"I found Mr.
Després's interpretations very refreshing. I also was quite satisfied
with the selections on the CD. While there may be a temptation to explore
his "dark side", the music featured on this disc lean more to
the "spiritual" Liszt. I have a feature called "The Midnight
Lullaby", and I am anxious to play at least 3 of these selections
for that slot."
has developed a smooth and flexible technique which can handle just about
any problem Liszt devised."
showed that he is a Bartok player after the composer's own heart. Despres
played with imagination and incisive, accurate rhythm, but he always brought
out the singing quality in the music. It's that mixture of beautiful song
and singing dissonance that makes Bartok's music so memorable, and Despres'
performance was also memorable."
of an excellent technique, Jacques Despres went even further in the knowledge
and science of his instrument, which bestows him with pianistic means
of the first order. The pianistic control is impeccable, the sonority
magnificent, and the playing is of utmost and constant clarity."
"After the Egmont
Overture, the audience listened to the Emperor Concerto rendered in a
sovereign fashion. This Beethoven masterpiece requires from the performer
great sensitivity and power, which we find in Despres."
"Few major pianists
have given equally convincing performances of Beethoven and Chopin. The
ability to play one composer's music very well seems almost to preclude
doing as well with the other. But Despres proved an exception to this
"He once more
revealed himself an artist of refined taste, quivering sensitivity, intelligence,
and discipline, through which filter a love of music-making. He is a willful
interpreter of undeniable insight--the possessor of a sure and at times
stunning technique who never wants to only dazzle."