top of page

R e v i e w s 

“Jerzy Kaplanek, a distinguished member of the Penderecki Quartet, and pianist Stéphan Sylvestre form an outstanding duo whose deep musical sympathies allow them to think as one, most notably in the three Mythes, whose intoxicating musical flow, freed from the tyranny of the bar-line, creates a series of enraptured phrases of heightened lyrical intensity. In the D minor Sonata they triumph over the music’s tendency to luxuriate in heightened mood swings without an especially strong sense of emotional narrative, imparting a beguiling sensuality and volubility to Szymanowski’s stream of consciousness that is highly compelling. An outstanding release..” 

- The Strad Magazine


“…Szymanowski always wrote gratefully for the violin — his two violin concertos are particularly beautiful — the music throughout this disc is a delight. Beautifully recorded at the Banff Centre in 2011, the recital features outstanding playing from both artists, with the wonderful Mythes the particularly dazzling highlight of a terrific CD.” 

- WholeNote Magazine

“…Violinist Jerzy Kaplanek, pianist Stéphan Sylvestre and the magic of chemistry...a dream duo.  Szymanowski’s difficult violin and piano writing treats the two parts as equal partners, and both players deliver interpretations that truly sound as if crafted in complete synch. Both Kaplanek and Sylvestre display an easy technique and a deep appreciation for graceful phrasing and careful dynamic emphasis.” 

- Musical Toronto


“Jerzy Kaplanek and Stéphan Sylvestre fascinate with Exoticism. The main reason we don’t hear this composer’s work more often is likely its technical difficulty - and the challenges of finding two musicians who can tackle the music as perfect equals. Kaplanek and Sylvestre manage to overcome both hurdles in a selection of pieces from Szymanowski’s early adulthood.”

 - Toronto Star


“…Passion is expressed with an emotional reserve that is seductive. Somewhere beneath the pianist’s hands is an inner swell, making for a wealth of sonorities that can only be qualified as impeccable, somewhat reminiscent of the young Kempff.  Sylvestre’s Chopin manages to move us through a simplicity only found in the greatest pianists.” 
- La Scena Musicale​

“…it is indisputable that his performance belongs to the category of 'spectacular piano playing'...”
- La Presse, Montreal

“  Some pianists are able to coax their instrument into doing just about anything. With seemingly little effort and a few quiet sorrowful notes they stir up a passionate response. Stephan Sylvestre is such an artist.”
- New Winnipeg Magazine​

“…Listening to Sylvestre cradle the keyboard with such effortless simplicity is a joy. The quiet emotional content was also present in his performance, heightening the ethereal senses that bit further...”
- Edinburgh Guide, Scotland

" Stéphan Sylvestre:  A name to remember... a completely mastered technique with absolute control of the keyboard..... his natural talent reminded one of the great Artur Rubinstein…”
- La Presse, Montreal​

"...tonal magic, masterly brilliant virtuosity and monumentality."
- Flovo Z Kultury, Brno, Czech Republic

" Stéphan Sylvestre is one of those musicians who first performs a work for its own sake, then for himself, and then for the public who is privileged to be witness of this search for the very heart of the work."

- Le Droit, Ottawa

“...This CD, on the XXI label, is his fourth, and features the Brahms Ballades Op.10, and the two sets of Piano Pieces Op.118 and 119. In contrast to Perahia’s no-nonsense interpretation, Sylvestre’s approach is much more romantic, but equally appealing. His playing is introspective and thoughtful, imbued with a deep sensitivity. Tempos are considerably more languorous, and he produces a wonderfully warm and resonant tone from the instrument. If this is Brahms for the 19th century, so be it – Sylvestre’s masterful performance is a welcome presence in our sometimes harsh and too- technologically advanced world.”
- WholeNote Magazine​

“...nominated for a “Discovery of the Year”... neither of these recommendations could prepare one for the high level of sophistication and commitment displayed on Saturday night...”
- The Globe and Mail, Toronto​

" Architects of the piano:  Stéphan Sylvestre, Andras Schiff, Ivo Pogorelich"... 
- Le Journal de Montréal

"...Mastering the keyboard, the young pianist possesses an elaborate expressive and pianistic lexicon.  His interpretation was the beautiful moment of the evening."
- Le Journal de Montréal​

" Sylvestre gets right to the heart of the music, refraining from overlaying it with valedictory sentimentality."
- The Ottawa Citizen

"...the rightness of tone and the perfectly accurate sonority produced a beautiful interpretation."
- Le Devoir, Montreal​

“ Mr. Sylvestre enjoys a well-deserved reputation as an artist of the highest calibre."
- The Beat Magazine, London​

“…Pianist Stephan Sylvestre showed brilliant control throughout…There wasn’t a moment of muddiness and the balance was always right…he captured beautifully the essence of Brahms’s restrained but deeply felt emotion.”

- The Record, Kitchener-Waterloo

Brahms, sonata no. 3 in f minor Op. 5 - III 

bottom of page