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Dave Saemann
Fanfare, January 2017

Perhaps the most timeless selection on the CD is the Siciliano from a Bach flute sonata, which opens the album. Here everything seems to have fallen into place in the arrangement without a wasted note. Banowetz’s rendition of it is exquisite, evoking the great pianist-composers of Friedman’s time. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Peter Burwasser
Fanfare, January 2017

This delightful collection of mostly brief encore pieces serves as a kind of period piece. …In listening to his recording of the Chopin Nocturne, op. 55/2, one hears his exquisite control of dynamic shading as well as a glowing tonality. But there is also a somewhat quirky rhythmic pacing, as well as a tendency to break harmonies with unauthorized arpeggiations, contributing to a sense of self-absorption that was all too common in those times. To his great credit, Joseph Banowetz, who has established himself as a Friedman connoisseur, does not shy away from these stylistic tics, but actually incorporates them into his recreation of Friedman’s manner. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Mark Novak
Fanfare, January 2017

Everything is lovingly and passionately performed by Joseph Banowetz on a Steinway D concert grand piano in a recording made in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo, NY. The sound captures the full tonality of that fine instrument in an ideal space. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, January 2017

Banowetz plays this music with affection and understanding, and with a strong technique that does not call attention to itself—no “playing to the gallery” here either. His legato playing and control over dynamics, as well as his balancing of chords, make this a most refined listening experience. This was recorded in a church in Buffalo, New York, and what the sound lacks in brilliance it makes up for in warmth and richness. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, January 2017

The 15 transcriptions selected by pianist Joseph Banowetz are tasteful and unobtrusive for the most part, in striking contrast to some of Busoni’s more spectacular Bach transcriptions; but there are virtuosic challenges, both hidden and overt, wrapped inside Friedman’s faithfulness to the originals.

This rewarding album can be enjoyed from two perspectives: first as a lovely program of sensitive transcriptions, and second as a historical record of how the modern era of the grand piano approached a much earlier era when the organ and harpsichord dominated. …Warmly recommended. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Alan Becker
American Record Guide, January 2017

FRIEDMAN, I.: Original Piano Compositions (J. Banowetz) GP711
FRIEDMAN, I.: Piano Transcriptions (Banowetz) GP712

Fine recording, good notes, and playing of notable expertise. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jonathan Welsh
MusicWeb International, November 2016

…stunningly well played and phrased throughout.

…the piano sound is extremely well captured and the playing is fantastic. The music sustains interest throughout. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Dave Saemann
Fanfare, October 2016

Throughout this collection of transcriptions, our appreciation is aided immensely by Joseph Banowetz’s almost serendipitous understanding of the period’s style.

Perhaps the most timeless selection on the CD is the Siciliano from a Bach flute sonata, which opens the album. Here everything seems to have fallen into place in the arrangement without a wasted note. Banowetz’s rendition of it is exquisite, evoking the great pianist-composers of Friedman’s time. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




BBC Music Magazine, September 2016

A homage to the Polish pianist Ignaz Friedman (1882–1948), this collection of his transcriptions never quite finds its voice. But there are a few premiere recordings and the playing is thoughtful. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2016

Three months ago I reviewed a disc of works by the Polish-born Ignaz Friedman, detailing the career of one of the great pianists born at the close of the 19th century. As with all such keyboard virtuosos of his era, he was much involved in transcriptions of music from previous generations, though he did not indulge in ‘pianistic effects of breathtaking bravura’, as the disc sleeve would want us to believe. Quite the contrary, as most of the tracks on the disc are well within the realms of the amateur pianist. What he did achieve was to translate to a modern concert grand long forgotten works by composers who had, in his day, become unfashionable, including Bach, Rameau, Scarlatti and Couperin, and as such he was using his fame to help reinstate their names in concert programmes. Indeed, and unlike Liszt, he resisted the temptation to move a long way from a literal reproduction of the original, at times adding some pleasing decoration, as we hear in Field’s Fifth Nocturne, or the obvious necessity of moving pedal notes to the left hand for the Third of Franck’s Six Organ Pieces. My own delight comes in rarely heard pieces by the French Baroque composer, Jean-François Dandrieu, and the disc’s most extended track with the little known Adagio by the eighteenth century Italian composer, Giovanni Battista Grazioli. The famous American pianist, Joseph Banowetz, displays his ability to charm the ear with the utmost delicacy. In summary, a mixed bag of music that offers frequent delights. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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