Distinguished Artist in Residence at Skidmore College



Celebration of the New CD

“Here is a disc of new music that’s almost too much fun to be classical, and curiously, each piece—though modern in concept and structure—is inspired by something from the past. The disc begins with an endearingly quirky piece, Joseph Fennimore’s “An Old Soft Shoe” for Piano, meant to evoke the feeling of being in a cabaret without forcing you to actually enter one… Baytelman plays this with absolutely delicious suggestiveness and an appropriately “teasing” sense of rhythm.”

From Chile to Cuba CD

“Pola Baytelman’s pianistic prowess and interpretive mastery are in full bloom here. She not only harbors a natural stylistic affinity for the works that make up this Latin-American piano music survey, but also shapes them with passionate dynamism.”

Humoreske Op. 20

“It is practically owned by Richter. If you prefer to avoid Richter we liked Paulo Giacometti…We also liked the Chilean pianist Pola Baytelman on Centaur 2591; she understands Schumann’s wildness as few others do…Richard Goode’s Humoreske is wonderfully poetic and sensitive. Other excellent recordings are by Horowitz, Kempff, and Carbonel…”

Humoreske Op. 20

“Her playing of this piece [Humoreske Op. 20]  demonstrates her instinct for the melancholy strains in Schumann, and for his occasional whimsy. Her Humoreske is a pleasure throughout.”

“Few pianists have recorded the exquisite music of Iberia as persuasively and with such finesse… In her hands, every bit the equal to De Larrocha’s, music jumps to life so vividly as to convey the essence of Spanish culture.”

“…Sound, resourceful performer with a good technical command… Best performances were of Chopin…. rubato crept into the playing; by subtle transition it went from knotted and tensely exact to luxuriant and suspenseful… It was intelligent, multifaceted playing.”

Recital de flauta y piano “…Una versión que destacó la vena lírica del Andantino con expresivos “rubati”, desplegando en el Allegro – mezcla de ímpetu y frivolidad – un virtuosismo fogosamente arrebatador.”

“Una ejecutante dotada de una comprensión cabal del material con que laboran sus dedos para conseguir la transmisión de una obra que muestra unidad conceptual…De este modo apoyada en un touché diáfano, ofreció un estado musical, todo frescura, amabilidad y encanto, es decir un Mozart servido por una ejecución matizada admirablemente.”

“La joven ejecutante se desempeñó de modo magnífico. Musical y segura, plasmó la substancia sonora con un poder de síntesis considerable. El discurso cristalino del teclado fue testimonio de pleno entendimiento, el que se evidenció particularmente en las cadenzas, entregadas con vitalidad y fantasía, yendo el dominio técnico mano a mano con la compenetración espiritual.”

“[Albéniz’s] Iberia reste un des sommets de virtuosité et de poésie de la littérature pianistique espagnole … Baytelman réussit admirablement à exprimer l’intensité des émotions du recueil.”

Song as Drama “…And a collaborator like Baytelman (who seems to be one of the area best kept secrets) makes for an evening in which mere professionalism is overshadowed by creative excitement.”

Recital de flauta y piano “… A lo largo del recital musical de ambas intérpretes, la calidad sonora obtenida en sus respectivos instrumentos, y el notable sentido musical mostrado para realizar la matización, las gradaciones dinámicas por planos, la conducción de las voces en los pasajes contrapuntísticos, y la acusada diferenciación de los estilos de los respectivos autores, hicieron de este concierto uno de los mas gratos momentos de le música de cámara realizadas últimamente en esta ciudad.”

“…Baytelman took – and communicated obvious delight in Schumann’s [Carnaval] droll little characterizations. This was an enchanting performance, one that brought all the music’s wit and warmth to life. From the sly sparkle of “Arlequin” and “Coquette” to the sensuous caresses of “Chopin” to the grandeur of “Valse Noble” it was music making to gladden the heart.”

“This Chilean-born artist is a performer of grace and dignity, and it doesn’t hurt to have her amazing technical ability either.”

“Indeed her taste, sensitivity and intelligence – focused by her faultless concentration – made it a joy to hear everything she played in this diverse program … It is difficult to single out one work as an outstanding highlight. Yet I was especially impressed by Baytelman’s treatment of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Klavierstucke [Op. 33]” … Baytelman brought its emotional complexity fully and unforgettably to life.”

“Miss Baytelman, who has impressive credentials, gave [Liszt’s E-flat Piano Concerto] it an authoritative and virtuoso performance. Her octaves were noteworthy for their accuracy and exceptional speed. Her conception was very romantic with a liberal use of rubato and an obvious understanding of the Liszt rhetoric.”

From Chile to Cuba CD “Baytelman’s pianism is beyond sound: in the faster segments of the music it quickly becomes clear that she has technique to burn… She is just as impressive in the slower passages. Her melodies are full, lovingly shaped, and always perfectly balanced with the accompanying voices. Her control over sound, in combination with her gift for rubato, creates a series of vivid soundscapes that start at the opening flourish of the first track and last for the duration landscapes. Everything about this release is to be praised. Surprises lurk around every turn in the form of new composers, new works, and even new harmonies. Pola Baytelman has again demonstrated her unique talent for projecting her musical vision to audiences.”

“Pola Baytelman…posee un rico temperamento musical y vigoroso sonido.…la entrega de la monumental sonata [Sonata Op. 53 de Beethoven] con una visión certera en lo formal y de admirable musicalidad en su conjunto. La Sonata en Do menor, póstuma de Franz Schubert cerró con brillo el concierto en el cual Pola Baytelman demostró ser un nuevo valor pianístico de su generación.”

“Baytelman has the kind of talent that stamps a personality upon any concert she plays… A formidable pianist, quite the equal of performances by keyboard wizards who go by last name only: Horowitz, Pollini, Ashkenazy.”

Iberia CD “…In some ways, Ms. Baytelman puts me in mind of Elizabeth Schwarzkopf; not only for the unimpeachable technique, but for an interpretive savoir-faire the principal capital of which is its grasp, on the minutest level, of inflection. For this pianist, every compositional event is a change of climate, an occasion to be explored and illuminated from innumerable perspectives.”