Eric Himy

An American in Brussels

Eric Himy, the American virtuoso pianist , gave a recital last night in Brussels, that none of the listeners present will forget anytime soon, at least not this listener.

The setting was a large Art Gallery, famous for hosting cultural events, the Steinway superb, and Mr. Himy made the most of it.

He is what one calls a pianist’s pianist; Indeed many colleagues present in the audience yesterday,  recognized  his superior mastery and control of the keyboard, and saw him as being “in a different league”.

His league is that of the great late 19th century or early 20th century pianists. He doesn’t play the piano, he plays with the piano, at once caressing the keys, then flying over them with such speed and dexterity that the human ear can hardly understand what’s is going on. We wish for a replay and slow motion to better understand how he does it, but this is the secret of magic. It only belongs to the magicians, and Mr. Himy is one on the piano.

The scope between his subtle pianissimos and thunderous fortissimos was huge, and in every nuance his sound was always warm and beautiful. A master colourist, the depicted the music, and brought out the relief and beauty of the pieces he presented to us.

The program revolved around George Gershwin, and his 2 warhorses, An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue. Mr. Himy, an American who lived for quite a while in Paris, and who speaks impeccable French, as we heard in his illuminating and spiritual comments, is probably one of the best interpreters around these days for this repertoire. Rarely have I witnessed such a perfect match between composer and interpreter, one that recalls the famous pairings of Cortot and Chopin, Arrau and Beethoven, or Uchida and Mozart.

Gems by Debussy, Chopin and Liszt, were also included, and in each, Mr. Himy revealed himself to be a musician with a consummate sense of style and an usually impressive technique.

To hear Mr. Himy in concert is truly a unique experience. He draws you into his world and doesn’t let go, until the final third encore is over. Not that you wished to go anywhere. The public sat spellbound long after the last note vanished, and one could sense in the air the feeling of gratefulness and amazement among the public.

Michel Errera

Eric Himy, piano  - Brussels, Belgium - December 18, 2014
An American in Brussels

Gershwin / Himy                An American in Paris (1928) 
Debussy                                    La fille aux cheveux de lin (1908)                    
                                                La plus que lente, valse pour piano (1910)
                                                Golliwog’s cakewalk (1908)                    
Gershwin                                 Three Preludes (1926)                     
                                                I   Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
                                                II   Andante con moto  e poco rubato
                                                III  Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
Debussy                                    Poisson d'or  (1907)
Ibert                                         Le petit âne blanc (1922)
Liszt                                         Liebesträume                         
Chopin                                      Etude opus 25 no. 6                                                                                                                      
Chopin                                      Fantasie-Impromptu  Opus 66 
Gershwin                                 Rhapsody in Blue  version piano solo  (arr. Himy) (1924)
(version manuscrit original )

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