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Susan Merdinger / Press

“There is much to enjoy here from husband-and-wife team Susan Merdinger and Steven Greene...There is plenty of wit to the performance of Le carnaval des animaux, however, and the pianists’ laudably sparing approach to the sustaining pedal enables plenty of detail to come through. They do indulge themselves in the famous “Le cygne,” offering a shining moment of Romantic reflection. The Fauré Dolly Suite is the epitome of Gallic charm, and the warmth of the rapport of the pianists is even more apparent here. The music flows naturally, and the charm and sophistication of the players is sure testament to their clear musicality, while the challenges of the faster passages offer ample opportunity to admire fleetness of finger. The movement entitled “Kitty-Valse” is the clear highlight, each phrase teased and caressed gorgeously. Similarly there is plenty of lightness in the Ravel and a detectable feel for the special qualities of the music.”

“Performing on a 7-foot Steinway B ideally suited for the music at hand, the team of pianists Susan Merdinger and Steven Greene give us a sparkling recital of French music for the four hands repertoire. On the program are choice works by Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré’, and Maurice Ravel that educators have frequently used for the music appreciation of children. The smoothly integrated performances by spouses Merdinger and Greene have a perfect balance and sense of timing. As engineered by Ed Ingold, the CD sounds very beautiful.”

“If Carnival of the Animals performed on piano four hands intrigues you, Merdinger and Greene certainly play it with the flair and verve it deserves...Susan Merdinger and Steven Greene are competing in Dolly with a couple of classic recordings, one by Robert and Gaby Casadesus on a 1959 CBS Masterworks disc, and the other by the Labèque Sisters (Katia and Marielle) on a mid-1980s Philips CD. I’m fond of them both, but Merdinger and Greene are equally intimate and touching in these brief portraits of proud parents admiring their beautiful young child.....This is an appealing program that can be equally enjoyed and appreciated by both children and adults, and it’s beautifully played by Merdinger and Greene. The recording, too, engineered by Edward Ingold, captures the players’ Steinway model B in a most pleasing acoustic setting. Strongly recommended. Jerry Dubins”

“Ms. Merdinger plays the lead piano part (primo piano) and Mr. Greene the accompaniment, so to speak. Together, they produce performances of the utmost confidence and beauty, often sounding like a whole of bank of pianos blazing away, other times creating a mood of whispered quiet. Their work sounds polished and pure and, most of all, touching. Although we hear no overt sentimentalism in their playing, we do find a good deal of heart in it. Next, in keeping with the gentle, fairy-tale spirit of the album, we get the Dolly Suite, Op. 56, written by composer, organist, and teacher Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) between 1893 and 1896 specifically for piano four hands Most it is friendly and attractive, starting with one of the loveliest lullabies you'll hear, performed with strong feeling and affection by Merdinger and Greene. Sweet and tender are the keynotes of their rendition. The playing, like the music, is vaguely nostalgic, mostly atmospheric, and always magical.”

“Susan Merdinger is a fine pianist who here prides a most successful program. Her performance of Schubert's D575 reveals a pianist with a very appealing tone who clearly has affinity with Schubert's world. In particular, her Andante second movement implies a later Schubert in its exploration of interior landscapes. The finale has a good sense of rightness: it is clear Merdinger understands the structure well...The Brahms op. 79 Rhapsodies follow on well, and Merdinger brings to them a new depth of tone that is entirely apposite. The first has an excellent sense of flow, while the perhaps more famous G-Minor is well sculpted, the final measures in particular showing real understanding of Brahms sound as well as process...Again, Merdinger adapts her tone expertly to the composer in hand for the Debussy Estampes. Her evenness of delivery means that the swirls of “Pagodes” are delicious; her use of a full dynamic range in these three pieces means they take on a proper sense of scope.”

“If Carnival of the Animals performed on piano four hands intrigues you, Merdinger and Greene certainly play it with the flair and verve it deserves... Susan Merdinger and Steven Greene are competing in Dolly with a couple of classic recordings, one by Robert and Gaby Casadesus on a 1959 CBS Masterworks disc, and the other by the Labèque Sisters (Katia and Marielle) on a mid-1980s Philips CD. I’m fond of them both, but Merdinger and Greene are equally intimate and touching in these brief portraits of proud parents admiring their beautiful young child...This is an appealing program that can be equally enjoyed and appreciated by both children and adults, and it’s beautifully played by Merdinger and Greene. The recording, too, engineered by Edward Ingold, captures the players’ Steinway model B in a most pleasing acoustic setting. Strongly recommended.”

“....Composed when Schubert was only twenty, Merdinger imbues the music with youthful zest and playfulness..... The two Brahms Rhapsodies (Op. 79) are pieces I dearly love and have worked on with a couple of my advanced students over the years. I have never heard them played to such perfection, with passion and power as well as tenderness where the music calls for it. Brava! Debussy’s three-movement “Estampes” is a colorful and very challenging work very different from Schubert’s or Brahms’ music, but Merdinger makes it her own with precision and energy. The two Liszt pieces are his “Concert Paraphrase on Rigoletto” and his “Hungarian Rhapsody #12 in C# minor,” and both are breathtaking! If you are a fan of masterful classical piano music, Soiree is a must-have! I look forward to exploring some of Susan Merdinger’s other releases, as I believe I have found a new musical hero(ine)! Soiree is available from SusanMerdinger.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly”

“I have to admit that this is the first of Merdinger’s recordings that I’ve heard, but I’m blown away by the beauty of her playing, which is technically perfect yet overflowing with emotion and heart. Ms. Merdinger can execute crystal-clear, lightning-fast runs and then turn a phrase into a delicate flower.”

