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Andreas Haefliger

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Reviews

Andreas Haefliger press reviews

"Unlike many virtuosos, Haefliger is a musician first and pianist second... Andreas Haefliger is a pianist to watch. More importantly, he is a pianist to listen to." ~ Chicago Tribune

Tanglewood with Matthias Goerne
"After intermission Haefliger played the Brahms Intermezzi, Op. 117. Throughout the evening he appeared quiet and meditative but played with rich colors and powerful momentum. He voiced the lullaby of the first intermezzo with gentle lyricism and the second, in B-flat minor, with delicate tracery and tasty balances. The final intermezzo was deliberate, but danced and swayed through the five-bar phrases that shaped it."
The Boston Globe, August 2010

Mozart with with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg / Claus Peter Flor
“The soloist, Andreas Haefliger, understands how to resist the temptation of many pianists to ingratiate themselves with the public by overwhelming them with technical brilliance. He was much more concerned with the greater artistic picture…His brilliance lay in his subtle feeling for shading, without the need for exaggeration…One could almost grasp hold of the humanity in this interpretation - something which these days has almost disappeared from the stage, but which Haefliger illuminated as though from another dimension.”
Michaela Preiner, European Cultural News, February 2010

"Haefliger puts his fabulous technique purely at the service of the most intimate musical expression.
In collaboration with the orchestra he gave a wonderful interpretation of all three movements, and the virtuosic, searching cadenzas emphasised this overall impression. Enthusiastic applause was met with an encore which, again, was deeply sensitive. “
Badene Neueste Nachrichten, February 2010

"soloist Andreas Haefliger knew how to find the essence of the music, but also lent his own specialinspiration to the middle Andante movement. And in the Adagio which he played as an encore, he communicated this more tortured music from Mozart's later works, playing it with the same beautiful musicality.”
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, February 2010

Beethoven, Brahms and Janáček / “Perspectives 4” (Avie)
“Andreas Haefliger’s project of recording the Beethoven Sonatas within the context of other piano literature seems to be reaping fascinating results…

In the Janáček Haefliger not only conveys the personal grief that underlines the music, but also its boldness and modernism – features which in many respects can be linked to the innovations that colour Beethoven’s middle period. Likewise, although his approach to the first and third movements of the Waldstein is suitably strong and propulsive, Haefliger imbues the slow movement with an unexpected sense of melancholy, suggesting a parallel sense of loss to that which inspired Janáček…

In Op. 78 the crystal-clear recording serves to emphasize the beautifully veiled and delicate timbre which Haefliger achives in the rushing semiquaver passages…But perhaps the most striking playing of all comes in the Brahms where Haefliger delivers an interpretation of formidable granitic strength that nonetheless manages to encapsulate the work’s more introspective and poetic aspects.”
BBC Music Magazine, Disc of the Month, Christmas 2009 issue

“Very few of Haefliger’s colleagues approach his attainments as a Beethoven player. His scrupulous observance of every indication in the score seems an article of faith, without impugning spontaneity or narrative flow. He internalizes the stylistic idiosyncrasies of each piece so thoroughly that Beethoven’s most unorthodox figurations, harmonic progressions and expressive strategies sound not only completely natural, but inevitable.

Without losing sight of the elegiac thrust of this heartfelt threnody, Haefliger plumbs the richly atmospheric textures of Janáček’s mature piano style.

These deeply affecting and intellectually stimulating performances will only enhance Andreas Haefliger’s reputation as one of the most refined, thoughtful and probative pianists before the public today. Very highly recommended.”
International Record Review, January 2010

Schubert Winterreise / Wolfgang Holzmair
“The understated gentleness of Haefliger’s accompaniment in which he dared to do less to spectacular effect was heightened and highlighted by the occasional emphatic outbursts of Die Post and Der Sturmische Morgen…with the ever-present support of Haefliger [Holzmair] produced a rendering of this most familiar of cycles that was deeply unsettling – in the best possible way.”
The Oxford Times, 21 October 2009

“Holzmair and Haefliger presented the work as full-blooded drama and with wide-ranging emotions… Haefliger’s piano tone for the softer passages and sharp fortes for more dramatic words or phrases had been meticulously thought out and planned, but was always delivered with both passion and conviction.
The last song in particular, “Der Leiermann” (The Hurdy-Gurdy Man) started with a evocative piano introduction from Haefliger, who produced the bell-like sounds evoking the stillness of the hard winter’s day with the old Hurdy-Gurdy man playing his music, while Holzmair brought out all of the true pathos and despair of this final song which ended with a full minute or so of silence from the enraptured audience – who then gave the artists a well-deserved standing ovation.”
Seen and Heard International, 20 October 2009

An Evening with Andreas Haefliger and Michael York / La Jolla SummerFest
“Haefliger is a marvelous pianist who can coax an infinite variety of tone qualities from his instrument…In Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, Haefliger got free rein. The sustained buildup over a long-spun crescendo from the murmuring tremelos of the opening to the thundering apotheosis of the climax was truly astonishing.”
Classical Music Review, 14 August 2009

