BERNARD ROBERTS SOLO PERFORMANCES
"The playing brought out all the facets with delicacy, mischievously so in the jazzing up of the five-finger exercise basis of the first study. Roberts took visible pleasure in going through these keyboard paces, and drew some beguiling sonorities from the later pieces".
(Debussy 'Etudes' at the Wigmore Hall)
"It was a treat to encounter Bemard Roberts giving effortlessly musical and spontaneous accounts of a Haydn Sonata, Beethoven's op.7 in E flat and the great Schubert B flat, D.960 Roberts' playing of the Viennese classics has an almost startling honesty and integrity, utterly devoid of attention-seeking effects; he gives you the music tout court, with wisdom, insight and humanity".
"Roberts is not just a strong pianist commanding a steely forte, melting pianissimo and all the rest of it - he makes music not for effect but to communicate its meaning. He played everything as if he simply had to share his love of it with us".
"I have rarely heard a reading of the second book of Debussy preludes which so sharply characterised every one of the twelve. Roberts's playing was luminous from first to last".
"Truthfulness is a word that comes to mind when you hear Bernard Roberts playing Beethoven. On Saturday he completed his Sonata Cycle at the Wigmore Hall, not like a mountaineer scaling the Himalayas, but rather as an evangelist telling us the news, sharply, directly, with a force that we shall not forget".
"The audience were privileged to hear one of the most powerful, utterly compelling interpretations of the Beethoven Sonata op.111 around the present time and come face to face with possibly this country's most serious Beethoven interpreter, Bernard Roberts".
"A superbly imperious account of the Appassionata marked by extraordinary clarity and precision of rhythm".
"Bernard Roberts has established beyond question his mastery as a totally committed and convincing exponent of Beethoven. The series should on no account be missed".
"The playing is both majestic and ardent, ringing with conviction and sublimely simple . . . listen to the way he unfurls the huge decorative ropes of notes in the second of the Eroica Variations!"
BERNARD ROBERTS: RECORDINGS
"... this is the finest Beethoven sonata cycle yet on CD".
". . .my favourite cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas yet issued on CD".
"This is a thoughtful and sensitive series that stands up well to the "big name" versions. Roberts' Moonlight is no flashy circus. He takes time with the 'Adagio" movement, patiently restraining the turbulence, transporting us to a sublime realm of reflection and imagination ... his execution is so flawless that we can return again and again to each sonata".
"Bernard Roberts is one who has got what it takes . . ."
"Actually writing about Bernard Roberts' playing is extremely difficult; rather, one would be better advised to write about the music itself, as the music - and not the egocentric interpretative idiosyncrasy - is Roberts' overriding concern. It makes little difference which work you choose to sample - say, the Hammerklavier, Appasionata or the delightful Op.54 - one comes away with a single consistent impression: this man understands what these works are about .... this is Beethoven's Beethoven, with Roberts acting as middle-man. In a sense it is the ideal recorded cycle, in that there are few mannerisms and inadequacies to try one's patience ( Schnabel's fluffs, Kempff's prissiness, Backhaus' hamfistedness, Arrau's pedantic patches, Gulda's eccentricities etc., etc.). Roberts provides a sturdy, rugged blueprint that is profoundly Beethovenian and lays a certain claim to being the best investment of all".
BERNARD ROBERTS: ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCES
"If there be the need by now to impart a sense of actuality to Beethoven's C minor Concerto, Bernard Roberts succeeded wonderfully well last night at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with his devoted musicality and eloquent technique".
"The passion, drama and pathos of Mozart's D minor concerto were each brought vividly into play in the performance given by Bernard Roberts with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Queen
"Bemard Roberts has a firmly established place in the top flight of present day Beethoven pianists and the Piano Concerto No.4 (Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle) was played with magnificently judged artistry. Pianistic bravura, polished committed orchestral response and always a tight control led to a triumphant finish and well deserved ovation".
BERNARD ROBERTS PIANO TRIO
"The concept of families playing chamber music may be idealistic these days, but not impossible as the Roberts Piano Trio proved at the Brangwyn Hall".
"The Trio, father and two sons, showed that unique understanding which often comes from family ensembles who love their music and enjoy performing it".
". . . this was a memorable performance (Brahms Piano Trio, op.8) which held the attention of the audience from beginning to end. This concert alone was worth the cost of the whole series".
". . . the impressive Bemard Roberts Piano Trio ... whose playing was of a high standard from which everyone could learn".