Reviews for "A Grand Romance" (2013)
"Jeffrey Biegel's "A Grand Romance" (Steinway & Sons/Archiv Music 30017) offers splashy pianism on
the lighter side, with a thoroughly enjoyable collection of unabashed crowd-pleasers, mostly in a
Romantic vein. Biegel, with amazing technique, makes the most of the showpieces in this purely
by Bryan Miller – St. Louis Post-Dispatch – August 25, 2013
A GRAND ROMANCE, recorded by Jeffrey Biegel; Steinway & Sons 30017, 65:35 [Distr. by Naxos] ****
"[Moszkowski's] La Jongleuse rivals several of the Chopin etudes for bravura legerdemain. Moszkowski
asks of Biegel plenty of double notes, quick shifts of touch and register, and slick glissandos to fly
about, dazzlers that Biegel executes or "juggles" with the necessary flair... Adolf von Henselt (1814-1889)
became noted in Germany and St. Petersburg as a serious rival to both Chopin and Liszt, and his two
characteristic pieces evoke, respectively fluttering lightness (Si oiseau j'etais) and suave metrically
intricate elegance (Petite Valse No. 1) from Biegel... Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894), receives homage by
way of the ubiquitous, flotation-device Reve Angelique (or Kamennoi-Ostrow) that played a part in
Dietrich's performance in Josef von Sternberg's The Scarlet Empress. Biegel's rendition proves as
diaphanous as any I've heard... [Sgambati's] Gavotta (1880) casts an aura both antique and martial,
played with Biegel's firm but light hand... Finally, the selection of honor of Biegel's "musical
grandfather" Josef Lhevinne, the Arabesques on "The Blue Danube," has 'Danube waves' in abundance,
huge trills, and slick pearly-play in spades, to make Stanley Kubrick wish that this arrangement
had graced his 2001 project. Engineer Daniel Shores has made Biegel's Steinway sound fluent,
natural, and luxuriantly smooth."
by Gary Lemco – Audiophile Audition – July 24, 2013
"A Grand Romance is a perfect recital, a musical confession that launches the imagination and
heralds the artist. In every way, A Grand Romance is an up close and personal encounter with
As a young pianist he studies with a master teacher — a legend in her own
time — whose personal experience and knowledge of repertoire inspires her one day to
suggest he learn a handful of works and become acquainted with the artists who performed and
recorded them. One of those pianists, Josef Lhévinne, proved to be a heaven-sent connection."
by Sean Martinfield – Huffington Post – May 31, 2013
"Once in a while amid the glut of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff piano music available on CD,
there comes a recording that makes the jaded listener sit up and smile. One such album is Jeffrey
Biegel's A Grand Romance, a stunning album devoted to short pieces that have been unduly
With one stroke, Biegel has resuscitated some of the works that would have been integral to the
repertoire of a bygone era's pianists. Biegel is the right pianist for this repertoire. He has
the innate musical sense to get to the essence of these pieces. His playing is notable for its
wonderfully defined lyricism, beautifully phrased expressiveness and refined virtuosity — all of
which allows him to give this music its due."
Edward Reichel – ReichelRecommends.com – June 5, 2013
"For me, the most enjoyable pieces were those where Biegel's clarity of tone, silky touch,
technical assuredness, and his obvious delight in these works really shine through: Moszkowski's
exuberant Étincelles, Henselt's Si oiseau j'étais, and Scholzer's Etudes, Op. 1:
This is an enjoyable album of favourite encores: Biegel's stylish playing and consistently
polished finish remind us of why these pieces continue to enjoy such popularity in piano recitals."
by Frances Wilson – CrossEyedPianist.com – May 31, 2013
"This is high Romanticism at its more winning and most engaging. To complement the music, Jeffrey
BiegelŐs pianism is both comfortable and dazzling."
by John J. Puccio – ClassicalCandor blog – June 2, 2013
"The selection and programming of the works on the album is thoughtful and well-balanced.
Obviously virtuosic pieces are followed by works of more depth and sentiment, such as the Lyrica
Nova by Samuel Bortkiewicz and Kamennly-Ostrov (Rocky Island) by Rubinstein, both of which are
played with sensitivity and warmth by Biegel.
The grandiose Schulz-Evier paraphrase of Strauss's extremely popular 'An der schönen
blauen Donau' (The Beautiful Blue Danube) avoids cliché in Biegel's hands with
his delicate attention to its frills and furbelows, and tasteful rubato. In every work on this
tasteful CD Jeffrey Biegel offers distinct attention to detail and yet embellishes these little
works with a flair for showmanship without indulging in over-statement."
by Grady Harp – SearchProductReviews.com – June 4, 2013
"Each miniature work represents a genre of pianism that allows Biegel to express his unique
tonal palette and sensitivity to pedaling, color and phrasing. Overall, his interpretations –
which range from short and sweet piano etudes to character pieces and technical dazzlers –
are impeccable and will surely have a positive impact on his listeners."
by Paula Edelstein – Examiner.com – May 21, 2013