» Reviews

Heidelberg. Pure joys of Grieg: Concert with the Symphony Orchestra of the ‘Musikfreunde Heidelberg’ and Randolf Stöck (Klavier) in the Heidelberg concert hall (Stadthalle). After the interval though, even more enthusiasm was shown following a performance of Grieg’s piano concerto in A minor op.16 exhibiting a splendid rapport between the soloist and the orchestra. Randolf Stöck (born in 1970), who teaches piano at the Mannheim College of Music and Performing Arts, fulfilled the solo part with a wonderful unpretentious and restraint nobility which served this all too often performed work extremely well. The playing didn’t come across as just well-honed virtuosity but as if every detail had been delicately perceived and cleverly worked into the musical context. The orchestra served him well as an excellent partner with attentive accompaniment from all sections. Just exactly how much of a sensitive, lyrical keyboard player Stöck is was confirmed in his striking encore, also by Grieg, the ‘Notturno’ op.54/4 written in 1891. This almost impressionist piece ended the evening on a rapturous note.”

(Rheinpfalz, June 17th, 2012)

CD Review: International Isang Yun Society IYG 007. The International Isang Yun Society was founded in early 1996 immediately after the death of the 78 year old Berlin-based Korean composer. Twelve years on, the Society have released their 7th CD of works from the catalogue of this most extraordinary composer. This CD of his solo works is once more a very impressive testament to [...] Isang Yun's taoistic philosophic principles. In this, the twelve pieces, while consistently impressive in their artistic autonomy, retain the essence of their Taoist origins. Common to all is that, as stand-alone pieces, they are able to completely engross the listener, however not in a sense of passive absorption but in that they unlock a sensitive perception and fantasy for inherently personal, possibly even spiritual projections. That this functions so magically from the first to the last sound is thanks to a wise selection of pieces (some of them high quality in-concert recordings), as well as their performers. Aya Hemmi, Andreas Kissling and Roswitha Staege (flutes), Kolja Lessing (violin), Hartmut Rohde (alto) and Randolf Stöck (piano) play as though they were born to perform this clearly demanding repertoire. To have been at the sound engineer's side (excellently recorded by Wolfgang Vieweg) during the live-concert performances would have been spectacular, not least to celebrate the performing artists.”

(Günter Höhne in Das Orchester, Juni 2009)

Mannheim. ‘MA/NY for the love of it...’, the last production of the season from Mannheim Ballet director Kevin O'Day, brings a whiff of New York to the Nationaltheater. Ecstatic dancing and technical perfection meet in this highly aesthetic Jazzballet, the cream of the Mannheim Jazz scene performing a commissioned composition from New York, in an atmospheric and sensitively designed set. [...] With Erwin Ditzner, Dave King, Stephan Kirsch, Frank Kuruc, Thomas Siffling and Randolf Stöck, the important Jazz musicians of the region have been assembled. [...] A force-field is formed between the Band and sunken stage: Here the dancers move, driven by invisible attracting and repulsing energies. [...] The stage is a wide dancehall, giving the band room to let loose.”

(Rheinpfalz, May 18th, 2009)

Mannheim. [...] Also conceived according to this model is the Ballet MA/NY, an eclectic pool of ideas which appear in constantly surprising sequences. [...] Incalculable is the arrangement and frequency of the dance fragments; inscrutable are the rules by which the action unreels itself. These are based on arrangements between artists who know each other inside-out. The audience cheers with enjoyment. [...] Sound and stage effects are reduced. An enormous curtain unveils six luminaries of the Mannheim Jazz and Pop scene. As this illustrious line-up can change from performance to performance, so can the music. Like the dance-troupe however, the musicians have a common aim: To turn fragments into a vibrant unity.”

(Mannheimer Morgen, May 18th, 2009)

Saarbrücken. Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960), was an extremely original composer, who worked within a late romantic tonality to write innovative and quirky music. [...] His works, including the Piano-Sextet, are spiced with pepper, require capable handwork and are developed with a sensitive ear for the respective instrumental sounds. [...] The Horn for example, with its pleasing soft melodies, [...] delicate Staccato passages clung to one's ears. [...] A blossoming clarinet exuded atmosphere, while exhuberant waves of piano came close to overflowing. A beautiful, pulsating interpretation, channelled by accurate stringplaying. [...] A further romantic impetus came with Brahms' Piano trio Op.87, uniting brilliant technique and expression in a broad singing quality, whereby relaxed and melancholic ideas were held pleasantly in balance.”

(Saarbrücker Zeitung, March 28th, 2009)