Reviews

MUSICWEB-INTERNATIONAL: Adam Binks
(CD Review of Images of Three Centuries)
“…These two works clearly give Chanco more opportunity to display the intense virtuosity that is one of her specialties…”
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SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS (San Antonio, TX): Diane Windeler
“Camerata Recital is Polished and Superb”
The inaugural Camerata Recital, a planned annual event showcasing core musicians of Camerata San Antonio, was unveiled Sunday at Travis Park United Methodist Church with a polished, intensely personal performance by violinist Ertan Torgul and guest pianist Aileen Chanco.

REGISTER-PAJARONIAN (Watsonville, CA): Josef Sekon
“Mello Center Honors Mozart’s Birthday”
…his [Saint-Saens] Piano Concerto no. 2 was well realized and musically performed by both the orchestra and Chanco whose formidable technical skill was evident. The standing ovation she received prompted an encore. Chanco displayed her musicality in Liszt’s “Sonetto del Petrarca 104 from Annees de Pelerinage, one of many tone pictures he composed around 1850.

THE SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL (Santa Cruz, CA) : Phyllis Rosenblum
“Symphony Soloist Showcases New Steinway”
Aileen Chanco displayed a commanding presence and showed off the clear tone of the new Steinway…. The work’s long piano introduction [Saint-Saens Piano Concerto no. 2] unfolded in a series of vigorous declamations and speedy excursions. Individual notes came crisply through Saint-Saens’ thick textures – a testament to both player and instrument…The middle “Allegro Scherzando” movement flitted playfully as soloist and orchestra exchanged swirling volleys. Chanco opened the concerto’s final “Presto with ringing thunder that a lesser instrument might have blurred. Then her fingers took off at near unbelievable speed, an impressive demonstration of both her agility and the piano’s rapid response…Chanco rewarded the enthusiastic applause with the movement [sic] from Liszt’s “Annees de Pelerinage (Years of Pilgrimage). The substantial work –no “bonbon” encore- again displayed her facility with powerful statements and thick textures.

AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE: Barela
(CD Review of “Images of Three Centuries”)
Pianist, Chanco makes her strongest and most convincing impression in Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which seems to be a temperamental fit. Her sound is beautiful and the music flows well. …Many of the details of Pictures have been imaginatively worked out and beautifully delivered….Chanco also gives a lovely reading of the opening piece of Images, “Reflects dans l’eau”. Her sound is right and she is fully engaged in this rapturous little piece. Mark Fish’s Three Ages of Woman, a work of about six minutes, feels like three improvisations on moods. The pianist gives it an effective, involved reading, sympathetic to the composer…Chanco is a talented pianist…given her strongest performances here her career seems worth watching.

THE CONTRA COSTA TIMES (CA): Georgia Rowe 
“Classical Notes” (CD Review of Images of Three Centuries)
Recorded for Con Brio, an East Bay independent classical label, this beguiling new disc includes solo piano music by Ginastera, Debussy , Mussorgsky and Bay Area composer, Mark Fish. Chanco, who trained at the Juilliard School and lives in the East Bay, plays each work with assurance, but it is Ginastera’s vibrant Sonata for Piano that lingers in the memory; the pianist captures the full measure of the Argentinean composer’s rhythmic and melodic invention. Fish’s lovely “Three Ages of Woman,” Debussy’s “Images” (Book One) and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at anExhibition” are also included.

THE MANILA TIMES (Manila, Philippines): Maria Celine Veloso Pil
“Art Inspired by Music, Music Inspired by Art”
A day after Juilliard-trained pianist Aileen Chanco performed Adam’s “Century Rolls” with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, she once again appeared before the audience, this time in her first Philippine solo concert by Sinagtala at the CCP Little Theater…That evening at the CCP, Chanco gave an impressive start with her robust full-toned interpretation of Alberto Ginastera’s Sonata no. 1, op. 2…Chanco unleashed mournful yet passionate outbursts in the “Adagio Molto Appasionato” and again with a big toned, rapid ostinato, she ended the “Ruvido ed Ostinato” last movement with a fiery bang.

It was a musical feast that also elicited smiles from the audience especially when Chanco performed Debussy’s “Images I” with the soft delicate touch characteristic of Debussy’s Impressionism. Her sweeping glissandos in the accompaniment of “Reflects dans L’eau” mirrored exotic rippling waters brought about by the use of the pentatonic and whole tone scales…Chanco interpreted the masterly structured “Hommage a Rameau” with passion ‘her fantastic technique was equal to the delicate etude-like “Movement” Her subtle use of all the three pedals contributed much to the atmosphere of this oriental sounding music….