“Ms. Merdinger concludes the album with two works by Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886): the Concert Paraphrase on Verdi's "Rigoletto" and the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C-sharp minor. In these final Liszt numbers, Ms. Merdinger again demonstrates her ability to convey both raw power and emotion with subtlety and refinement. In the Verdi paraphrase we actually hear the voices of the opera, and in the Rhapsody we experience the full impact of the folk-like tunes and dances as the pianist signs off in a blaze of glory. Ms. Merdinger is a pianist who would rather show than tell you things with her piano playing, so expect an abundantly diverse display of passion, pleasure, reflection, and beauty from her performances.”

“I would now have to count Ms. Merdinger’s account of Carnaval among the outstanding recordings of the score, recordings that include in my experience those of Alicia De Larrocha, Cecile Licad, Mitsuko Uchida, Nelson Freire, Claudio Arrau..Ms. Merdinger's playing is from the outset radiant, energetic, and aesthetically poised. When she needs to apply bravura showmanship, she's ready; when she needs a delicate touch, she's there; when she needs charisma or charm or poignancy, she's on top of the game. These portrayals of Schumann's characters and events sound beautiful, precise, and exciting. The big moments come through with enthusiasm and the soft moments are heartfelt. I loved every minute of her presentation.”

“My favorite performance among them is the opening selection, Bach’s cheerful Toccata in G, in a buoyant reading that introduces the high spirits of Merdinger’s musical personality. Another highlight is the Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso that concludes the disc, in which Merdinger delivers a fervent, high-powered introduction and an ebullient scherzo that suggests the joie de vivre of her Schumann decades later. "Retrospection CD"”

Paul Orgel - Fanfare Magazine

“Rosen could not have asked for a better champion of his book that has profoundly influenced pianists and scholars over the past forty years. As did Rosen before her, Merdinger avidly explores the many fascinating ways in which the three great figures of the era – Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven – challenged one another and built on each other’s discoveries”

Phil Muse - Audio-Video Club of Atlanta

“Certain passages simply run under her fingers as if the notes were being pulled out by some wonderful but invisible force beyond her control. I almost got the impression that, in some mysterious way, Schumann was being channeled through Merdinger: it’s that good.”

“Merdinger has the magic touch.”

““In Merdinger’s hands, the emotion in this middle movement achieves an effect of radiant, unworldly beauty.””

“This is the kind of swagger in Bach that I used to enjoy so much in Leonard Bernstein’s conducting, a swagger that I haven’t really heard in anyone else’s performances of this composer’s music.” “Retrospection” - Fanfare Magazine”

““….an exceptionally lively performance, splendid in its combination of structural coherence and elasticity of phrasing.””

“Exciting performance here by Susan Merdinger… of Debussy’s “L’Isle Joyeuse”…Wow! That’s quite something! Obviously, Morton Gould’s “Pieces of China” has a quirky humor and flair to it that’s very special and you play it that way too…The critic in the Glasgow Herald referred to “Plenty of youthful vigor and commitment and an exhilarating, whirlwind performance” and that would apply, I think, to the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C-sharp minor we’ve just heard.”

Robert Sherman - WQXR: The Listening Room

“Excellent young pianist"”

Robert Sherman - The New York Times

“Tender and impassioned playing…Plenty of youthful vigor and commitment… An exhilarating, whirlwind performance. ”

The Glasgow Herald, Scotland

“Honesty Honored….In this era of pianists we have pianists galore, but pianists who are real artists at the same time are very rare indeed. Susan Merdinger is one of them, I am sure… (she) shows her mastery of the piano in endless differentiation. Her musicality and her intuition originate directly from her pure heart… Susan Merdinger is a most promising pianist whose honesty will be honored with a magnificent future. ”

Jan Van Voorthuysen - Het Vaderland, Holland

“Susan Merdinger offered a daring, enormously joyous presentation of Schumann’s Carnaval, which captured and transfixed the audience…Her fast, strong technique was unbelievable…Her grasp of the large structural sweep of Beethoven’s Op. 109 was truly amazing, and her well thought out shaping of the multi-layered variations demonstrated great insight… Breathaking…refreshing…generously endowed gifts. ”

Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung

“Merdinger and Greene performed with charm, sensitivity, and bravado…. The playing sparkled and revealed unusual maturity and a considerable range of pianistic technique.”

The New Haven Register

“Considerable Virtuosity...Merdinger plays with great amounts of energy, a good feel for romantic and impressionistic repertoire, plenty of passion and power and a considerable range of tonal color and shadings…Her performance of Haydn’s Sonata No. 52 in E-flat major showed her ability to get around the keys quickly and toss off lots of flashy passagework...In Debussy’s “Estampes” and “L’Isle Joyeuse”, the pianist summoned interesting and lovely tone colors, delicately placed cascading figuration and well-placed harmonic voicing...The Sonata in B major, Op. 147 by Schubert was played with care and pleasant touch and pedal effects...Lovely lyrical moments... Sparkle and zip. ”

Westchester-Gannett Newspapers

“Stylish, Elegant Mozart, Exciting Gershwin….Miss Merdinger commands a surprising power at the piano…quick and spiritual reaction, the highest ability and experience….The Beethoven Sonata Op. 109 sounded powerful and passionately moved…Equally impressive were Preludes by Debussy… ”

Frankfurter Neue Presse

“Impressive Young Artist…A spectacular piano concert…Susan Merdinger combines great musical sensibility with enormous technical facility… ”

Saarbrucken Zeitung