Cédric Pescia - Reviews

Due to the copyright restrictions in Germany and Switzerland these are only a few reviews which we are explicitly allowed to use. Unfortunately, for this reason a large number of press reviews may not be used at the moment.

  • www.pianistmagazine.com - CD Schumann Vol. 6 - Editor’s Choice

  • “In Kreisleriana’s opening, Pescia gives us an incredible feeling of energetic drive, melded with a sense of freedom and beauty of tone even in the hardest of quick, forte passagework. When Pescia turns his attention to sublime slower sections, such as the fourth movement, he never succumbs to dragging the tempo – his phrasing speaks with straightforward intimacy. Pescia’s way with the devilish Toccata is light and flowing, with power in reserve to maintain momentum to the end.” (EW, 03/17)

  • BBC Magazine - CD Schubert 1828

  • “Impeccable elegance, unwavering tonal beauty, exemplary ensemble, all are united here in performances of exceptional sophistication.” (April 2015)

  • www.prestoclassical.co.uk - CD Schubert 1828

  • “Cédric Pescia is a born Schubertian. He knows how to convey 'Sehnsucht', that compelling melancholy inseparable from so many of the Viennese composer’s works. He has adopted, in his phrasing, the gait of the walker that traverses Schubert’s landscapes. His sonority is songlike, delicate, yet he is capable of unleashing storms in the most dramatic passages! This album, gathering together four masterpieces of the year 1828, is a declaration of unbounded love for Schubert.”

  • www.musicweb-international.com - CD Beethoven

  • “Although not reviewed by MusicWeb International when it was first issued in 2009, I was so impressed by this recording when I first heard it recently that I was anxious to spread the news. [...] This final trilogy boasts many sublime realizations on CD, among my favourites are those by Igor Levit, Alfred Brendel and Pollini. I have no hesitation in adding Cédric Pescia’s offering to this august list. He has a lofty vision, applying his formidable intellect and musicianship to the service of these works. He allows the music to flow naturally and speak for itself, not imposing his personality on it. He has obviously lived with these scores for a while, allowing them to mature, as his grasp of their structure and architecture is remarkable. This is playing which certainly commands attention. [...] I can think of no better advocate for these last three sonatas than Cédric Pescia.” (Stephen Greenbank, 9/15)

  • www.musicweb-international.com - CD The Art of the Fugue

  • “This is an excellent recording and one of the most interesting versions of The Art of Fugue I have heard for quite some time.” (Dominy Clements, 14.07.14)

  • www.allmusic.com - CD Cage

  • “Cédric Pescia’s 2012 release on Æon is a worthy addition to the growing list of first-rate recordings, and the care and subtlety he brings to his performance contribute to the music’s piquant charm and haunting ambience. Because much of this work is quite soft and sparse, and intended to be played with the lightest touch, listeners should pay close attention to follow Pescia’s controlled and extremely refined interpretation.”

  • Miami Herald - Miami International Piano Festival

  • “Pescia is a thinking man’s pianist. His rock-solid technique is wedded to an intellectual approach that often yields unconventional, fascinating perspectives on familiar repertoire. […] Pescia attacked the score [of Le Courlis Cendré] with gusto, dispatching Messiaen’s hand crossings at top speed. Contrasting hues and subtle dynamics illuminated the modernist impressionist haze of this nature portrait. […] As with Peter Serkin, Pescia’s Beethoven is a thoroughly contemporary interpretation that remains true to the austere and dissonant sound world of Beethoven’s late works. Pescia emphasized the wildness of the Allegro molto - hardly a scherzo in its unbridled fury - the pauses suggesting terror. The fugue in the final movement was unhurried, the music imbued with noble authority. Pescia’s performance spanned the emotional spectrum from serene to demonic. […] [In Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze] Pescia was on a wild ride. Extreme speeds, strong contrasts and emotional turmoil boiled beneath the surface dance rhythms. For all the power and rhythmic bite of his performance, Pescia’s soft playing and moments of repose proved most memorable. He vividly conveyed both Schumann’s erratic personality and sense of romance.”

  • International Record Review - CD Beethoven

  • “Indeed, the one pianist who Pescia most recalls is Pollini. Both play without exaggeration, display an awareness of the long line and project an intense emotional response to the music without ever spilling over into excess.”

  • Gramophone CD Bach

  • “In some ways he appears to shadow Glenn Gould’s outstanding 1959 Salzburg Festival performance.”

