by Carl Hagens
Flensborg Avis Flensburg, Germany
David Syme is a heavy-weight as an Ambassador of Gershwin - it was his 200th performance of the Rhapsody in Blue. It lead to the same rush for enthusiasm in Flensburg as at the time of the world premiere of the „symphonic jazz“ in New York City in 1924.
After the great glissando by clarinet, there was enough room for cadenza-like passages. The pianist encouraged the orchestra to rivalry. David Syme touched the keyboard powerfully. The sound swung in the ideal tempo given by conductor Oskamp.
As encore fired the pianist a firework-rocket made for him by a musician from the New York scene.
by Jaroslav Fiala
Pilsener Daily Pilsen, Czech Republic
The compositions of Peter I. Tchaikovsky and especially his immensely famous Piano Concerto in B flat minor always manage to fill up the (concert) hall.
Another magnet of the evening was the performer, the American pianist David Syme; he certainly fully satisfied all listeners by his splendid performance. He was technically exemplarily prepared, and because he more over feels the music, the teamwork with the orchestra was simply ideal. The melodic sections in the piano part were beautifully sung out and the soloist augmented his playing by emotions. …
Bohumír Kolář, Olomouc, Czech Republic
There was authentic Paul Whiteman sound in a knockout Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, superbly driven on by David Syme, a brilliant pianist despite a strange keyboard technique.
With eyes shut, you could believe Gershwin himself was playing, so intrinsically right did the music sound, detached, yet meaningful in true blues-ian style.
He brought to the romantic work (Chopin Concerto No.1) the strength for which he is famed and a delicacy showing his deep feeling for the music…immpecably played. – Detroit Free Press
Virtuoso Chopin Concerto.’ David Syme seems to possess just the qualities to give the most brilliant and convincing interpretations. After a stormy beginning of the 1st Piano Concerto of Chopin, in which this pianist used his opportunity to demonstrate his towering virtuosity with sparkling passage work, he came in the slow movement to a poetical rubato, subjectively phrased and of crystalline beauty. His Chopin Concerto is that of a great pianist. – Arnhemse Courant
David Syme is a musician whose playing presents virtuosity, a rubens of the piano, a performer of leaping fire, of sparkling temperament and dedication. – Kölnische Rundshau
His supple playing in Haydn’s well-known D major Sonata made one wish to hear more of this composer in recital programmes…direct, unambiguous approach…great vitality – The Times, London
…but the most thunderous and well-deserved applause of the entire splendid assembly was accorded to David Syme of USA. Not is an very long time has there come forth such an outstanding artist, whose knowledgeable playing has so taken by storm the rapt attention of the public. His name will now frequently be repeated in Warsaw’s cultural circles… – Zycie Warszawy
He offered the Sonata in D Major by Haydn, presenting a fluid interpretation of a perfect clarity while conveying the classical serenity of the composer. The Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22 of Chopin belongs to the piano literature of glamorous romanticis…it is at all times superbly effective, and was a fine vehicle to give full evidence of Syme’s technical qualities, which are truly remarkable, and consistently maintained by him as a contributory to musical expression. A particularly favorable impression was inspired by the Liszt Etudes, pieces which few pianists are capable of mastering with the ease evident in the presentation of the young American pianist who certainly has a brilliant career before him. – La Prealpina, Varese
David recently toured England in two consecutive seasons with the Czech National Symphony, Paul Freeman conducting, resulting in theses reviews:
And pianist David Syme – in his second Gershwin performance at the Royal Centre – supplied the native input in an exuberantly flowing account of Rhapsody in Blue.
A well judged performance of The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and an atmospheric one of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man had their place but it was the aggressive interpretation of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with David Syme electric at the piano, which stood out.
There was authentic Paul Whiteman sound in a knockout Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, superbly driven on by David Syme, a brilliant pianist despite a strange keyboard technique. With eyes shut, you could believe Gershwin himself was playing, so intrinsically right did the music sound, detached, yet meaningful in true blues-ian style.