouchka, which is a piece I have played at is now my favorite version.  The tonal colors, the range, and of course, the technique make for a performance I will live with as long as I breathe. Just wonderful. I have played many of the things you have on your site, and I usually don't like to listen to other artists' interpretations (only because of overfamiliarity), but your playing has such a wonderful spiritual quality, that I must admit I am swept away.  Thank you so much. If you should ever play in the United States, in California (the Los Angeles area), I can assure you I will be there. In the meantime, I am telling everyone I know about you, and encouraging them to buy your recordings and to listen to your marvellous playing.

Bijuson,  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 17 July 2004 in PianoForum:

I recommend you to go to her site elenakuschnerova.com and get some videos and mp3s. Her Rhapsody Espagnole is the greatest I have ever heard!!! It's is from Tchaikovsky competition of 1990. Anyone knows if she won this competition?

Larry VanDeSande, USA, Mason MI, 1 August 2004 (Customer Review  on Bach CD at amazon.com):

This remarkable CD, recorded during a 2000 concert in Baden Baden, was rightfully graded a rosette in the 2003-04 edition of the Penguin Guide to Classical CDs.

Elena Kuschnerova is not a name familiar to many classical music fans. She was instructed in Russia and now lives in Germany. This Bach album is extraordinary, showing a command of the keyboard with technique to burn and musical understanding beyond her years.

Yet, throughout the concert, the pianist eschews flashiness or technique for its own sake. She is consistently at the service of J.S. Bach and his intentions are completely fulfilled in ways that many far more famous pianists cannot match. All the while, her musical intelligence shows like a beacon on a pitch black evening.

The linchpin in this concert is the monumental Partita No. 6 in E minor, one of Bach's most dramatic keyboard creations that is every bit the equal of Beethoven's final all is dust piano sonatas.

From the dramatic opening scale of the Toccata to the closing bars of the seventh movement Gigue, Kuschnerova never fails to entertain, delight and enthrall with her combined command, technique and understanding. Far from being a traversal a Tocatta and six French dances, she creates an organic entity that carries the listener with its sweep and grandeur. Her playing has an inevitability that projects every phrase, every moment, every note in the score as being correct, dramatic and dignified.

The other pieces on this concert -- a French suite, a Toccata and the famous Italian Concerto -- are all done equally well in sound that is exemplary for a concert recording. On the basis of this CD, Kuschnerova can be cast in league with the greatest Bach exponents of this or any other era -- Richter, Gould and Tureck -- and is miles ahead of Bach contemporaries like Richard Goode, Maria Joao Pires and Pyotr Anderszewski. She is a better technician, a better colorist and more inclined to drama than Canada's Angela Hewitt, the reigning first lady of Bach in Great Britain.

Kuschnerova has every bit of Gould's technique mated to Tureck's understanding of J. S. Bach and Richter's incisive and intelligent approach. With Rosalyn Tureck's death, no living pianist I have heard in Bach recordings matches her gifts of technique, understanding, intelligence and drama.

On the basis of this recording, Kuschnerova should proceed to an acclaimed career in Bach. She has the mechanical tools, understanding and sustained technique to become a giant in Beethoven, as well. 

rohansahai, Allahabad India, 17 October 2004 in PianoForum:

Favourite pieces from WTK? My personal favourite is #16 from Book II. I have the entire set by Richter, but ironically, the Elena Kuschnerova video of the same piece is better than any other interpretation I've heard.

Tuyen, Vietnam, 22 Oct 2004:

Hi Mrs Elena Kuschnerova, my name Tuyen, I'm 22, living in Vietnam, I dont play piano now, I play electric guitar but when I was a child I learned piano for some years... After listening you play hours after hours after hours, I discovered a new world of piano, where everything is freed, a lot of space ..... I collect a lot of piano recordings, and I think there are no pianists that really understand deeply the piano like you, the weekness of the piano, the power of the piano ...  Listen, you bring the real understanding of piano to me, I realize that the piano is the most important instrument, a world of color, melodies ... I especially love you play Chopin's Ballade No.1, the best performance I have ever heard ...

Ralph Dickerson, UK, 1 December 2004:

Dear Elena, what a fantastic and informative website! I especially enjoyed the idea of the downloads. I came across your name when doing a search on Scriabin. Having never heard anything by this Russian composer before, I was intent on buying some of his piano music without ever having heard a note. Thanks to you though, I have been able to sample some of his work. I enjoyed the Etudes and Preludes selections on this website so much, I have now ordered your Scriabin CD which will hopefully arrive in time for Christmas. Thank you so much for providing such wonderful entertainment!

 Mark Fresa, USA, 10 March 2005: 

Elena, thank you, thank you. I'm sure that many people have told you that you are a great artist, and it is true. Please keep giving your art to the world, we need it desperately. I have purchased your Scriabin CD, and it is wonderful! If you ever come to central Florida, please play a few pieces on the piano for us. We never get to see and hear great pianists. It would be a pleasure and honor to meet you. God bless you in your career and work. Keep working!

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