Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Scott Noriega
Fanfare, March 2016

…Horvath performs the works…the way that Glass would like to himself. And there is hardly a higher compliment that one could pay to a performing musician. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

primephonic, February 2016

Glass is commonly referred to as a minimalist composer, though he prefers to think of himself as composing “music with repetitive structures”. This is apparent in the Études, which are indeed repetitive, but feature an incredible amount of expression and variety. Horvath applies a Romantic interpretation of the Études, which greatly emphasizes their expressive nature and brings the etudes to life. © 2016 primephonic Read complete review

Stephen J. Nereffid
Music is Good, January 2016

Favourite classical albums of 2015 #12

2015 was the year Philip Glass became one of my favourite composers again. I first fell in love with his late-70s/early-80s works (such as the “trilogy operas”) but wasn’t so impressed with his subsequent work. More recently, though, he seems to have found new focus (or perhaps it’s just me), and the two sets of etudes from 1995 and 2012 add a dash of romanticism to his familiar style. © 2016 Music is Good

Steve Holtje
Culture Catch, January 2016

Best Classical Albums 2015

Not to slight Glass’s own considerable talents, but Horvath has a richer tone, and the Etudes really blossom under his fingers; as he plays them, there is no denying their place in the Etude tradition. © 2016 Culture Catch

Rob Haskins
American Record Guide, January 2016

[Horvath]’s a fine pianist with a virtuosic charisma and a thoroughly romantic view of these pieces. That’s perfectly appropriate… The approach works especially well in the extroverted 15, and Horvath’s formidable technique serves the much more minimal 10 just as effectively. On the more lyrical side of the emotional spectrum, Horvath’s fine use of rubato gives Etude 2 an expressive immediacy that other performances I’ve heard lack.

Glass’s etudes are a bedrock of his keyboard music, and with advocates as compelling as Nicolas Horvath, I suspect they will become extremely popular works with concert pianists. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Paul Muller, November 2015

Etude 12…opens with strong repeating figures that impart a complex, questioning feel along with cross currents and a swirling, unsettled aspect. Etude 13 is a frantic, slightly out of control piece, filled with powerful scales running up and down that seem almost disoriented at times. By contrast, Etude 16 is smooth and restrained, with a calm, reflective feeling that is beautifully brought out by the sensitive playing of Nicolas Horvath. Number 19 is slower with a series of single, deliberate notes in the bass line combined with nicely articulated counterpoint in the upper registers that produce a more contemporary feel.

Nicolas Horvath, with precise playing and imaginative interpretation has made Glassworlds 2 an indispensable reference for the serious enthusiast as well as marking an important milestone in the evolution of the music of Philip Glass. © 2015 Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2015

The works were composed in spurts from the nineties through to nearly today. They have a cyclical quality as one might expect from Glass. The brilliant Lisztian-Rachmaninovian virtuosity that Nicolas Horvath brings to the cycle generates a good deal of bravado and even excitement. It makes of the Etudes a series of grand flourishes, of tumultuous outbursts that become something more than a sort of rote attention to the motifs would give you. © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, September 2015

…Horvath can perform these etudes in a way that brings intense expression to their abstract qualities without ever overplaying his hand…that one can, indeed, listen to these twenty etudes in a single sitting as a “virtual concert experience.” © 2015 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2015

The second disc in the series of piano music by the American-born composer, Philip Glass, covers his twenty Etudes begun in 1991 and completed in 2012. ‘Their purpose was two-fold,’ he recalls, ‘first to provide new music for my solo piano concerts, and second for me to expand my piano technique’. That he did not set out to compose Etudes is evident by the use of titles for the early pieces, and which, in early interviews, he described as Preludes. So we do not have any musical key relationships as the series progresses, but they are of similar length and quiet mood. At times, as in the Sixth, you can view them as a modern extension of Rachmaninov, and that particular score does call for a virtuoso approach. There was then a very long gap between the first book and the second, during which Glass wrote little piano music. When he did return to them they were more akin to the Minimalist era, though at the same time they became very listener-friendly. For the pianist they presented difficulties, the repeated ostinato needing agile fingers, while the thirteenth is rhythmically unusual, and the fourteenth really needs three hands. Turbulence was gaining the upper hand by the time we arrive at the final three composed for his 75th birthday in 2012, yet the Twentieth is unexpectedly of quiet beauty and could well have come from mainstream music of the early 20th century. The French-born pianist, Nicolas Horvath, has these works in his repertoire, and it shows with the natural flow of his performances, his range of colours being the key to the disc’s success. Somehow they have shoe-horned almost 84 minutes onto the disc, and the sound quality remains in the premiere league. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group