Reviews

2019

29. 10. 2019, Denník N

“The JAMA festival was beneficial in many ways: it acquainted even the people outside of artistic scene – the inhabitants of Banská Štiavnica and Banská Belá – with the work of Milan Adamčiak. Also, to a different group of people (the ones who knew Milan Adamčiak more or less theoretically), it offered a plastic, even a harsh point of view on his everyday life. However, the festival foremost enabled us to experience on our own how important it is to get outside ´one´s social bubbles´ – discourses which are inside us and within which we are used to living comfortably.”
Alexandra Tamásová, JAMA festival review

7-8/2019, Hudobný život

“The bonus of the recording are five compositions for piano four hands. In these pieces, Boroš and Šiller “dance around” various modalities of playful contact with the keyboard (Little Tarantulas, Pitter-Patter), but also gracefully present the standard elements of piano play (Arpeggios, Scales). Again, Bach is called back to life (with Liszt looking over his shoulder) and it sounds very poetic. Since Eric Satie has already been mentioned, I would like to repeat what Jean Cocteau wrote about Satie´s music, now in connection to the work of Tomáš Boroš: at first glance, the music is as unnoticeable as a key hole, but when you look closely, everything changes.”  
Robert Kolář, review of album Situations

7-8/2019, Hudobný život

“The solo recital of Ivan Šiller was a stunning artistic experience. The protagonist took us on a “voyage” through selected works of the 20th century and he was a very skillful and sensitive “guide”. With ease and persuasiveness, he “shifted” between various nuances, reliably mastering a dense and complicated net of subtle interpretational challenges. In great detail and at the same time very delicately, the substance of each presented work was brought into light and he helped us to “listen into” their beauty.”
Daniel Matej, review of Ivan Šiller's solo recital Cantéyodjayâ

7-8/2019, Hudobný život  

“Fifty offers Ivan Šiller’s interpretation of miniatures, the technical requirements of some of them (Barlow) are not at all trivial. Šiller again confirms his ability to grasp not only classical literature, but also the specific aesthetics of today. The interpretation of graphic scores is determined by the pianist´s creative capacity and the rhythmical demands exceed the “classical demands” multiple times.”
Ondrej Veselý, review of album Fifty

18. 3. 2019, His Voice

“The execution by Prague Modern is precise and can fully compete with the existing recordings by other ensembles.”
Matěj Kratochvíl, Prague Modern album review

11. 3. 2019, avantscena

“Composer gives the opportunity to all musicians to make their own decisions and interpretations. That why free improvisation is very important compound of this music. Strange tunes, extraction of weird sounds, an expand of technical abilities, eclectic fusions, contrasts and free improvisations are heard very frequently. The music is completely based on authentic and original Elliott Sharp’s composing style.”
Avant Scena, review of album Dispersion by Elliott Sharp and VENI ACADEMY

9/2019, .týždeň

“For my fiftieth birthday, I was given presents from 28 composers from around the world. It’s a collection of short compositions for piano which were released on the FIFTY album, performed by Ivan Šiller, who came up with the whole concept and organised it. It was one of the biggest and most beautiful surprises I have ever experienced.”
Elena Akácsová, interview with Daniel Matej

20. 2. 2019, Pravda

“There are no limits when choosing a birthday present, but what happens if contemporary music composers wish to congratulate a colleague and fellow pilgrim on his fiftieth birthday? The Fifty album conveys almost 30 varied versions of “Happy Birthday” dedicated to the Slovak composer Daniel Matej.”
Vladimíra Gahérová, article about the “Fifty” album

1-2/2019, “Ivan Šiller and I brought the composition ‘Vexations’ to Vyšné Ružbáchy. We made some improvisations of movement to the crystal-clear melody of “Vexations”. I was afraid that I would be anxious about having to listen to the same, five-minute, variation repeating itself, but the opposite proved true. I hadn’t been able to immerse myself so deeply in my concentration for a long time, literally feeling that I was not controlling my movements, but that they were the result of something absolutely spontaneous and organic. The music gave our movement, and our mind some finesse, and for me this had almost a cathartic effect, associated with the feeling of deep happiness.”

