Dayton Daily News
December 4, 2006
PIANIST HIMY IN TOP FORM FOR SOIREES SERIES RETURN
W.A. Mozart and Robert Schumann shared the focus Saturday evening when Washington, D.C.-based pianist Eric Himy returned to the Soirees Musicales Piano Series stage at Shiloh Church after a two-year absence.
Himy, who was making his third Soirees appearance, offered a varied program that noted the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth and the 150th anniversary of Schumann's death by including not only a work by each of the two composers, but also works inspired by their compositions.
So, in addition to Mozart's Sonata in B-flat, K. 333, and Schumann's Symphonic Etudes Op. 13, Himy gave us Hommage a Mozart, by contemporary Spanish composer Elisenda Fabregas, along with Liszt's transcription of two love songs by Schumann and Liszt's Fantasy on Don Juan, based on themes from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. Himy even threw in his own transcription of an aria from the opera Armida by Mozart contemporary Antonio Salieri, who, Himy noted, got a bad rap as a jealous rival in the Academy Award-winning movie Amadeus.
An amazingly agile pianist whose fleet fingers seemed capable of doing no wrong, Himy showed a profound appreciation for each work, not only in his studied playing, but also in the spoken introductions he provided throughout.
High points of the program included Himy's renderings of Schumann's Etudes and Liszt's Fantasy, which soared with both thoughtful musicality and technical wizardry. The crowd, which included a number of accomplished pianists, responded with a rousing ovation.