"It is seldom indeed that one hears a brand-new piano concerto that is evocative of its cultural heritage and fresh and engaging in a new way—all at the same time. Such was my impression of Binienda’s concerto. To my ears, the work contained textures and techniques evocative of Chopin and Schumann... the music passes to the orchestra in a collegial and respectful dialogue—exactly evocative of the orchestral/solo writing of Chopin. I found the cadence at the end of the first movement particularly beautiful—a subtle form of “Amen” so common at the conclusion of the prayer, which, as I learned from the composer in a conversation following the concert, initiates material woven throughout the second movement."
Concert Review by David Bard-Schwarz and Ania Bard-Schwarz
"After the sadness at the end of the first track, Chopin’s Allegro de concert is rather jolly, with a cheerful opening which trips along very happily... The opening bouncy theme reoccurs several times in various guises before undergoing a transformation to something much more nocturne-like at about eight minutes; it serves as a delightful connecting passage to the closing section. The ending, generally happy and quite powerful, is superbly played by the pianist and orchestrator Konrad Binienda. The piece works far better for me in this version: in the published solo piano score, Chopin left many of the tutti sections as plain and frankly rather dull piano writing. They reemerge in full orchestral colours, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra led by Grzegorz Nowak play beautifully... The soloist, who shows some outstanding pianism here, had previously recorded Chopin’s Etudes op. 10 and four other pieces. The recording is of very high quality, and the orchestral details stand out marvelously clearly."
Recording Review by Jonathan Welsh
"Others have attempted orchestrations but Binienda goes one better in actually sitting at the keyboard. His fluent and elegant playing is matched by a sympathetic piece of craftsmanship. "
Recording Review by Jonathan Woolf
"The pinnacle of the concert was Konrad Binienda’s outstanding performance of Chopin’s Allegro de concert. He brilliantly performed it with Irving Symphony Orchestra musicians conducted by Maestro Hector Guzman. Binienda, the first-prize winner of the 2017 International Chopin Piano Competition, Corpus Christi, TX, is a true piano virtuoso who displayed impressive technical prowess, beautiful tone and remarkable understanding of the piece. Since Chopin’s intention was to conceive this work as the first movement of his 3rd piano concerto, several composers, including Alexander Nicode, Kazimierz Wiłkomirski, Alan Kogosowski and Ingolf Wunder orchestrated this work. These orchestrations, influenced by the style of Brahms or Rachmaninoff, veer too far from Chopin’s style. Binienda made his own, excellent version, written in Chopin’s style of orchestration. He presented the world premiere with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the orchestra’s Permanent Associate Conductor, Maestro Grzegorz Nowak. The live CD from this riveting performance received accolades in reviews from London and Paris. We were fortunate to be part of the North American premiere. The audience rewarded this brilliant performance with long and well-deserved standing ovation."
Concert Review by Robert Ricklis, Ph.D
"Mr. Binienda has the qualities I value in a pianist: a beautiful sound, a thoughtful approach (meaning every note, phrase, and movement are thought through) which also has plenty of room for feeling, original interpretive ideas, good rhythm, a personal, poetic lyrical sense, and what I like to call emotion “in the tone” itself. He is willing to take risks when the emotional heat rises, sometimes resulting in a performance which is (thank goodness!) not note-perfect, but always convincing, and very moving. His rubato, that “secret” of the early romantics, is perfection itself."
New York Concert Review by Frank Daykin
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