Concert Reviews

Wiener Chopin-Blätter,

30 years old and still going strong! A more than worthy celebration of the Chopin Festival at the Kartause, Gaming

…30 years of the Chopin Festival in the municipality of Gaming, organized by the International Chopin Society in Vienna – now if that's not a reason to celebrate! … ...  And sure enough in its special 30 th  anniversary edition the Chopin Festival in Gaming presented, as in previous years, a firework display of artistic excellence. … Also belonging to the category "perfection" was the orchestral concert in the Kartause church. On the one hand the conductor: Mário Kosik had the high-precision Slovakian Radio Symphony Orchestra superbly under control. The same unerring touch was displayed by the soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto KV 488. The outstanding Viennese pianist Susanna Artzt made the A major Concerto truly sparkle, its original cadenzas effervescent, its middle movement elegiac, so beautiful you could cry. 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 28 July 2014

A visiting card from Franz Xaver Mozart

...yet Franz Xaver had no need of his father's giant footsteps: his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in E flat major, composed in 1818 and presented in Weilburg by the Croatian pianist Susanna Artzt in a completely convincing interpretation, keeps at some remove from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's art, except for a few phrases in the Andante espressivo; indeed it decidedly anticipates Romanticism and is a composition of such high calibre that one again has to ask oneself why hardly any pianists have it in their repertoire...

Frankfurter Neue Presse, July 30th, 2014

No Mozart is alike
by Anneke Jung

The Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Susanna Artzt presented the Mozart family in a concert at the Weilburger Schlosskonzerte festival.
Pianist Susanna Artzt gave an elegant and flowing rendition of Franz Xaver Mozart's piano concerto, sensitively accompanied by the orchestra. ... But very few people know of the son, and if they do then it's by name only. That he's worth listening to closely was demonstrated by the concert of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marcin Nalecz-Niesiolowski with the Croatian pianist Susanna Artzt. Quite why the works of Franz Xaver have been largely forgotten is hard to understand when one hears the accomplished Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major. After the opulent orchestral introduction the listener is treated to virtuosic rippling runs and lovely melodies. In the slow movement the melancholy mood is as appealing as the fine-sounding dialogue of the woodwind with the piano. A carefree, sometimes folk-style rondo brings the composition to a close. Susanna Artzt's interpretation of the three movements was elegant and flowing, so that even with closed eyes one would have guessed it was a woman at the keyboard. With an unstrained virtuosity and without any muscular display she placed the music and not herself in the centre of the picture. The musicians in the orchestra responded to this without difficulty and provided a subtle accompaniment that, thanks to the compositional structure, left them ample scope to play with a fuller sound. There was plenty of applause plus a Chopin waltz as an encore, executed with sublimely sensitive musicianship.


Mozart takes music into unearthly fields

The pianist Susanna Artzt stood out brilliantly with a touch, which seemed to be light as a feather and effortless even at the most difficult arpeggios and scales. This music seemed to hover far above earthly fields, Susanna Artzt’s fantasy bestowed it depth and brilliance.


United in success

Susanna Artzt played the seldom concerto in g-minor op. 22 by Saint-Saens. The daughter of an Indian and (former) student of Paul Badura-Skoda intensified the pathetic g-minor mood of the first movement and impressed strongly with the virtuoso bravura in the dance-like Presto-Finale.   Klaus P.Richter


Enchanting Piano Pearls

Susanna Artzt, pianist, enchanted in the Brahmssaal of the Vienna’s Musikverein The pianist Susanna Artzt captivated her audience with Debussy, Scriabin, and Ravel. To make a journey for one evening, without moving: to immerse into Asiatic foreign parts of sound, then to sway in the rhythm of Spanish dances, and suddenly to hear the rain, as it splashes down in a garden in France. These are the locations evoked by the young pianist with her sophisticated, subtly differentiating interpretation of Debussy`s piano cycle „Estampes“. In the emotional restraint, in the sustained piano, the curbings of a roaming thought are shown... Extremely passionate then Maurice Ravel`s „La Valse“. Susanna Artzt had worked out exquisitely the often abruptly changing impressions in the works of Debussy, now we had the breaks of the waltz melody, crystallizing from an initial, soft tremolo. Tonal steps, dynamic jumps give the impression of flashlights from other worlds, other dimensions. They anticipate the drama which gradually plunges forward in a more and more tormenting way, „the fantastic and also fatal whirl of a waltz night“ as Ravel commented himself.