Lieder by Wolf and Liszt with Matthias Goerne / Salzburger Festspiele
“A Liederabend of rare quality…Haefliger’s accounts were full of revealing detail… I was especially taken with [his] unsettling syncopation in the second of the Harfenspieler songs from Goethe. It was all the more unsettling for its subtlety, its lack of exaggeration.
..An ecstatic richness of tone in both parts, initiated by the Creative act, culminated in the defiance of ‘Herr, laß uns kämpfen, laß uns siegen!’ (‘Lord, let us fight, let us triumph!’) That is certainly what Goerne and Haefliger accomplished in this recital.”
Seen and Heard International, August 2009

Wigmore Hall / Janacek, Beethoven & Brahms
“…a memorable Wigmore occasion - as was the Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger’s recital a few days earlier. He is a musician evidently at the peak of his powers. Janacek’s two-movement Sonata I.X.1905, an elegy for a youth murdered in a Czech nationalist protest, was equally searing and exquisite. Beethoven’s Waldstein sonata was immaculately realised, vigorously thought through, with a perfectly moderated allegretto tempo for the finale; and in the second half Beethoven’s subtle little F sharp sonata, a full-dress, four-movement structure, but coming across in this masterly account as a dramatic unity."
Paul Driver, Sunday Times, November 2008

'Perpectives 3' / Beethoven & Schubert
"Listeners who've followed Andreas Haefliger's solid virtuosity and serious, thoughtful musicianship will find no surprises here... Haefliger's innate affinity for Beethoven's Op 28 Sonata manifests itself via the pianist's relaxed tempi and ample tone. Taste and proportion govern his penchant for rhetorical broadenings and tenuti... he Appassionata’s outer movements achieve a happy fusion of drama, cumulative sweep and textural clarity.”
Gramophone Magazine, June 2008

“Zuhörer, die Andreas Haefligers solide Virtuosität und ernsthafte, durchdachte Musikalität verfolgt haben, werden hier nicht überrascht sein. Seine Neigung zu rhetorischen Verbreiterungen und Tenuti werden von Geschmack und Sinn für Proportionen bestimmt. Die Außensätze seiner „Appassionata“ erfreuen durch eine gelungene Fusion von Dramatik, Spannungsbogen und Klarheit der Textur.”
Gramophone Magazine, June 2008

“The ultimate praise of Haefliger’s technical equipment might be that one is simply never aware of it; one hears only beautiful, fluent music-making, unimpeded by the physical. My avoidance of comparisons in this review is deliberate. It seems to me that, among the more interesting contemporary pianists assaying the Viennese classical canon, Andreas Haefliger is in a class all his own.”
International Record Review, April 2008

“Das höchste Lob für Andreas Haefligers Technik könnte sein, dass man sich ihrer einfach niemals bewusst ist; man hört nur von Körperlichem ungestörte, wunderbare, fließende Musik. Mir scheint, dass Haefliger unter den interessanteren Pianisten, die sich heute den Kanon der Wiener Klassik vornehmen, eine eigene Kategorie beansprucht.”
International Record Review, April 2008

Konzerthausorchester Berlin & Gilbert Varga / Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5
“Haefliger never attacks the piece too directly, and this pianist has few competitors musically to fear in this generation.”
Berliner Zeitung, May 2008

“an Musikalität hat dieser Pianist heute in seiner Generation wenig Konkurrenz zu befürchten”
Berliner Zeitung, May 2008

“…Andreas Haefliger added great meaning with his nimble-fingered playing. This was faultless music making without exaggeration or personal quirks, truly at the service of Beethoven.”
Berliner Morgenpost, May 2008

“... Haefliger fügte seine fingerfertige Klavierkunst aufs verständnisinnigste ein. Es setzte, im Dienst an Beethoven, ein tadelloses Musizieren ohne Übertreibungen und interpretatorische Privatinteressen.”
Berliner Morgenpost, May 2008

Philharmonia Orchestra and Christoph von Dohnányi / Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3
"Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto brought an outstanding partnership with the Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger. Having heard Dohnányi accommodate himself to various ‘star’ pianists in this concerto, with Haefliger one had by contrast the satisfying sense of a genuine marriage of musical minds. Like Alfred Brendel (with whom Dohnányi collaborated in this work last year), Haefliger is a player with a fine sense of classical style, clean without being prissy, dovetailing beautifully in his exchanges with the orchestra yet able to touch on deeper things as in the solo with which the Largo begins which stole in with an almost improvisatory feel. The finale had a dry wit, full of character yet avoiding any hint of overstatement. Dohnányi pounced in cat-like style at the danger-point in the coda."
Classical Source.com, April 2008

