'Esther Birringer, outstanding pianist from the Saarland, creates with fascinating precision and 'picturesque' intensity a Debussy not heard before. She elicits the whole illusionistic and visually stunning (sound) colorfulness from the well-known Images. Her wide range of dynamic shadings, an indulgent sound, moderate tempi and natural phrasing bring out the evocative and the aesthetic of the very different pieces. She structures every small, subtle movement, even if it's in pianissimo in the bass, clearly down to the details, and as a result bathes Debussy's piano works in a less transfigured impressionistic hazy light.'
Piano News, 01/2023 issue
'She takes the opportunity to play out all the colors Debussy has to offer, carrying the listener away into a world away from space and time. The result is an album that you don't find every day, but always enjoy listening to after you' have gotten to know it.' To the review
'Debussy: Piano Works'
'The upside is that she has shed any youthful excrescences or ineptitudes there might have been and gives Debussy honest and thoughtful performances.' To the review
Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars
BBC Music Magazine, 11/02/2022
'There is nothing to add here'
'Esther Birringer has that combination of pianistic virtuosity and singing sonority that is needed for the tonal images and sound atmospheres in Claude Debussy's music. She does not indulge in any superficiality and proves this impressively with the Debussy classics Clair de lune or the Arabesque no. 1. Esther Birringer disenchants the six pieces from Images 1 and 2 with their poetic titles [...] the moods that Claude Debussy painted with music as an impressionist. She presents her art with delicate touch and a great virtuoso self-evidence. A Saarland native from Quierschied, located near the French border, pianist Esther Birringer understands the floating tonal fragrance of Claude Debussy's language.'
Radio Klassik Stephansdom, 09/29/2022
'Esther Birringer does not dissolve the contours of the music, rather she works her way layer by layer to the substance, the emotions and the colors. Contours are preserved, but always remain
flexible and in motion. For the pianist does not hesitate to pull hard in her Debussy. [...] In terms of shaping and color palette, she pays homage to the great French style, but her
interpretations go further.'
'Luminous tone and virtuosic technique'
'Highlights abound on the new record, with Birringer setting the right tone with the atmospheric Reflets dans l’eau, Hommage à Rameau, while equally infusing the second set’s opening Cloches à travers le feuilles, and Et la lune sur le temple qui fut, with requisite dramatic sensibility.'
The Free Press, Winnipeg, Canada 08/03/2022
'About fairies and lovers'
'With virtuosity she takes us into a world of fairies and immortal lovers, not becoming indulgent, but convincing with technical finesse and a lot of verve. [...] Now the soloist has presented her own orchestra.'
Kölnische Rundschau, 08/12/2021
'On the dance stage'
'With the piano versions of three famous ballet pieces she enchants constantly. [...] The pianist performs all this atmospherically captivating. What she gets out of the keys is fantastic. [...] All three piano versions are immense challenges in terms of playing technique and interpretation. Birringer masters them with great tonal imagination and mature technique.'
'It is important for her to create the magic of the fairy tale material on the one hand through a distinctly sophisticated palette of touch and, even more so, through the vital agility of her phrasing, which approximates dance. The fact that she succeeds in this consistently testifies to a pianistic quality with which she can effortlessly fulfill the rather feared technical demands of the "Petrushka" pieces and lend a plastic profile to the very different tunings and colors of the miniatures of the ballets by Prokofieff and Tchaikovsky. [...] An extremely entertaining and high-quality enrichment of the piano catalog.'
Aachener Zeitung, 06/12/2021
'Sophisticated rhythms, finely dosed colors, dynamic gradations and rhetorical rubato make the three pieces very distinctive. [...] With fine dynamic nuances and well thought-out articulation, she combines the ballet music’s élan with an ideal espressivo.'
'With a lot of sound fantasy and orchestral sound'
'Her playing sounds powerful and full in the tutti, but she can also "imitate" individual instruments. [...] Esther Birringer turns it into an instrumental
theater, under her hands the piano becomes a performance stage. Esther Birringer [...] has made a brilliant debut - chapeau!'
Radio Bremen, 06/06/2021
'When pictures are hearable on the piano'
'Under her fingers the artist awakens the figures to life, so that they dance in front of the listener's mind's eye. [...] One notices the sovereignty of the virtuoso on the album Once Upon A Time. [...] Without being overly bold, she sometimes lets her fingers whisper on the keyboard, but then again, she attacks the right places with the necessary vehemence. [...] Handstand is successful in every way.'
To the review