…”Baba Yaga is a witch who travels on a hot mortar which she rows with a pestle. Chanco’s interpretation of this movement was exhilaratingly scary and Halloween-ish…”The Great Gate of Kiev”, with peals of ringing bells from its high stately pinnacles, Chanco’s rendition soared to overpowering heights, Her depiction of every scene in these paintings were so vividly articulate that one can safely say she is a worthy collaborator of this great partnership between painter Hartmann and the composer Mussorgsky.

THE MANILA TIMES (Manila, Philippines): Maria Celine Veloso Pil
“The PPO Shines in 20th Century Music Showcase”
John Adam’s “Century Rolls, Piano Concerto” inspired by a “mechanical and edgy” piano piece, was magnificently performed by Filipino-American international artist Aileen Chanco with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra…Jabbing syncopations characteristic of the Bebop abound in “manic” energy and “perpetuum mobile” motion which Chanco met with a gargantuan technique, so effortless and faultless, so relaxed and so natural. If the audience found her soundsing just like a twittering machine, then it is good news for it takes an artist with a lot of emotional depth to interpret such piece.

THE PHILIPPINE STAR (Manila, Philippines)
”Aileen Chanco’s Debut/Serious-Hilarious Music”
…The petite and pretty Aileen, whose slender, frail-looking frame belied the power of her playing, was undaunted by the challenging pieces she essayed. She demonstrated awesome technical skill and sensitive artistry, the combination of which solidly establishes her place among our leading pianist. Each of the four movements of Ginastera’s Sonata no. 1, op. 22 was replete with frenetic rhythms…Dynamics consistently varied, showing Aileen’s control and discipline without prejudice to the most rapid tempo, while the melodic lines surfaced. The change of style was readily evidenced by Aileen’s interpretation of Debussy’s Images Set 1 –the delicate nuances evoking various impressions and feelings rather than thoughts. Liszt’s Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, with the bombast typical of the composer, was restrained, and one marveled at the pianist’s expressiveness. Molina’s Malikmata (Transfiguration), interpreted dramatically, had tonal clarity and sentiment relaying the substance of R. Zulueta de Costa’s poem which had inspired the composition. …Aileen Chanco is an astonishing pianist. The scenes she etched were as fascinating as the paintings that had inspired the music.

THE PHILIPPINE STAR (Manila, Philippines)
“Avante-Garde Music”
“’…The propulsive rhythms were remarkably captured by both conductor and pianist. Aileen’s runs were incredibly rapid like those of a machine, her fingers extraordinarily nimble and dexterous in the piece which consisted virtually of runs. Clamors for an encore were rewarded with a Rachmaninoff Etude…Aileen Chanco’s performance was a tremendous achievement.”

THE SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE (San Francisco, California)
“More Light Than Shadow”
“Chanco is a deft and colorful player. …She could sink luxuriantly into an arpeggiated accompaniment one moment, and snap out of it for a staccato interruption the next. Mei and Chanco were both brilliant – they did extraordinary things…”

THE INQUIRER NEWS (Manila, Philippines)
“Sumptuous Feast of Pianism”
“Pianist Aileen Chanco was well received. She impressed the audience with a superb rendition of the piece. Her tones were lush and elegant. There was no harshness in her playing, which produced robust tones. As soon as she started the opening chords, there was no doubting the fact that her pianism was of the first order. The encore numbers that counted, a “Nocturne” from Chopin, a number from Ginastera’s “Danzas Argentinas”, and a prelude from Rachmaninoff, all confirmed the polished sheen of a marvelous pianist.”

THE MANILA BULLETIN (Manila, Philippines)
Arts and Mind – Aileen Chanco: Poetess of the Piano”
“After hearing only a few notes played by US-based concert pianist Aileen Chanco, we concluded that she is a poetess of the piano. From her first passages, Aileen Chanco demonstrated supreme self-confidence, dynamism and lyricism….She displayed remarkable technical skill as well as tremendous technique, stamina and strength in spite of her petite frame. To the good-sized audience, she obliged them with three encores.”

THE MANILA TIMES (Manila, Philippines)
“Debuts: A Fantastic Pianist and an Orchestra with a Heart”
“Never had I heard the Schumann Concerto played this way here in the Philippines or anywhere else…We were unbelievably awed with her rare expressive musicality. Her performance is something the Manila audience at the Philam Life Theater will never forget – it was a shining moment for our country.”

BUSINESS WORLD (Manila, Philippines)
“The program closed with Schumann’s Piano Concerto featuring Philippine-born California resident Aileen Chanco. Ms. Chanco is a no-nonsense pianist. She takes a majestic pose and then concentrates on playing her best, which was a joy for those of us lucky to be present. She has admirable technique, plays with precision and clarity and fuses this with coloring and feeling.