The piano work

“There is probably no better recording of (almost) all of Ginastera’s piano works than this newly released anthology, recorded for Deutschlandfunk in Cologne in the fall of 2015. Even in the three ‘Danzas argentinas’ at the very beginning, Korstick can not only keep up with Marta Argerich’s reference version (once released live from the Amsterdam Concergebouw on EMI in 1978), but surpasses it in the above-mentioned fast frame dances in tonal plasticity (not only the better recording technique) and rhythmic aggressiveness, whereby he matches the playing time of the Argentinian almost to the second. The central lyrical-cantabile episode of the ‘Danza de la moza donoso’, initially sung with restraint by Bella Martha, but then surprisingly more and more fervently, Korstick fans out into a three-part invention, taking the whole thing somewhat more slowly, whose depth of expression is almost uplifting due to the increasing broadening of the sound and, after the climax, reverberates even more calmly than in Argerich’s work in Korstick’s quieter contemplation, before he then gives the barbaric ‘Allegro’ of the ‘bird-free cowboy’.”

“Korstick’s familiar attributes of exemplary musicianship, sharp attacks and sensitive phrasing are apparent. There are only a handful of modern pianists who come close to him in these respects, and fewer still who can immediately identify with the music the way he does.”

“Michael Korstick’s musicality, added to his lyrical sensitivity and a great sense of rhythm, allows him to perform with éclat as well this multitude of small pieces as the two Sonates plus conséquentes. Son jeu ciselé dessine les moindres détails de l’énergie rugueuse qui emporte les trépidants mouvements extérieurs de la Première Sonate (1952), nettement annonciatrice du “néo-expressionnisme” à venir. La finesse de son toucher illumine les puissantes irisations du “Presto misterioso”, troublant deuxième mouvement en guise de scherzo nocturne qui précède la limpidité tendue du troisième mouvement lent. Ses mêmes qualités de jeu défendent la violente noirceur de l’unique mouvement de la Troisième Sonate, écrite pour une ardente fidèle, la pianiste Barbara Nissman. Traversés de chocs harmoniques, les rythmes obsessionnels peuvent remettre en mémoire les influences initiales de Bartók et de Stravinski mais le souffle interprétatif du jeu de Korstick conviendrait à certaines des Etudes de Ligeti auxquelles le piano de Ginastera peut, par moments, faire fugitivement penser.”

To overview