Martino Tirimo

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Selected Reviews

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Concert reviews

“a true giant of the keyboard”
“a wonderfully fresh and vibrant Emperor Concerto.”
“His playing rightfully places Beethoven at the pinnacle of philosophers in music. His qualities are rarities nowdays, among them thought given to every bar and an ability to take the long view instead of adopting short term antics beloved by so many others. This was Beethoven after all, not Chopin!”
Musical Opinion, March-April 2013

“A formidable virtuoso and one with unmistakeable magnetism.”  The Guardian

“His playing is among the most haunting and fascinating of all and the acme of musical refinement.”
“A pianist of vision.”
“Illuminating and masterly Beethoven.”
“Tirimo is an inspiring poet of the piano.”  The Daily Telegraph

“Tirimo made a remarkable U.S. debut with the Cleveland Orchestra. A performer of personality, he gave an interpretation of Brahms' First Piano Concerto in masterly style.”  The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“Tirimo's playing belongs to a past generation of 'greats'. Listening to him, I conjure up aural images of Solomon, Arrau, Kempff, Serkin, Schnabel and Rubinstein.
Throughout the evening, one was consistently aware that this supreme musician placed himself entirely at the service of the composer and the printed score. The audience response to this communicator of the highest calibre was rapturous.”  Music and Vision

“Hereford was the scene for the most intensive schooling of every element of the compendious world of concert-pianism, where one of the world's greatest artists, Martino Tirimo, continues apace, his monumental traversal of the complete solo piano works of Chopin. This most recent odyssey opened up hitherto undreamed of depths of existential despair with a transcedental C minor Nocturne Opus 48 the like of which have never dreamed of anyone's philosophy (unequivocally the finest rendition this writer has ever heard), a series of the tortuously difficult Opus 10 Etudes worthy of Cortot or Plante, and a final A flat Polonaise Opus 53 which was redolent of the inimitable Artur Rubinstein.”  Hereford Times, December 2009

Reviews of recordings

Mozart Complete Piano Sonatas (Regis)

“A major and delightful project. Tirimo is expertly recorded in the Mendelssohn Saal of the Leipzig Gewandhaus. He brings out the essence of the music, nothing being allowed to come between the composer and us.
There are several recommendable complete, or nearly complete, cycles of Mozart's solo piano oeuvre, among which Tirimo's series looks bound to rank very high. There is distinction in abundance in what we are given here, on discs which are generously full. and excellently recorded”  
International Record Review (5 stars)

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 and Paganini Rhapsody (CFP/EMI)

“This is an exciting and compelling recording and obviously leads the field.”  Gramophone

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 (CFP/EMI)

“A deeply thoughtful, yet glowing re-creation... Tirimo is able to treat the solo part with unusual flexibility and I had that rare, exhilarating feeling of hearing a long-familiar score as though for the first time.”  Classical Music

Tippett Piano Concerto (Nimbus)

“This disc is a real winner.”  Independent on Sunday

Chopin Piano Concertos Nos 1 and 2 (Regis/BMG)

“Tirimo ranks alongside Perahia and Zimerman... poetic feeling paramount... scintillatingly alive...”  Penguin Guide

Reviews of special events

Cycle of Chopin complete works at King's Place

“This is what Chopin anniversary year ought to be all about; a thoughtfully planned adventure zigzagging through the complete works on which the listener feels privileged to eavesdrop, and where the chameleonic genius of the composer always comes first. This eighth concert in the enterprising Kings Place "Chopin Unwrapped" series was the first I've been able to catch, and I realised what I'd been missing. Martino Tirimo's two halves offered a demanding but enthralling journey from youthful buoyancy into the labyrinths of human thought and feeling.
Tirimo is not about flash and airy glitter, even if his impeccable sense of rubato frees up every number and relieves any sense of sobriety in his plain-speaking articulation. His other supreme qualities are a refusal to rush the big stuff, for me Zimerman's big flaw the other week, and a reluctance to swamp the florid passages with the sustaining pedal.
The quest, Tirimo seemed to be telling us, was to be continued - as it will be in four more concerts this June which I'll try not to miss. After all, it's rare, and surely the highest tribute to the interpreter, to come out of a Chopin recital thinking not "what a brilliant pianist" but "what a composer".”
David Nice, The Arts Desk, March 2010

Cycle of Mozart complete solo piano works at Cadogan Hall

“Last Friday, Martino Tirimo concluded his series of eight Cadogan Hall recitals that embraced the solo piano works of Mozart in their entirety. Those who missed them will be gratified to know that a 12-CD set has been released.
Tirimo's playing is so without affectation: the listener's awareness rests in the music, not in its performance. Even in the Fischer Variations K179, demanding in terms of virtuosity, the flowering of forms out of such a bland and unpromising theme allowed us a glimpse of the composer's own creative genius at work.
Greatest of the evening's contrasts was the Fantasie [K457]. Tirimo's subtle shifts in tempo and dynamic gradation revealed a world unrecognisable in place or time. The startling tonal contrasts, growling bass and languorous resignation in the D major second section before the fateful final return - this music must be allowed to speak for itself. Tirimo's intimacy with it, and his mastery of execution, allowed us to hear it as Mozart wrote it.” The Independent (5 stars)

Beethoven Piano Concerto Cycles
(directing the Dresden Philharmonic from the keyboard)

“Extraordinary indeed were the first two concerts of the Series, with a remarkable star: Martino Tirimo. He has pronounced personal qualities which were manifest in his superb piano playing and also in his imaginative control which he communicated to the orchestra. This breathtaking rapport between soloist and orchestra was indeed the most wonderful experience... an offering which was very unusual and which correspondingly produced a sensation.” Dresden Union

At the Royal Festival Hall, London

“Soloist and orchestra, after several performances in Dresden and elsewhere, have established a unified attitude towards their reading. In the Third and "Emperor" Concertos on Friday night, the clarity of textures, lean sonorities and avoidance of anything that smacks of a rhetorical gesture led to authentic-sounding interpretations.”  The Daily Telegraph

Schubert - The 21 Piano Sonatas

“Tirimo is quite simply an ideal Schubert interpreter... inhabiting the poetic world of each [sonata] with absolute conviction and projecting that world with touching simplicity via the technique of the most sophisticated mastery, for Schubert, the perfect confluence of interpretative qualities, yet so rarely heard.”  Anthony Payne, The Daily Telegraph

Tirimo as conductor

“The powerful inspiration that an orchestra could derive from a musician of Tirimo's stature was further revealed in Schubert's B minor symphony. Under conducting of such complete insight the musicians of the Philharmonie rose to magnificent heights: I have rarely heard them play so well.”  Sächsische Neueste Nachtricten

“Tirimo, the conductor and Schubert scholar, got right to the heart of the 'Unfinished'. The two-movement symphony, under his direction, became a thrilling experience.”
“Whenever Martino Tirimo steps onto the platform of the Dresdner Philharmonie, the musicians prepare themselves for great achievements... a glowing testimony to Tirimo the masterly musician and inspiring conductor.” Dresden Union