Lucerne Piano Festival / Beethoven & Schubert recital
“Den persönlichsten Eindrunk unter den erstmals am Piano-Festival auftretenden Pianisten hinterliess gestern Morgen im Konzertsaal Andreas Haefliger. Das Ereignis war hier die feinen Zwischentöne in Schuberts verloren kreisender letzten Sonate.“
Neue Luzerner Zeitung, November 2007

BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Beethoven
"... with Haefliger indulging Beethoven's romantic lyricism, this was a refreshingly different interpretation."
The Guardian, June 2007

Vienna Musikverein / Tonkünstlerorchester Orchester / Ravel
"The solo part was played with excellent technique and shaping by Andreas Haefliger."
Kurier, June 2007

Beethoven, Bartok and Brahms / Avie “Perspectives 2”
"The fabulous Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger plays works by Bártok, Beethoven and Brahms under the title ‘Perspectives 2” (on 2 CDs). He is always coherent and technically excellent. Brahms sonata in F minor is especially worth a listen."
Wiener Kurier, May 2007

“Der ausgezeichnete Schweizer Pianist Andreas Haefliger spielt unter dem Titel “Perspectives 2” (auf zwei CD’s) Werke von Bártok, Beethoven, und Brahms. Stets stimmig, technisch exzellent. Vor allem die f-Moll-Sonate von Brahms lohnt das Hören.”
Wiener Kurier, May 2007

Beethoven, Bartok and Brahms / Avie "Perspectives 2"
"Perspectives 2 reflects Haefliger's thoughtfulness in programme-building, as well as his musicianship and selfless virtuosity. He conceives Beethoven's Sonata No 27 on a large scale, with pronounced dynamic contrasts and rhetorical underpinnings... Haefliger colours the main theme's decorative manifestation with exquisite shadings...
…His mastery in Bartók's Out of Doors suite comes as no surprise: notice in the finale how he his animated left hand clarifies the music's polyrhythmic momentum...moments abound where Haefliger gives in to Brahms's unbridled energy: listen to him gather steam en route to the finale's coda and simply let things rip."
Gramophone Magazine, June 2006

"…the Brahms Piano Sonata No.3, given a splendidly sonorous, magisterial performance of great distinction."
Classic FM Magazine, May 2006

"A towering performance of Brahms' massive F minor Sonata sounds as revolutionary as everything that has gone before. Quirky, tremendous and highly recommended."
The Guardian, March 2006

Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Schumann
"…Andreas Haefliger created dreamlike moments at the keyboard with his soft, magical touch, playing romantically without gliding into the sentimental."
Vorarlberger Nachrichten, August 2005

BBC Symphony Orchestra / Grieg
"The welcome soloist was Andreas Haefliger, whose easy command of the keyboard meant that lyricism shone through even in the most technically demanding moments. He floated a dreamy line in the adagio and brought out the finale's dancing rhythm."
The Times, May 2005

Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Brahms
"The fabulous Andreas Haefliger was soloist in this Thursday concert and offered a brilliant piano performance, a steely will and Johannes Brahms in the style of Beethoven...One moment he is pushing the music forward with determination, in the next he's creeping right under the skin of the notes, with an intensity that almost makes time stand still. One minute he is intently watching what the orchestra is doing, the next he is leaning back listening to the music with relaxed concentration. In this sense, he's a man of extremes. But he's also a musician with such good taste and sense of form that his music never seems eccentric or posturing."
BerlingskeTidende, October 2004

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at BBC Proms / Beethoven
"Haefliger maintained refinement, eloquence and perspective, with a wonderful capacity for hushed, mellow playing that was not only right for the musical context but also utterly spellbinding. This was the most completely enjoyable performance of the Proms so far."
The Daily Telegraph, July 2004

Mozart Piano Sonatas / Avie
"These are exquisite performances, beautifully recorded, of Mozart's last four sonatas… Haefliger's playing is unmannered, crystal-clear in figuration and poetic in phrasing."
The Sunday Telegraph, October 2003

"… this is always intelligent, deeply musical playing that will appeal to those who like their Mozart crisp, clear-eyed and athletic."
The Daily Telegraph, October 2003

In recital / Schubert, Beethoven, Ades and Mozart "Haefliger really understands the art of putting together an intelligent and sensitive programme. ... The middle movement [of the Beethoven] was full of lyricism, and with the final movement he returned to the mood of the start, playing everything clearly and with control. …He played the Allegro with clear strength and brilliance, and after creating an unbelievable tension in the Adagio, he let the Allegretto follow with an almost playful jollity. And technically? A work of Swiss precision!"
Wiener Zeitung, May 2003

"Haefliger is one to take risks, which make him a fascinating artist…Haefliger then simply let the Mozart Sonata flow out of Adès's irresolution, lifting us from grief to serenity…"
The Guardian, April 2003

Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Munich / Grieg
"Andreas Haefliger played the solo part with the necessary technical perfection and gave energetic momentum through his organic, never arbitrary rubato"
Münchner Merker, February 2003