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the press reviews
Olivier Gardon
pianiste
 presse
concerts  •  discography
Variations and fugue on a theme by Handel

"Since he won prizes in the Marguerite Long and Reine Elisabeth competitions some thirty years ago, Olivier Gardon has managed, without fanfare or ostentation, to win the hearts of music-lovers through a few well-produced recordings. This rendition of Brahms is perfectly in line with his previous releases of Liszt and Vierne, and although these works are the most frequently recorded and Brahms' most difficult pieces, Olivier Gardon's endeavour is a clear success. He starts the Sonata in F minor with poise and the first movement develops majestically until the beautifully ethereal passage which marks the climax of the movement. The terrifying andante, with its dark final passage, is smooth and fluid. The rest is built on rich carefully sculpted moods-the intermezzo is remarkable. The Handel Variations exude imperial poise. Olivier Gardon follows their sinuous course with aplomb and loyalty while preserving the warmth and tenderness of the music."
Etienne Moreau – DIAPASON

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The last three sonatas – opus 109, 110, 111

" After recording a great number of rare pieces – such as Louis Vierne's complete piano works, some of Vincent d'Indy's compositions for the cello and the piano, the songs of the Groupe des Six (Auric, Durey, Milhaud, etc.) with texts by Jean Cocteau – Olivier Gardon now takes on Beethoven's monumental last three sonatas. It is hardly surprising that, Olivier Gardon, who is past forty years old, should give us a refined version of Beethoven's last pianistic testament, highlighting its intimate and secretive nature and the euphoria which underpins each note and shatters the traditional mould of the sonata. Using his amazingly multifarious palette (the staccatos of the andante in opus 109, or the magnificent full-bodiedness of the nostalgic theme of the moderato in opus 10), he tames the wildness, and reins in the playful jubilation, the meditative moods and the virtuoso excesses of the piece...
His elegance is all French (especially the fugal interludes!), his impetuousness romantic, and his expressiveness deeply Beethovenian."
Xavier Lacavalerie – TELERAMA

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"The complete piano works of the composer best known for his genius as an organ player are revealed through the performance of an exceptional musician. All of you who love romantic and strongly expressive piano pieces should immediately purchase this recording. It is a major musical event. Olivier Gardon is a pianist of the first water [...] both a virtuoso with unlimited resources and a poet whose expressiveness ranges from the most powerful to the most sensitive."
Harry Halbreich – CRESCENDO

"Gardon responds to the many moods and tangled technical requirements of the Parisian composer. True to French sensibilité, he sculpts clear formal patterns, especially in the earlier works so strongly swayed by Chopin such as the opus 7 pieces, or the somewhat coquettish Suite Bourguignonne. But Gardon's artistry extends to the dark hues and loftier achitecture of the later opus numbers, those scores written during the war years, despite illness and depression, Vierne enjoyed his artistic zenith. Gardon evokes a gladdening panoply of pianistic colors, relishes each [...]"
J.F. Weber – FANFARE

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"Amazing! [...] Such was my impression as I listened to D-S Kang, Y. Chiffoleau and, above all, the pianist O. Gardon, the very backbone of the recording. "
Jean Hamon – REPERTOIRE

"We love it!"

Paul Meunier – TELERAMA

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"He is able to be epic, playful and sombre and to conjure up pictures and stories... while remaining intangible and simple when the narrative is meant to be heavy and repetitive [...] An authentic and convincing Mussorgskian programme by a non-Slavonic pianist.";
Pierre-E. Barbier – DIAPASON

"[...] Olivier Gardon musters all the virtuosity he is well-known for... But beyond the virtuosity, the listener is charmed by his poetry. More than power, colour and feeling are what makes his playing so unique."
A.P. – NICE-MATIN 

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"What a beautiful programme this difficult music makes… Olivier Gardon has opted for evocativeness and dreaminess, which is perfectly adapted to Bagatelle without tonality or to the nightmarish atmosphere of Czardas Macabre.
The 2nd Ballad is given the same sensitive and luminous treatment [...]
A complete success."
Etienne Moreau – DIAPASON

"Olivier Gardon fully controls his tone, removing any unnecessary glitter while preserving substance. It's as though all the different shades of grey were being laid out before our eyes, in Nuages of course, but also in Unstern or the two versions of La Lugubre Gondola . "
Alain Cochard – REPERTOIRE
©  2011  www.oliviergardon.com