Barbara Rónaiová, Interview with Anna Čonková
2018

16. 12. 2018, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

“It is neither so much a one thing or another as it is very much Elliot Sharp music, which is a very important thing. This time now is in part on Elliot Sharp time. Set your watches, put them aside, then listen to this album! I very much recommend it.”
Grego Applegate Edwards, Elliott Sharp, Dispersion, VENI Academy with Elliot Sharp, Marian Lejava

10. 12. 2018, Full Moon Zine      

“What was the top? Jesse Kanda, the students of the Veni Academy with their controversial scores, the eco-social appeal performance by Hydrangea II, Jon Rafman’s Dream Journal film and Afro-American activism embedded in the volatile and vigorous beats of 700 Bliss. Any disappointments? None.”
Lucie Tlustošová, review of the festival “Animated Film Competition” - PAF 2018

7. 12. 2018, Full Moon Zine

“Guitars, piano, flute, violin, clarinet…The instruments build up tension and explode. I am startled several times when the abrupt outpour of noise surprises me. Creaking, clicking, clattering, a singer who produces screeches reminiscent of the rattling noise made when your food goes down the wrong way or when you swallow water in the swimming-pool. A total pure mess. Ten out of ten. This year’s topic at the PAF is the lapse and the Veni Academy shows what aesthetic beauty a mistake can conceal.”
Lucie Tlustošová, review of the concert by VENI ACADEMY at the Festival of Film Animation - PAF 2018

2. 12. 2018, The Slovak Spectator

“While still many Slovaks prefer listening to traditional classical music, the interest of the local audience in contemporary music is slowly, but gradually growing, according to Šiller.  “But it is long-distance race,” he said, adding that in bringing contemporary music to an audience the key issue is the establishment of a relationship with the listeners. “They have to believe that our primary goal is positive and that the only thing we want is to play music different from that they are used listening to.”
Jana Liptáková, article about album Fifty

11/2018, Hudobný život

“Once again, it was a completely unique evening…It was a different take on Ravel, quite different from the usual naive image of the “representative of musical impressionism”. In this version of “Ma mère l’Oye”, for four hands, Ivan Šiller and Tomáš Boroš nicely succeeded in correcting this impression.”
Robert Kolář, review of the concert Chansons Madécasses by Ensemble Ricercata

21/2018, Open Space Magazine

“CD – A nice thing from Bratislava (In Music), 50 anniversary of Daniel Matej; Ivan Siller does a very short realization of Homo Ignorans.”
Philip Corner , review of album Fifty

1-2/2018, Hudobný život     

“An unpredictable story, unexpected musical situations and sharp acoustic combinations have brought the spirit of the American silent avant-garde into the Dvorana.”
Robert Kolář, review of the concert by Ensemble Ricercata
2017

12/2017, Hudobný život     

“The band is playing the great Glass live, for what must be the fifteenth time, but when it ends, a few seconds of silence hang in the air, with tense expectation – and only then do the audience breathe again and give a standing ovation. People are beside themselves.”
Eva Vozárová, report from the Cluster ensemble’s American tour

11/2017, Hudobný život     

“‘Situations’, which was played on the evening in question, is a set of compositions in the traditional sense, and often required much more than basic piano skills. Their attaca intersecting with Kurtág’s miniatures worked literally marvellously from a dramaturgical point of view…The fact that “Situations” was played in the artist’s authentic version also played a role, as well as the fact that, if we can say so, Boroš literally found himself as a composer in them. Ivan Šiller was an extremely knowledgeable performer of Kurtág’s two-hand pieces.”
Robert Kolář, review of the concert by Ensemble Ricercata

