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News & Reviews

Reviews page

Here you can find some reviews, starting with my recent CD collection of the complete Scriabin sonatas, Romeo 7232 and 7308:

    ... Bengtson is a Scriabinist for the 21st century, one who embraces the interpretive objectives most valued by his contemporaries among composers, theorists, and performers. .. Bengtson, who imitates no one, has synthesized the most persuasive elements that the best Scriabin interpreters - Fyodorova, Vedernikov, Zhukov, and Horowitz among them - have set forth over a century. To that end, he can now join those esteemed Scriabinists upon whom future generations can rely for definitive interpretations.    See the whole review
(.. John Bell Young, in Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2015 on the complete Scriabin Sonatas, Romeo 7232 and 7308)

    ... all of the acknowledged great pianists who have tackled these sonatas have their own take on them, ... and Matthew Bengtson can hold his own with any of them. .. an excellent set of the Scriabin sonatas, and I recommend it.
(.. Lynn René Bayley, in Fanfare magazine, July/August 2015 on the complete Scriabin Sonatas)

    ... The sheer color range - especially in the high-register trills and arabesques - of this rarely performed sonata warrants the price of admission.
.. Bengtson joins those Scriabin acolytes - Horowitz, Sofronitzky, Richter, Berman, Barere, Neuhaus - who relish the solipsistic mystic for his own audacious personality, his liberated subjectivity. We spend with Bengtson over an hour in a rarified labyrinth, infinitely and ineffably compelling. (.. Gary Lemco, in Audio Audition website (audaud.com, March 2015) on the complete Scriabin Sonatas)

Bengtson is a remarkable artist. ... Big-boned pianism, rich tonal colors, and dazzling technique are on display here. Has Scriabin ever been played better? Only Horowitz and Richter can compare to what Bengtson achieves on this disc.    See the whole review
(.. Lawrence Budmen, American Record Guide, July/August 2005 on Scriabin Sonatas recording, Romeo 7232)

    Selected reviews of the complete Scriabin Sonatas recordings.

Other highlights:

    ...the program’s musical high point was pianist Matthew Bengtson’s performance of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 in G. it was in very good hands Saturday evening.
    ...Matthew Bengtson is a musician’s pianist - the sort of performer who eschews theatrical showmanship in favor of giving his full attention to communicating a composer’s musical thought.
(.. Courtenay Cauble, The Ridgefield Press, February 13, 2003)

    ...[Bengtson] is certainly an artist to watch ... I have no qualms in recommending this CD to hear a new and interesting piano voice. ... Bengtson is one of those pianists whose technique, though considerable, is not of the type that draws attention to itself, but to the music.
(.. Lynn René Bayley, in Fanfare 34:5, May/June 2011)

    ...It has been six years since ARG critic Lawrence Budmen wondered where this wonderful surprise of a pianist came from .. I’ll second that notion! ... The rich multilayered sound to the Mendelssohn Variations ... puts this account of Op. 54 over all the others I’ve ever heard, including Brendel’s.
(.. Brent Auerbach, in American Record Guide)

Bengtson is both analytical and creative, a winning combination for any pianist; the two sides of his brain seem to be perfectly balanced. ... Bengtson is amazing.
(.. Susan L. Pena, Reading Times, May 14, 2006)

Press page

You can find radio and print media articles on my career from this page.

Sample radio interview, with Jim Cunningham on WQED-FM (Pittsburgh) about Scriabin in advance of a Pittsburgh recital.

Sample press article:

    ...Matthew Bengtson, whose devotion to the music of Scriabin is equaled only by his authority as a leading harpsichordist and fortepianist, has been turning the heads of both critics and the public. His recent recordings of the complete Scriabin sonatas emerged as if out of nowhere not only to unanimous critical acclaim, but to the astonishment of his colleagues as well. Devotees of the composer, both here and in Russia, have not heard this music played with comparable power and finesse since Vladimir Sofronitsky.    See the whole article

(.. from Celebrating the Scriabin Centennial with Pianist Matthew Bengtson, by John Bell Young, in Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2015)

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