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Clarion Seven Muses - Pascal Rogé

Pascal Rogé


 

Reviews for Pascal Rogé

Pascal Rogé

SATIE 150th BIRTHDAY RECITAL AT THE CHELTENHAM MUSIC FESTIVAL
Pascal Rogé’s pianism in this repertoire is outstanding. He combined clarity of line with a misty aura in Satie's Gymnopédie No. 1, Gnossienne No. 2 and again in Durey's Carillons. Synchrony, with his wife Ami, is also remarkable and their duets radiated wit.
(The Guardian, July 2016)

RECITAL AT THE ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF SCOTLAND * * * *
In the spirit of the place, the culture, and the unique French-ness of every nuance of Poulenc's utterly-French music, rolled out on Friday by the great Frenchman Pascal Roge in a delicious confection, as an unbroken continuum, we'd have proceeded, from lunch and music, in a thoroughly Gallic manner, to a passionate intellectual debate about what it is that makes French music, not least that of the engaging Francis Poulenc, so inimitably and unmistakably French.
Most of the answers lay in Rogé’s splendid recital, which richly-characterised and captured the flavours, accents and colours, from sentiment to wit, grace and charm, that were peppered through the selection of Mouvements perpétuels, Novelettes and, not least, the characterful Soirees de Nazelles.

(Glasgow Herald April 2015)

OPER MANNHEIM/AKADEMIE KONZERT
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2/Bertrand de Billy
Pascal Rogé plays with delicacy, finesse and vivacity; he succeeds in an impressive way, to render the fastest passages in this extremely virtuosic concerto with transparency. Saint-Saëns, himself a super virtuoso, would have liked it.
(Mannheimer Morgen, January 2015)

RECITAL AT WIGMORE HALL
Acclaimed French pianist Pascal Rogé gave a recital at Wigmore Hall featuring works by three towering figures of French piano music. The concert afforded the audience a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the most wondrous pianism, from the graceful, subtly nuanced sound world of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque to Ravel's glittering Sonatine and closing with Poulenc's vivid and characterful Les soirées de Nazelles.
Rogé displayed remarkable precision combined with sensitivity in touch, articulation, tonal shading, phrasing and voicing, all coupled with an astonishing control of the piano which results in the most delicious, sparkling palette of sounds and colours. His magical sense of timing and spare rubato in the opening movement was, for me, one of the most wondrous moments in the entire recital. No muddy soundwashes here, 'Clair de Lune' seemed to float, suspended and shimmering, yet with a gorgeous clarity too.
Poulenc's Les Soirées des Nazelles was bold and spirited, full of improvisatory passages and rapid shifts of mood, dynamic and tempo. Rogé gave a rich and full-blooded performance, which really brought the virtuosic nature of this suite to life. Satie's rarely heard Gnossienne No. 5 was the encore - voluptuous in tone, simple and tasteful, a delight!

(The Cross-Eyed Pianist, June 2014)

POULENC PIANO CONCERTO RECORDING
London Chamber Orchestra/Live recording made at St Johns Smith Square/Signum Classics
Spry, clipped music-making capped by Rogé's ebullient account of Poulenc's mercurial, flamboyant Piano Concerto.
(BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, November 2011)

Live concert recordings aren't always successful but this is a crowd pleaser. Pascal Rogé has become something of a Poulenc expert and his sympathetic yet witty playing makes sense of Poulenc's profusion of ideas. Here's a recording guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
(CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE, November 2011)

DUO RECITAL - FROM BIZET TO DEBUSSY - AT KINGS PLACE, LONDON
with Ami Rogé
Pascal Rogé brought an understated Gallic elegance to this music . . . like a great film actor whose eyes force the camera to watch their minutes gesture - Rogé achieved the maximum result with the minimum of fuss. Claire de Lune was full of that wonder that a great musician can bring to even the most-familiar music.
(ClassicalSource.com, June 2010)

RADIO- SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA STUTTGART
Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 5/Serge Baudo
. . . brilliantly executed by Rogé.
(STUTTGARTER NACHRICHTEN, DEC. 2009)

RECITAL AT THE SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL
Surely the most refined pianist was Pascal Rogé, whose hour-long collage of Nocturnes, Preludes and Etudes by Faure, Poulenc, Chopin and Debussy - played uninterrupted - stood firm in the memory. Every note and nuance was coloured with sensitivity and beauty. Rogé shone and illuminated.
(STRAITS TIMES, JUNE 2009)

GRAMOPHONE, AUGUST 2008
Oehms/Ravel Piano Concerto in G major/Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/de Billy
. . . a pianist whose Ravel is of the highest distinction. Pascal Rogé enters Ravel's dream-world with a special musical grace.

