Quotations and Homages Press

Reviews of Nadia Shpachenko’s Quotations and Homages album

Marc Medwin, Fanfare Magazine

“…a superb and superbly recorded program of pieces as fresh as they are ready to pay respect to the traditions that led to their creation… Shpachenko’s playing is everything it needs to be and more… Eras seem not to exist for her, and neither does musical dogma, allowing her the freedom to speak the music’s multifarious dialects.”

Steven Niles, New Classic LA

“The genius of this album is in its effortless flow. Each work follows naturally from one to the next. Though unified by the common theme of homage, each piece is wholly individual and unrelated to the others, enabling continuous listener attention… The concept is creative, the program well constructed, and Shpachenko’s pianism is of the highest caliber. The recording is sure to remain a mainstay of the contemporary discography for posterity.”

Peter Burwasser, Fanfare Magazine

“Shpachenko is a brilliant and thoughtful artist. There is a huge range of dramatic and technical effects within this collection, and she captures them all with remarkable precision and expressivity… In all, this is a most invigorating and distinctive release.”

Ron Schepper, Textura Magazine

“Rare, not to mention refreshing, is the classical recording that balances seriousness with humour… [Shpachenko] executes all the material with conviction, her connection to the material unwavering no matter the works’ differences. Above all else, there is joy in her playing, and it transfers infectiously to the listener.”

Don Clark, I Care If You Listen

“Nadia Shpachenko‘s new Reference Recordings album Quotations and Homages is a clear winner… Coming on the wings of her Grammy-nominated album Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013, also on Reference Recordings, Quotations and Homages showcases Shpachenko’s prodigious pianism and her ability to conceive and execute innovative and accessible programs… Shpachenko’s technique and interpretation are above reproach… The album is a fascinating and approachable glimpse into the music of then and now realized through the hands and mind of a most interesting and dedicated musician.”

Dacia Clay, Second Inversion

“Shpachenko’s love of playing—both with toys and on her piano, and sometimes, with her toy piano—is part of what makes her new album, Quotations and Homages, so much fun to listen to. She’s got this wide-open sense of adventure that comes across not only in her playing, but in the pieces she commissions and the composers from whom she commissions them. (Shpachenko seems to choose composers by their willingness to be co-conspirators in her exploits as much as for their compositional aptitude.) An album of pieces that pay homage to everyone from Messiaen to the Velvet Underground? Yes! A piece inspired by Stravinsky called “Igor to Please” written for 6 pianists on 2 toy pianos, 2 pianos, and electronics? Yay! Let’s do it!”

Reviews of Nadia Shpachenko’s live Quotations and Homages performances

Paul Muller, Sequenza21
“Nadia Shpachenko at Art Share LA”

“A bountiful offering of extraordinary piano music combined with highly skilled performances… 6 Fugitive Memories is a remarkable exposition of historical and influential musical voices, expertly realized by Ms. Shpachenko… The wide variety of density and colors make Rainbow Tangle a well balanced tribute to Messiaen’s landmark work… Down to You is Up makes effective use of the Velvet Underground material without being derivative, creating a sparkling, original work… Epitaphs and Youngsters is a well-balanced multimedia work that memorably captures the essence of its subjects in music, visual art and words… Ms. Shpachenko sat quietly and seemed to gather herself before attacking the keyboard, issuing blizzard of rapid notes from the piano that filled the air with an amazing variety of complex sounds – for about ten seconds [in Piano Piece for Mr. Carter’s 100th Birthday]… Bolts of Loving Thunder displays an impressive range of emotions and exuberance in keeping with a great tradition… Igor to Please is visceral and exciting, an amazing ensemble of electronics and piano that calls for virtuosic skill by the soloist… Accidental Mozart was received in good fun and showcased Borecki’s acute sense of musical style and arrangement.”

George Grella, New York Classical Review
“Pianist Shpachenko brings strength to wide range of living composers”

“The latest example was pianist Nadia Shpachenko, nominated for a Grammy for her CD Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013. Coming in from Southern California, she brought a program of nine different pieces, “Quotations and Homages,” all of recent vintage, including six world premieres Sunday night. The works are responses to music of composers of the past. Despite the conceptual framework, the music covered a broad range of styles—almost entirely tonal. Shpachenko herself is a strong player, with a touch that gives weight and solidity even at low dynamics… More direct, and in a way more personal, was Daniel Felsenfeld’s punchy Down to You is Up… the Velvet influence mainly comes through in the meaty passion of the music. It gets wild at times, and Shpachenko played with plenty of power… the highlight of the concert was Tom Flaherty’s Rainbow Tangle… Shpachenko played expertly with and through the electronics, shaping the dynamics into a rich ambient sound… eminently worthwhile concert from Shpachenko and her fellow composers.”

Steven Niles, New Classic LA
“Pianist Nadia Shpachenko Honors Audience in Homage-Themed Recital at Sound and Fury”

“Nadia Shpachenko’s obviously masterful recital last Saturday concluded the second season of the estimable new music series, Sound and Fury Concerts on a high note. Delivered with an authority and unhesitating know-how that left no room for doubt, Shpachenko’s virtuoso program of new music for piano—both solo and electronically fleshed—revealed how convincingly present-day composers can match the prestidigital feats of Liszt and Chopin. Simultaneously, universal statements on life and art, expressed in a heartfelt lyricism still resounding almost audibly, emerged to elevate the afternoon event into something profound… Shpachenko’s thoughtfully ordered offering of uniformly winning pieces, centered on a theme of “quotations and homages,” was an homage to the audience—an inviting, overflowing musical cornucopia, impacting listeners all the more directly in its uninterrupted flow.”