6/2017, Hudobný život   

“The inter-media project ‘Shaped Songs’ is interesting and unique, and not only in the Slovak context, I believe. As a whole, the performance was incredibly satisfying, and so to conclude I’ll just confirm the words from the programme notes saying that ‘Shaped Songs’ really represent a shift in the perception of classical music on the path towards new electro-acoustic and compositional input, where the new shape of the song becomes a reflection of the delirium and an image of a moment of pure thought…”
Daniel Matej, review of the project ‘Cluster Ensemble Shaped Songs’

6/2017, Hudobný život     

“The piece ‘Aus den sieben Tagen’ by Karlheinz Stockhausen took the perceptive listener on a tour to some unusual corners of experimental music, creating an unforgettable musical experience, which was heightened to a great extent by the concert’s well thought-out dramaturgy.”
Alžbeta Irhová, review of the concert “Hommage à Milan Adamčiak”

3/2017, Hudobný život

“Although I am not a big fan of Glass’ music, this is undoubtedly a classic of 20th century music, and I consider the publication of a CD which has almost exclusively Slovak performers under its label as a similar success for Slovak music as when Vladimír Godár’s recording of ‘Mater’ was taken over by the Munich record label ECM.”
Andrej Šuba, justification for the nominations for the Radio_Head Awards genre awards

3/2017, Hudobný život  

“I nominated the 2CD ‘Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass’ for 1st prize. The performances which aspire to the title of the benchmark recording of Glass’ works in an international context, as well as the sound quality and beautiful design of the double album destined it to be the recording event of 2016.”
Juraj Bubnáš, justification for the nominations for the Radio_Head Awards genre awards

3/2017, Hudobný život 

“The name itself of the ensemble, which was Radio Devín’s ensemble in residence in the 2014-2015 season, evokes a light form of nostalgia for the series of events in the large concert studio, where the public was sitting on the podium, and could, as it were, see the musician’s music, the unique atmosphere of which must have made a lasting impression on every visitor.”
Robert Kolář, review of the double album by Ensemble Ricercata (2016)
2016

12/2016, The Gramophone

„The Cluster ensemble’s neat and carefully prepared performance.“
Philip Clark, review of album Cluster Ensemble Plays Glass

9/2016, Hudobný život

“As a musicologist and musician, all I can say is “well done” to the over fifty minute recording of a piece which lacks any quantification. The result (for the performer and listener) is something close to a trance. What you take away from listening to this will not be melodies to whistle to yourself under the shower in the evening, but a particular weightlessness of your state of mind cleansed of the layers of previous thoughts and intentions. Philip Glass’ music is clearly in good hands. The Cluster Ensemble is uncompromisingly minimalistic in its effort to interpret musical minimalism.”
Martin Flašar, review of the 3CD set ‘Cluster Ensemble Plays Philip Glass’

9. 8. 2016, Denník N

“After the Guardian, their new album has received another laudatory foreign review. ‘They tackle some of Philip Glass’s iconic early works, playing them more crisply and clearly than perhaps any other recording in history.’ wrote the Pitchfork server.”
Oliver Rehák, The export story of the Slovak Cluster Ensemble continues

9. 8. 2016, denník SME

“Even in Chicago journalists were able to listen to the new album by the Slovak Cluster Ensemble, and they were delighted: they gave it a score of 8.3 out of ten, and it featured in the selection of the best recordings from around the world on this popular website. It is a unique feat for media around the world to write about Slovak music recordings. However, the British Guardian daily has also already reviewed it, giving the ‘Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass’ album four stars out of five.”
Marek Hudec, article about the review of the Cluster Ensemble in Pitchfork magazine

8. 8. 2016, Pitchfork

“The Cluster Ensemble tackles some of Philip Glass’s iconic early works, playing them more crisply and clearly than perhaps any other recording in history.”
Seth Colter Walls, review of album Cluster ensemble Plays Philip Glass