Susanna Artzt, an Austrian pianist with experience in the international field, made a good impression with the c # minor Nocturne as a self-effacing and sensitive interpreter, who enchanted with magical pianissimo and legato. On the other hand, where Ravel asks for power and impact in his “La Valse”, she demonstrated her great powers of interpretation, showing an undeniable affinity with the picturesque soundworld of this daring Frenchman. It was astonishing, how this first class pianist teased out the highly complicated and cunning harmonies in this apotheosis of the waltz, how she lost herself wholly in these swooping and scintillating sounds. The audience was highly appreciative. Hubert Bauernhauser


... Among all these highlights one artist stood out, the young Indian-Croat pianist Susanna Artzt, who is now living near Vienna. Already in an earlier recital, one was fascinated by her performance of the f-minor Ballade of Chopin, with its finest details mapped out, in which, with remarkable control she articulated to the full, without for a second breaking the curve of the phrase, contrasting this with equally convincing, brilliant, passionate, cascading figures. Susanna Artzt’s interpretation made for the attentive listener something quite new out of this familiar work. Next day, Susanna Artzt tackled the heights of the piano repertoire with the fiendishly difficult – and therefore rarely to be heard live - „La Valse“ of Maurice Ravel. In a certain sense this work presents a logical development of the valses of Chopin, who produced magnificent compositions in this dance form, whilst always maintaining a critical relationship with J. Strauss pêre. Ravel was also aware - and not only after his first visit to Vienna in 1920 – of a considerable gap between Viennese men and Viennese music. In a masterly manner, partly ironic, partly even in caricature, Ravel contrives to interweave these strands and Susanna Artzt was able to bring them out. In her hands, the piano was transformed into a whole orchestra full of the most glittering and varied colours, whereby the „conductor“ contrived to combine emotional depths, the presentation of dramatic development, and clear formal structures.   Sumie Ishibashi


Noted as an extraordinary sensitive pianist, the Austrian Susanna Artzt again fascinated us with her „Ballad op.52, No 4, in f-minor“, where the delicacy we expected, was set off by impressive drama and her excellent technique, all of which brought tumultuous applause.   Helmut Batliner


heidelberger frühling  Music Festival „Prometheus Unbound“

That is how Beethoven might have imagined his music being performed: dynamic, expressive, passionate, uncompromising. At the same time, however, highly differenciated, qualified, and concentrated. Music freed from tradition and conventions. [...] Here Prometheus was successfully unbound. Eckehard J.Häberle


„Classic meeting“ with an enchanting Mozart”  „

[…] Now we could hear this enchanting work played by Susanna Artzt and numerous listeners enjoyed her performance, which was distinguished by sensitive clearness and powerful virtuosity. The soloist played her part full of tension by using finest dynamic and rhythmic evaluation and well thought- out agogic. Thus this concert, which is regarded as Mozart’s most difficult work for the piano, turned out to an extraordinarily high musical pleasure.“


Mozart takes music into unearthly fields The pianist Susanna Artzt stood out brilliantly with a touch, which seemed to be light as a feather and effortless even at the most difficult arpeggios and scales. This music seemed to hover far above earthly fields, Susanna Artzt’s fantasy bestowed it depth and brilliance.


Matthäuskirche: Philharmonic Orchestra made music with the pianist Susanna Artzt

The pianist Susanna Artzt, daughter of Indian-Croatian parents, who lives in Vienna, played the piano concerto with due clarity, sophisticated culture of touch and definite structure.


„Where many pianists can’t resist the temptation to demonstrate their virtuosity, Susanna Artzt concentrates on underlining the sensibility of the pieces, and turning their inner lives to the outside. There was cheering already after the first part of the concert, but the great highlight was still to come. Susanna Artzt had chosen Schubert’s sonata c-minor D958 as the final piece. She played it like coming from one single impulse, profoundly, without artificial showing off of temperament.“


Brilliant technique serving a wide palette of musical styles

„[...] Susanna Artzt played Etudes by Claude Debussy, shaping them with fine suppleness, allowing the individual character of each to emerge. Then came a worthwhile diversion onto the conservative „modern“ repertoire, works by Alban Berg and György Ligeti, followed by Etudes by Frederic Chopin. Susanna Artzt seems to have a special affinity for this composers music. With technical perfection she took the extremely difficult „Revolutionary Etude“ at a breathtaking tempo. This was the work of a young pianist who will certainly soon make her mark on the classical music scene!“


Being a wunderkind can often be an unpleasant life-long task for an artist or scholar. It is not uncommon that creative powers during youthful years are regarded sceptically: „This young person or child is dealing with things well beyond his/her years. With this way of life, the boy or the girl may well advance to the status of a „young, rising star“, but later their lives will become empty, if their dreams don´t come true.“ But all these are merely half-truths! We all know many examples from music history of great artists who were already showing their wondering skills in their very young age. Again and again in this context we find Mozart´s father reporting to his wife in letters of the constant new accomplishments of their son Wolfgang Amadeus (fortunately, these reports have been saved in archives). He writes, for instance, of how Wolfgang, during their many travels, was learning Italian and other European music, and that „just EN PASSANT“, that is to say, without making any effort whatsoever - or, as Plato puts it in a wise saying (in which of course he is referring to the greatest talents), „When we learn something, it´s as if we were remembering it“. [...] I pondered these things a few days ago while I was sitting in the Croatian Music Society Hall („Hrvatski glazbeni zavod“) and listening to the concert given by the young pianist Susanna ARTZT. At the age of eighteen - when in best case one begins his or her studies - she played her Diploma Recital, i.e. the requirements to fulfil the „Master“ level, which corresponds to the highest level for piano soloists which one can reach, as graduate student at the Zagreb Music Academy, the highest music-education institution in this country. I had to admit to myself that ... I had completely forgotten that I was actually attending a performance by a student who is completing her studies! I was surprised and swept away! ... We´ll always be swept by such talent!   Mladen Raukar