GRAMOPHONE, JULY 2008
Oehms/Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand/Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/de Billy
Pascal Rogé offers a compelling, full-bloodied account of this sinister work that is highly compelling.

Onyx/Debussy Complete Works for Piano Vol. 3
Time and again his playing suggests emotion recollected in tranquillity rather than turmoil; and in, say, "Hommage à Rameau" or the Sarabande from Pour le piano he discovers the mysterious still centre of Debussy's art. "Poissons d'or" is a marvellous distillation of indolence and flashing disruption, and "Mouvement" is a perky and vivacious rejoinder to all former introspection . . . played with unerring ease and grace.

Recital, Elder Hall Adelaide
Pascal Rogé is one of those rare and special beings who can transform the piano’s curious little hammering mechanisms of wood, felt, springs and wire into a source of magical, liquid light. In a programme as beautifully wrought and conceived as its musical content, Rogé beguiled and entranced through two hours of magisterially sustained playing, the like of which we rarely hear. Rogé’s remarkable control of touch and deft phrasing lent each of the 12 preludes a unique character and place within the whole that clearly articulated Debussy’s inspired juxtaposition of textures, perfumes, atmospheres and humour. This was music-making at the highest level.
ADELAIDE ADVERTISER, APRIL 2008

Winnipeg Recital/Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall
Onstage: a lone musician at the piano, playing work after work, uninterrupted by applause. The listening experience: priceless. No sheet music, no page turns, nothing but the unfettered and pure performance of this artist of rare quality, whose very manner personifies intensity and concentration. His singular stillness at the instrument casts a spell over the audience, which barely took a breath until he finished. * * * * *

This is an artist of superlatives - incomparable technique, inimitable passion, matchless in his understanding and internalization of the music. Truly dedicated to conveying meaning and beauty to his audience, he presented a rare gift to us.

MDR Matinee/Leipzig Gewandhaus
Rogé und Venzago mit französischen Klangzaubereien
The accompaniment to Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand as given by the piano and orchestra was well served by the Swiss conductor and the MDR orchestra. From the blackness of the beginning Venzago develops the background against which the formidable Pascal Rogé is able to produce the perfume, setting, shading and melody from a grand piano that in its lowest register was less than perfectly tuned. For the Frenchman, the Concerto by his countryman is scarcely a showpiece, but it is great music, deeply felt and charmingly expressed. Roge’s touch, richness of poetic tonal colour, his ability to make layers and structures perceptible by the listener and his elegant and unconceited taste make the technical difficulties a mere side issue. This was a great pianist playing a much too rarely played major work of the 20th Century, followed by a delicious Satie piece as a response to the prolonged and insistent applause.

LEIPZIGER VOLKSZEITUNG - SEPTEMBER 2007

Onyx Classics/Debussy Volume II
First of all this selection of works offers the perfect way into Debussy’s oeuvre for piano: each piece here is a fragrant, picturesque and melodious miniature of quite wonderful quality. Secondly Rogé is a Debussian of the utmost sympathy and perception - so persuasive is he that one doesn’t feel the need to seek an alternative opinion on how this music can be performed. Furthermore, Rogé is exceptionally well recorded – the sensitivity of his fingers and his care for dynamics are so naturally placed before us and his depth of feeling for the music reveals that he is among the most complete and convincing of Debussy interpreters. Throughout this recital, Rogé’s variegated, subtle and eloquent playing brings this music alive with a refinement and narration that embraces the listener. Roge is alive to every feature that distinguishes these works . . . a truly marvellous release.
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW – MARCH 2007

Onyx/Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 25 /ISO/Leppard
Throughout these performances he proves to be a supreme technician and deeply sensitive musician. Moreover he is given wholehearted support by Leppard who is in complete control of orchestral texture and instrumental balance.
GRAMOPHONE, JANUARY 2007