5. 8. 2016, HIS Voice  

“The Cluster Ensemble and its young performers have played ninety concerts and performed both in Europe and in the United States, and is today one of the formations which is able to appreciate and do justice to key works of the twentieth century and the present-day with precision and enthusiasm, while highlighting their experimental and unusual nature.”
Z. K. Slabý, review of 3CD set, ‘Cluster ensemble Plays Philip Glass’

8/2016, Vlna – časopis o súčasnom umení a kultúre

“Magnificent music, an excellent performance, perfectly managed rendition.”
Peter Šulej, review of the performance of ‘Bon Jour Monogramista T.D’

1. 8. 2016, Denník N

“Straight after concerts, all sorts of things are said, usually praises and exaggerations. But when the world-famous composer himself congratulated the six Slovak musicians in person, even offering to release the recording on his own label, it’s a huge thing. And what trumped even this was that he didn’t forget his promise.”
Oliver Rehák, “You played it to a world-class level, Philip Glass told the Slovaks” - article about the album ‘Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass

28. 7. 2016, Pravda

“It has been over a year since the Slovak premiere of the piece ‘Music With Changing Parts’ was played in Košice, in the presence of the composer himself. Glass enjoyed the performance of his 1971 piece so much that he offered the ensemble the opportunity to release the recording on his own Orange Mountain Music label. The musicians, who at the time were putting the finishing touches to their debut album with the Košice label Hevhetia, accepted the offer. The collection of three CDs entitled ‘Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass’ has recently appeared not only in Slovakia, but also on the shelves of music shops across the whole world.”
Vladimíra Gahérová, article about the album Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass

20. 7. 2016, denník SME

“Suddenly a cooperation sprung up, resulting in the album entitled ‘Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass’. The famous composer was so pleased with the recording that he decided to distribute it worldwide via his New York company: the pieces played on two electronic organs can now be listened to by people in Australia, England and America.”
Marek Hudec, ‘Slovak musicians captured the attention of the famous composer Glass, who is releasing their album’ - review of the album ‘Cluster Ensemble plays Philip Glass’

20. 7. 2016, The Guardian

“What’s remarkable about the performances by the Cluster Ensemble is that they never seem didactic, and are wonderfully natural and constantly involving musically. The Slovak group, led by keyboard players Ivan Siller and Fero Kiraly, has devoted itself to Glass’s early music for the last three years, and that total familiarity shines through every aspect of their playing.”
Andrew Clements, review of album Cluster ensemble Plays Philip Glass

7 – 8/2016, Hudobný život

“You could tell that each player truly enjoyed those approximately 45 minutes of graduating and tense music until the final moment of deafening silence…”
Naneta Čȏrgőová, review of VENI ACADEMY: summer academy in Kulturpark

4/2016, Hudobný život

“Community. This word can be used to describe the feeling which you experience when you find yourself among the musicians (and teachers) associated in the VENI ACADEMY project.”
Robert Kolář, review of VENI ACADEMY: 4x4

4/2016, Hudobný život

“…the performances by the contemporary music ‘specialists’, Zuzana Biščáková in the piece by Peter Groll ‘V kvapke nekonečna’ [In a drop of infinity] and Ivan Šiller in the works by Beria and Ives were captivating.”
Andrej Šuba, review of ‘Concert for Daniela Varínska’

1-2/2016, Hudobný život

“After a year and a half, the pilgrimage of the Ensemble Ricercata in the role of the first ensemble in residence of Radio Devín has reached its peak. We can state that this concept has not only proved itself, but it has also brought something which was missing in our cultural environment. With its exclusive, original dramaturgy, where the music of living composers and Slovak work had an important position, its level of performances and also its unusual form of presentation, the ensemble has set a relatively high level for its followers.”
Robert Kolář, concert review of Ensemble Ricercata

1-2/2016, Hudobný život  

“Even John Cage himself would perhaps have enjoyed the whole of this game of chance, which the Cluster Ensemble led by Ivan Šiller introduced and excellently performed as part of the cycle…”
Peter Machajdík , Hudba u Fullu [Music chez Fulla]-interview