These are performances of mine over the years that I’m especially happy with. You can do more exploring at the Eric Malson YouTube channel.
Eric Malson | Schumann | Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 | 3rd Mvt. | 1996
This is from a concert with the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa that was broadcast nationally on Portugal’s Antena 2 radio, from which this recording was taken. I take the third movement of the Schumann concerto a bit slower than most. It is also much closer to Schumann’s metronome marking for the movement, and I think Schumann was right. For me, the music speaks much better at this tempo.
Eric Malson | Beethoven | Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 | 2nd Mvt. | 2000
I have performed all five Beethoven piano concertos with orchestra, but the fourth holds a special place for me. It is an extraordinary piece, startlingly original for its time, and utterly unique in its mode of expression. It is my favorite piano concerto of all. I had the privilege of performing this under the baton of the late Charles Wendelken-Wilson, a wonderful musician and conductor (whose name can still be found occasionally on New York City Opera pirates from the ’60’s) who somehow ended up in Ohio conducting the Dayton Philharmonic, my hometown orchestra,
Eric Malson | Hummel | Piano Concerto in A-flat Major, Op. 113 | 1st Mvt.| 1994
I heard Jorge Bolet play Hummel’s A-flat concert with the Cincinnati Symphony in the ’80’s, and it is a concert I have never forgotten. I immediately knew I had to play the piece somehow, so when I went to work for the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa in Portugal and the conductor offered me a concerto – any concerto – I had my chance! There was already some interest in Hummel piano concertos, thanks in large part to Stephen Hough’s brilliant, rapturous disc of the A minor and B minor, so it was a slightly easier sell than it might otherwise have been. Although Hummel studied with Beethoven, this piece embodies a palpable stylistic bridge between Mozart and Chopin, much more than his previous concertos. It’s marvelous to play, and gracious listening.
Tanja Schneider & Eric Malson | Hindemith | Viola Sonata (1939) | 1st & 2nd Mvt | 1990
There are quite a few performances from my Ravinia years that I remember with great pleasure, and this one is at or near the top of the heap. We coached this with Robert Levin, who had just recorded the piece with Kim Kashkashian. His brain really is a force of nature. Tanja won a job with the Berlin Philharmonic shortly after our work together.
Hartmut Rohde & Eric Malson | Hummel | Sonata in E-flat, Op. 5, No. 3 | 1st Mvt. | 1990
Hummel is truly an underrated composer, in my opinion, and this piece is further evidence of that. My wonderful colleague Hartmut is now a world-famous performer and professor of viola.
Alban Gerhardt & Eric Malson | Beethoven | Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major Op. 102, No. 1 | 1st Mvt
This was my first performance at Ravinia’s Steans Institute, at the end of my first week there. Alban Gerhardt’s name certainly needs no introduction to cognoscenti of cello playing.
Ben Hong & Eric Malson | Mendelssohn | Cello Sonata in B-flat, Op. 45 | 1st Mvt. | 1992
There are no words for how much I love this Mendelssohn movement, and Ben Hong’s vitality and passion made for an amazing rehearsing and performing experience. Ben is now associate principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Jens Peter Maintz & Eric Malson | Beethoven | Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major Op. 69 | 3rd Mvt | 1992
Ravinia’s Steans Institute for strings was a special place under the guidance of Walter Levin. His intellectual approach to music very much suited mine, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work so closely with him for so many years. Some felt the seemingly endless discussions about metronome markings and dots were a bit much, but I loved it (usually). So you can bet there is an historical and musicological precedent for taking the finale of Beethoven’s Op. 69 sonata this fast.
Rainer Schmidt & Eric Malson | Beethoven | Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major Op. 96 | 1st Mvt | 1989
Rainer Schmidt, the second violinist of the Hagen Quartet, is an absolute joy to play with, and our performance of Beethoven’s Op. 96 violin and piano sonata was the product of just the sort of discussion process referred to above. Sylvia Rosenberg called the tempi of our performance “crazy.” I respectfully disagree.
Yehonatan Berick & Eric Malson | Schumann | Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 121| 1st Mvt. | 1993
I was fortunate to perform with Israeli violinist Yehonatan Berick quite a bit, and accompanied him when he competed for the Naumburg Foundation award. This is from a recital we gave in preparation for the competition, in which he took second prize.
Thorsten Encke & Eric Malson | Hindemith | Sonata Op. 11 No. 3 for cello and piano | 2nd Mvt | 1990
As a body of literature, I have a special love for the cello and piano repertoire, a love that was cemented when I was Bernard Greenhouse’s class accompanist in grad school at Stony Brook. This is one of many under-performed masterworks of the repertoire, and Thorsten Encke was the ideal partner for this.
Bruno Weinmeister & Eric Malson | Erich Urbanner | arioso – furioso (1980) | 1992
Erich Urbanner’s arioso-furioso is a fantastic piece that rewarded all the hard work we put into it. I’m a little surprised it doesn’t get performed more, but it’s extreme difficulty may have something to do with it. Bruno Weinmeister was my brilliant partner in this.
Dominick Argento | The Andrée Expedition (III) | Christòpheren Nomura & Eric Malson | 2001
Performing Dominick Argento’s great song cycle The Andre Expedition (written for Håkan Hagegård) is an extraordinary experience, especially with a sensitive artist like Chistophorèn Nomura.
“Eric Malson… [has] rich fantasy in his phrasing, in his dynamics, and in what is said to be the fundamental touchstone of an interpreter, the flow of tempo in a rubato which delineates structure and and at the same time gives imaginative and emotional freedom: the rubato of a perfect musician.”
–El Comercio (Spain)
“Eric Malson… [tiene] una sana fantasía en su frasear, en sus volúmenes y en lo que tantas veces he dicho que es la piedra de toque fundamental de un intérprete, el fluir del «tiempo» en una agógica que desarrolla todo su rigor al mismo tiempo que su libertad imaginativa y emocional: la agógica de un músico perfecto.”
–El Comercio (España)
“Eric Malson is a pianist of immense authority who knows how to transmit with all of his expressive power the vital message contained in that profound mystery that is music.”
–Diario de León (Spain)
“Eric Malson es un pianista de poderosa garra, que sabe transmitir con toda su fuerza expresiva el sobrecogedor mensaje contenido en ese hondo misterio que es la música.”
–Diario de León (España)
“Singing legato lines and beautiful touch.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[Nancarrow’s] piano pieces – brilliantly played by Eric Malson – were the single most effective item on this program. Erb was fun and Kiroff’s new piece was fascinating – but one still remembers most from this concert the energy and exuberance of those Nancarrow pieces.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Pianist Eric Malson was both a rock-steady partner and an obviously sensitive artist on his own.”
“…superb keyboard collaboration [… ] This was singing of unusually high artistry, matched in every way by Malson’s fine pianism.”