International Piano Series Recital/QEH
This wonderful recital was, without labouring the point too far, akin to pondering an exhibition of evocative canvases, with wafts and wisps of tone and delicacy of touch conveying the music's mood far more eloquently than any more exaggerated approach would have done . . . Pascal Rogé played with exquisite refinement.
DAILY TELEGRAPH JANUARY 2006

Oehms/Ravel & Gershwin Concertos Recording
Pascal Rogé’s pairing of the Gershwin and Ravel G major concertos has the wow factor. Not through anything gimmicky or quirky but through a startling freshness in which no detail of the scores is taken for granted and presented in an ideal sound picture.
GRAMOPHONE DECEMBER 2005

Leopold String Trio/Wigmore Hall
Pascal Rogé, unsurpassed among current exponents of this repertoire – and one whose dovetailing into the often densely-woven string counterpoint was as skilful as was the impression of it being so effortless. A memorable performance.
CLASSICALSOURCE.COM NOVEMBER 2005

Onyx/Debussy Preludes Recording
Pascal Rogé’s new recording of Debussy Preludes supersedes his fine readings of the same pieces made for Decca in the 1970’s, when he was an emerging star. Then, as now, he was renowned for the refinement and transparency of his playing, but in the meantime he has perhaps gained a riper tone . . . The colours are richly varied and the atmosphere in each of these suggestive pieces is beautifully captured, while Rogé still plays with that clarity of texture and sense of momentum within stasis that Debussy surely intended.
THE TIMES, JUNE 2005

Onyx/Debussy Preludes Recording
Here are all 24 of Debussy’s piano Preludes which paint fantastically subtle musical portraits of nature, exotic far-off places and contemporary life. Rogé’s interpretations have great authority as he studied with a pupil of Debussy. And he is a pianist of subtle touch, able to capture a great range of colours and moods
THE A & R TIMES, JUNE 2005

Onyx/Debussy Preludes Recording
Then there is the Pascal Rogé project. Styling himself Ambassadeur de la Musique française, he plays nothing else and like no other pianist alive or dead. He is recording the complete works of Debussy for Onyx, starting with the Preludes, which he plays with a touch so distinctive and a playfulness so mechant that when he gets to the "God Save the Queen” parody in the "Samuel Pickwick” variation, I laughed out loud on three separate hearings. This is a record that sets new benchmarks in French music.
EVENING STANDARD, AUGUST 2005

Onyx/Debussy Preludes Recording
Pascal Rogé launches his projected Debussy series with a superb disc of both books. How refreshing to hear a pianist who, rather than overwork the pedals in pursuit of impressionist "atmosphere”, moulds and shapes the music, allows it time to breathe, relishing the harmonic moment without allowing the line to sag. Rogé is just as impressive in the swifter, more capricious Preludes . . . I eagerly await further instalments, especially the Etudes and Images. Rob Cowan (Five Stars)
INDEPENDENT, 3 AUGUST 2005

Onyx/Debussy Preludes Recording
One of the great Debussy pianists of our time is Pascal Rogé, and it is amazing that this new recording is his first of the second book. One could hardly imagine finer performances. Rogé is so completely inside this music that I can envisage his recordings becoming the natural successors to the legendary 1950's recordings from Walter Gieseking.
DOMINION POST AUCKLAND, JUNE 2005

Oehms/Ravel & Gershwin Concertos Recording
Superbly virtuosic . . . A highly intelligent, richly enjoyable interpretation: I can’t recall another I have enjoyed more.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, APRIL 2005

Oehms/Ravel & Gershwin Concertos Recording
The languorous slow movement is beautifully paced and phrased, the exuberant finale dispatched with panache . . . an admirable concerto coupling.
GRAMOPHONE, FEBRUARY 2005

Hallé/Ravel Concerto for Left Hand
Pascal Rogé’s velvety, sonorous tone was beautifully complemented by incisive yet luxuriant support from Lu Jia and the Hallé. His encore – Satie’s delicate E minor Gnossienne – was translucently lovely.
The Guardian, 1 June 2004

Hallé/Ravel Concerto for Left Hand
Pascal Rogé an eloquent and forceful soloist whose playing of the cadenzas would still have been a tour de force if two hands had been involved. The spiciness of the glittering scherzo and the savagery of the final section were fully realised by orchestra and soloist, who then enchanted us with a gentle Satie encore.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, JUNE 6 2004

