“A CONVERSATION WITH DIRK JOERES”
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London Video on You Tube
“ … Joeres has something fresh and nutritious to say … this is a Rhenish to get you hot under the collar. This is not a case of outrage; rather a reaction to the sheer visceral voltage Joeres extracts. His is an unreconstructed romantic lean-meat hothouse reading. It is worthy to be counted alongside Carlos Kleiber’s DG Beethoven Fifth Symphony and Solti’s Elgar 2. It is easy to spend superlatives on Joeres' indomitable leaping dynamics but he does not neglect the more pulse-calming writing as in the pastoral idylls of Nicht schnell and the dark-clouded Feierlich, itself redolent of Brahms' Tragic Overture. After the Symphony comes an equally edgy and Manfred-style Overture, Scherzo and Finale. This too has no truck with routine baton-waving. There's as much gallop, surge, spring, resilience and solar plexus impact as in the Symphony. ”
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International, September 2014
“… Joeres hat etwas Neues und Grundlegendes zu sagen. … dies ist eine elektrisierende „Rheinische“. Das ist keine
Übertreibung, sondern eine Reaktion auf die geradezu körperliche Hochspannung, die Joeres erzielt. Seine Interpretation ist spontan, romantisch, zugleich kontrolliert und überbordend.
Sie steht gleichrangig neben der Fünften Beethoven-Sinfonie mit Carlos Kleiber auf DG und der Zweiten von Elgar mit Solti. Es liegt nahe, über Joeres’ bezwingende
dynamische Bandbreite in Superlativen zu schreiben, andrerseits vernachlässigt er nicht die ruhigeren Passagen wie z. B. in der pastoralen Idylle des Nicht schnell und in dem dunkel getönten
Feierlich, das an Brahms’ Tragische Ouvertüre anklingt. Auf die Sinfonie folgt, gleichermaßen scharf konturiert und an ‚Manfred’ erinnernd, Ouvertüre, Scherzo und Finale.
Auch da alles andere als routinemäßiges Dirigieren. Es findet sich hier genauso viel federnde Beweglichkeit, Vorwärtsdrängen, Schwung und Schlagkraft wie in der Sinfonie.“
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International, September 2014
Joeres at work with the RPO in Cadogan Hall London
The Austrian composer and music theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935), who studied harmony with Anton Bruckner, died before the Nazis could do him physical harm. But the compositions of this Jewish musician were discredited until 1945 and later did not really manage to escape from obscurity anymore. And if at all, his theoretical works became known rather than his very few compositions. … Still, one must not assume [as Dirk Joeres says], “that the piano pieces and songs which Schenker composed, were only study material.” The pianist proves this with his highly sensitive interpretations, in which he makes the condensed rich expressiveness of the scores effectively audible.
Dirk Joeres, originally a pianist but in recent years chiefly active as a conductor, is still a magnificent interpreter at the piano and he shows this in the works by Johannes Brahms. Piano playing is still important also for the conductor in order to reflect on music, Joeres says, and the results of these reflections come wonderfully to fruition with Brahms: Joeres unfolds the intertwined melodic paths in these compositions whereby the flow of lyricism as well as the drama never falters.
At the end the listener has the impression to have met two like-minded people with Schenker and Brahms whose works form together a very beautiful, satisfying programme with a nostalgic touch standing in its totality and in its profound reflection against our present times. This makes the little silver disc so valuable and such a tonic. Review by Remy Franck in Pizzicato, March 2014
„ … The pianist and conductor Dirk Joeres has immersed himself into Schenker’s musical theories. His exploration of Schenker’s work and influence has now led to a CD production which is truly remarkable – not only because its musical qualities show Joeres as a pianist of supreme status – but also because Heinrich Schenker’s piano works are presented here for the first time on CD. …. It certainly makes sense that Dirk Joeres combines works by Schenker with compositions by his friend and musical idol Johannes Brahms. … An extraordinarily subtle touch and mastery of musical characterization is asked for to bring to life the fascinating artistic personality of Heinrich Schenker. He could not have wished for a better advocate than Dirk Joeres.” Stephan Schwarz, Fono Forum, March 2014
„ … Dirk Joeres has long been best known as a conductor, one whose recordings with the Royal Philharmonic and West German Sinfonia have been well received, so it may be surprising to see him play the piano music of Schenker and Brahms. … Still, he is a musician who likes to make connections and to innovate in his concert-giving. … Conjoining Schenker and Brahms in this way is certainly useful, inasmuch as it reflects just how indebted to the older musician Schenker was. … [Brahms op. 118, op. 119]: Joeres plays with warmth and sensitivity … takes fine tempi and characterises them adroitly.” Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb international, January 2014
“Musical theorist Heinrich Schenker left a tantalisingly small number of finely crafted works that illustrate his profound admiration for
Brahms. Joeres is an engaging and insightful interpreter of both composers.” Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine, December
“When this CD first appeared in 1996 it received a Supersonic Award. Entitled “Waltzes for Piano”, Dirk Joeres plays Schubert’s ‘6 German Dances’ and ‘12 Valses Nobles’, Brahms’ 16 Waltzes op. 39 and by Dvorak 8 Waltzes op. 54. The 42 short works (most of them last about two minutes, the longest 4 minutes and 29 seconds) form a captivating programme. Dirk Joeres presents it with romantic lyricism, whereby his strict control of the expressive range and his supreme interpretative skill help to avoid any sentimentality or perfumed affectation.“ Remy Franck, Pizzicato February 2014
“Bei der Erstveröffentlichung 1996 erhielt diese CD eine Supersonic-Auszeichnung. Unter dem Titel „Walzer für Klavier“ spielt Dirk Joeres Schuberts ‘6 Deutsche Tänze’ und ‘12 Valses Nobles’, von Brahms 16 Walzer op. 39 und von Dvorak 8 Walzer op. 54. Die 42 kurzen Werke (die meisten dauern zwischen einer und zwei Minuten, das längste hat 4 Minuten und 29 Sekunden) bilden ein abwechslungsreiches Programm. Dirk Joeres bietet es uns mit einer Art romantischem Lyrismus an, in dem allerdings eine strenge Kontrolle der Ausdruckspalette und die Überlegenheit der Gestaltung jede Sentimentalität oder parfümierten Plüsch vermeiden helfen.“ Remy Franck, Pizzicato Februar 2014