  • International Piano Magazine - CD R. Schumann

  • “Having been impressed by Cédric Pescia's 2004 debut release of Bach's Goldberg Variations, I was fascinated to see what he would make of the arch-Romantic Schumann…I was lost in admiration at playing of such imperious command and natural feeling for Schumann's elusive idiom. The little chromatically rippling asides that litter his music are sensitively handled, and whenever Schumann turns introspective Pescia is totally in his element. Unlike Kinderszenen, op. 68 really is «for the young», and I doubt whether its special atmosphere has ever been so successfully captured on disc as here. Highly recommended.“

  • Gramophone - CD R. Schumann

  • “Finghin Collins's first volume in Claves's complete cycle of Schumann's piano music (A/06) may be a hard act to follow but in Cédric Pescia, a young French-Swiss pianist, the label has chosen well. Vivacious, lucid and affectionate, all his performances are unfailingly musical. He plays Album for the Young without a hint of condescension but with an open-hearted delight that makes something very special of ‘In memoriam’ (an eloquent tribute to Mendelssohn) to the fragrant ‘May, Sweet May’, before compelling us to guess the underlying meaning of those pieces teasingly marked only with three asterisks. In No 39 he evokes an uncanny sense of wintry stillness, of gently falling snow and pealing bells. And all this is achieved without a hint of artifice, yet with rare poetic inwardness and pianistic finesse, qualities also present in his readings of Papillons and the Davidsbündlertänze. Here, again his playing takes wing, conveying the capricious flight of Schumann’s imagination, his whimsicality, his play of light and shade. My only query would be an over-brisk tempo for the Eusebian rapture of No 14 from the Davidsbündlertänze, though his response to the coda is glowingly committed. Finally, Pescia makes a touching valedictory gesture, playing the E flat Variations composed a week before Schumann's confinement in the Endenich asylum, before his final and tragic “fade away into the eternal night”. The tortuous final variation could hardly be played with a greater sense of its inwardness and pain and I eagerly look forward to further recordings by this outstandingly gifted pianist. Claves's sound is as warm and natural as the performances.”

  • Irish Times - New Ross Piano Festival

  • “In New Ross he offered Couperin, Messiaen, Chopin and Debussy, and had interesting slants on everything he played. (...) His most memorable achievement was the wonderful, evocative clarity of his account of Le Courlis cendré from Messiaen’s Catalogue d'Oiseaux.”

  • International piano magazine CD Bach

  • “Pescia plays the work without any repeats, and concieve it firmly as a cycle, within which some variations are grouped together and other consciously isolated. Naturally one cannot avoid comparison with Glenn Gould, who also made this work his first studio recording, and there are some similarities in terms of the rhythmic springiness given to certain passages. However, in Pescia's case this even proceed as far as a few un-Gouldian notes inégale. Pescia is suitably crisp in his articulation and ornementation and he is a fine contrapuntal guide, with the voices nicely distinct. His tonal palette is wide and he uses the full resources of the piano, not a million miles from Rosalyn Tureck's approach. Like Tureck, too, he does not shrink from an incisive forte sound, which is welcome in a work that, whatever its origins in diversions from insomnia, cannot afford to continually pad about in stockinged feet if its proper emotional range is to become apparent. Pescia's reading is very much that of a young man sharing the excitement of discovery and fresh insight, and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. He plays with imagination, a crucial quality in any Bach player and is sensitive to the work's humanity. He is recorded extremly well in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where the acoustic particularly suits the piano.”

  • International record review CD Bach

  • “[…] pianist blessed with genuine musicality, rock-solid technique and beautiful tone (abetted by Claves’s excellent engineering)…impressive début.”

  • Deseret News Salt Lake City

  • “In his first appearance in Salt Lake City since winning the gold medal at last year's Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, Cedric Pescia proved once again that he is a great talent on the brink of becoming one of today's major figures on the international concert scene. Playing in recital Wednesday evening, the young Swiss pianist presented an impressive program of works by Domenico Scarlatti, Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven. Pescia opened his recital with three sonatas by Scarlatti. The two outer works (both in G major, K. 55 and K. 455) were nuanced, well-phrased and well-articulated. Pescia's crisp playing and clean lines added to the overall brilliance of these charming pieces. On the other hand, the middle of the three sonatas (in B minor, K. 87) was played with feeling and tenderness, giving attention to the expressive nature of the work. Pescia's interpretation beautifully underscored the poignancy and subtlety of character… his playing (of Debussy) was infinitely expressive, and he managed to bring out the essence of each prelude with amazing clarity. In these preludes, Pescia exhibited remarkable interpretive prowess as he explored each of these fascinating pieces. And by presenting his listeners with a uniquely personal interpretation, he also offered them a fresh perspective that was welcome. The recital concluded with Beethoven's monumental and imposing Sonata in C minor, op. 111. The pianist attacked the first movement of the sonata with a ferocity that set the tone for the entire movement. His tempo was forceful and charged with electricity, enabling him to bring out the boldness of the music in dynamic, sweeping phrases. The long second movement allowed Pescia the chance to express himself to the fullest. He infused the theme with an inner peace that made the following variations all the more striking, as they presented different perspectives of it.In Pescia’s heartfelt reading, Beethoven has certainly found a worthy interpreter of his music.”