LMP/Poulenc Trio of 1926
Spirited and full of zest’. Pianist Pascal Rogé was the quick-witted anchor man for members of the London Mozart Players. …in the high spirits and romantic interlude of Poulenc’s Trio of 1926.
NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST, MAY 7 2004

Unravelling Ravel - The Pianist's Record Shelf
With Pascal Rogé's account, also on Decca (440 836-2) ... we're in another world altogether... A Ravel of heart-touching sweetness and gentleness, of self delighting fancy of puckish humour, of scintillating bravura and daring. Abundantly lyrical, seductively yet innocently sensuous, the man that emerges here is not only a magician of extraordinary charm and invention, but a greatly lovable and touching one. No pianist known to me captures quite such a convincing blend of extreme sophistication and childlike innocence - but the child here is of a truly angelic simplicity... The poignant, enchanting sounds he draws from the piano in the exquisite Menuet antique are reminiscent of Kempff at his greatest, of Cortot, of Edwin Fischer and Gieseking. The intimacy of the famous Pavane pour une infante défunte is almost heart-breaking in its poignancy.
PIANO MAGAZINE – JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004

Poulenc award winning recording/Rogé/Decca
… Rogé whisks us off to a Parisian salon of the ‘30s, people by a rich and diverting gallery of musical characters. Through the sly winks and affectionate nods to Couperin, Schubert and others, Rogé never loses sight of Poulenc’s lyrical vein. Brevity is, here, truly the soul of wit; and often of tenderness.
GRAMOPHONE, DECEMBER 2003

Prague Symphony Orchestra / Prague Autumn Festival
… the rarely-performed Fifth Piano Concerto, called ‘Egyptian', by Camille Saint-Saëns. Its main protagonist Pascal Rogé met his task with absolute surety and striking personal input. He engaged the audience mainly with his colourful range of attacks and the detailed elaboration of his overall conception, but the acoustical balance and precision in ensemble playing between the piano and the orchestra also deserve recognition.
DENIKY BOHEMIA, 4 OCTOBER 2003

As for the 39 versions (of Debussy’s Estampes) I’ve been listening to, perhaps the most serendipitous surprise is sprung by Pascal Rogé, who has the measure of this music and the fingers for it – and so much of ‘Pagodes’ is really quiet! … Rogé’s finger-work is exciting.
GRAMOPHONE, AUGUST 2003

Review of Debussy’s piano music recordings
Rogé is magical in ‘Reflets dans l’eau’ and continues on superb form throughout both sets: terrific playing, emotionally and expressively responsive, and perfect in scale… The most beguiling of all modern versions of ‘Children’s Corner’ is Rogé –poised playing of immense verve
PIANO MAGAZINE, JULY/AUGUST 2003

Bridgewater Hall Manchester / BBC Philharmonic
… Few could have conveyed Poulenc’s Gallic blend of elegance, humour and tenderness more gracefully than Pascal Rogé.
THE GUARDIAN, MARCH 2003

Bridgewater Hall Manchester / BBC Philharmonic
… And finally, Poulenc … with matchless wit and sophistication, teased and occasionally toughed up with true Gallic cunning by Pascal Rogé.
THE TIMES, MARCH 2003

Ulster Hall Belfast/Ulster Orchestra
… with Rogé displaying technical supremacy and sensitivity.
BELFAST TELEGRAPH, 1 FEBRUARY 2003

Queen Elizabeth Hall / London International Piano series Recital
… Rogé remains a noble, un-emphatic and nowadays virtually unexampled model; we rarely hear his like, and he is very good to hear.
FINANCIAL TIMES, JANUARY 2003

Queen Elizabeth Hall / London International Piano series Recital
… Rogé knows how to capture the character of each piece, achieving a cumulative effect of extraordinary colour.
THE GUARDIAN, JANUARY 2003

Queen Elizabeth Hall / London International Piano series Recital
… Pascal Rogé … the suavest of French pianist. Incredible sensitivity … his accuracy was phenomenal. Ravel’s "Noctuelles” and "Une barque sur l’ocean” were superbly done and totally compelling. The Sonatine was richly characterised yet immaculately controlled.
THE INDEPENDENT, JANUARY 2003

Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 & 4 / Decca
Eloquence have also reissued Pascal Rogé’s stylishly robust Decca readings of the Second and Fourth Piano Concertos by Saint-Saëns (467 171-2). They’ve never been bettered
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, JULY 2002

Pascal Rogé and the music of Saint-Saëns would seem to be a perfect musical fit. This is music to lift the spirits, particularly when done with such grace and facility. Three piano suites by Poulenc complete the disc –and Rogé is again totally inside this delicious music.
GRAMOPHONE, JULY 2002

Barber Institute Birmingham/ Quintette Moragues
… an engagingly definitive account of Poulenc’s Sextet bristling with wit and undiluted high spirits … the mood and flavour were unerringly captured … a lesson in French artistry.
BIRMINGHAM POST, MARCH 2002

Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
… the Poulenc Concerto for Piano, an all-enveloping fantasy in which Pascal Rogé’s piano sails the high seas. An interplay of wandering atmospheres rather than a concerto in traditional form, the work takes the air like an accredited representative of French music. Rogé sets this essay brilliantly alight.
LE TEMPS, FEBRUARY 2002

Pacific Symphony Orchestra
Rogé is not a pianist who dramatizes his strengths and talents. Except for a rare pistol-shot ricochet off the keyboard at the end of a phrase, he tends to remain fixated, curved toward the instrument, all the action confirmed to hands and forearms. But the results were impressive and captivating, from the reflective, serious opening through its gossamer scherzo and the furious show-off tarantella finale.
LOS ANGELES TIMES, DECEMBER 2001

International Piano Series New Zealand
The name Pascal Rogé is synonymous with French piano music of the past 120 years. Indeed, Rogé's most substantial item the Book One Préludes by Debussy, seemed like a journey through 12 new worlds. One moment the piano sounded like a gamelan, the next a set of pan pipes, a chime of bells, even a cheap banjo. Yet all the time there were waves of undulating textures in the middle register that shimmered and shone, keeping a delicate balance between

Impressionistic haze and purposeful rhythmic movement, over which one could hear melodic outlines of great strength and character...

Colourful world of imagination (Auckland Bruce Mason Centre) - Fauré, Debussy, Ravel

Rogé is a virtuoso with a quiet élan that doesn't draw attention to itself. He amazes in retrospect - conveying the sense that what you've just heard was more perfect than you realised. Every note is weighed, the melody floats on top or emerges clearly from the texture. The background sounds as though heard through silk, played by weightless fingers - the control is astounding, it may sound easy, but certainly isn't. His sense of rhythm is infinitely flexible, from the crisp banjo-like strummings of popular dance, to the strange sense French music can impart of being as still and static as a sculpture.

NZ HERALD, OCTOBER 2001

London Mozart Players / Queen Elizabeth Hall
Rampant Francophilia at the South Bank on Wednesday ... No pussy-footing, though, with the pianist Pascal Rogé. His quasi-improvisatory solo introduction to Saint-Saëns's Piano Concerto Nº 2 rang out as if from the loftiest Parisian organ loft. And, in the impassioned melancholy of the first movement, the LMP woodwind players threaded their way knowingly through Rogé's light-filled passage work. In the second movement the long crescendo of merriment reached its climax in Rogé's deliciously characterful final tarantella.
THE TIMES, APRIL 2001

Tonhalle Zurich / Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto Nº 2
...and then the stage was given to the magician Pascal Rogé: no "star" among the pianists but one who by his absolute devotion to the French music, has made a name for himself as a specialist of, in particular, Poulenc's oeuvre. This time he played the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto Nº 2 - almost like Poulenc. The Introduction, for example, was developed in conspiratory harmony with the orchestra and with a solemn quality that certain curlicues which followed received an even more ironic touch, besides enhancing the floating sonority. It was as if the pianist wanted to answer all music critics: You demand depth and I show you how light, lively, witty and intelligent this work really is. A well done demonstration. Rogé achieved with the smallest of movements an unusually sonorous sound, used even the effect of the echo precisely and rhythmically and, in his effortless, concentrated and communicative way, he even influenced the orchestra.
TAGES-ANZEIGER - ZÜRICH, 17 NOVEMBER 2000

After "Kikimora" by Anatol Ljadow, which opened the programme, the French pianist Pascal Rogé played Camille Saint-Saens' Concerto Nº 2. Not an in-depth work, but it has to be said that the soloist is the perfect interpreter for the neck-breaking virtuosity of this piece.
NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG – MÄRCHENERZÄHLUNGEN, 17 NOVEMBER 2000