Blic, 8.04. 2017 Gorčin Stojanović

… celebrating the 80th anniversary of Philip Glas's life, one of the greatest living composers of today, was a perfect cultural event.
Because, two “Grand Signore” of our avantgarde music, pianists Nada Kolundžija, with her robust subtlety, and Branka Parlić, with her gentle consistency, accompanied with motor energy of pianist Nataša Penezić… and with charm and humor of the VIS Ljubičice (Ensemble Violets), performed on Wednesday, April 5th, at Kolarac, exactly such happening.
Serial minimalism of the main protagonist-celebrant as well as a choice of contemporaries and those who together with Glass make up the essence of compositional art of the second half of the past and the beginning of this century like Gavin Bryars or Meredith Monk are played with the same passion that would be revelation for the younger listeners as it was for us, thirty years ago, a double album of John Cage’s prepared piano played by Nada Kolundžija or album of Satie’s "Inities" played by Branka Parlić.

The Fabrication of Wonders
Review – Concert in Royal Festival Hall- London
February, 2016
Benjamin Silva-Pereira,

Last Friday, 20 November 2015, we went to the same Royal Festival Hall, for a stroll in town, to have coffee and see the Magnum 15 photography exhibition. On the foyer there was a piano and microphones, and a lot of people seated and standing, waiting. It is one of the only good things London can offer you: a Musical Lunch Friday, for free. Piano music, gratis on a London landmark, could be worst, I thought to myself, and in the programme there was announced piano music by Erik Satie, Michael Nyman and, yes, Philip Glass. A petite lady with specs and hands painted with henna sat at the piano. Her name, I read on the poster, was Branka Parlić, and she came to play for us from Serbia. From the beginning it was surprising the pianist's technique, that was for sure, and the sound was really exquisite and crystal clear. Miss Parlić's rendition of Satie's gymnopédie no. 5 was perfect, and really felt, you could hear the sentiment in her playing, her decorated hands flying slowly on the keyboard, and Le Fils des étoiles was simply heartbreaking. I thought that Satie deserved a performer like her, that that was the way to play the father of the musique d'ameublement.
... though played with charisma and intensity (which is doubly rare)
... Off we go with Metamorphosis one and two and, suddenly, I watched myself smiling and applauding with pleasure. See, I have these works on CD, and I've seen other performers playing the same works, including Philip Glass himself, and they simply didn't clicked, at all. I think it is the saturation phenomena of the ubiquitous presence of faux Philip Glass's imitations everywhere we go, on the radio and television, and especially on film: all the soundtracks sound like Glass's old tunes from the seventies and eighties, rearranged (very fashionable in the last years, even Deutsche Grammophon fell in that abyssal mistake). But Parlić's playing had guts, it was sparkling and the sound and melody came in waves, especially the control of the volume in certain passages were pristine, going down as it should be. The audience was ecstatic and couldn't stop applauding. Études 2, 6 and 17 followed and it was clear that Parlić's skills are up there in the pantheon of the great pianists. A stroke of genius was the performance of Opening from Glassworks, absolutely expert and sentimental, in the good meaning of the word, Parlić's transformed a tune into something ethereal and melodious as I never heard before. People just closed their eyes, tilted their heads, hands on their laps, transported to another place, the place of music, there is: poetry. I remember there were The Hours, and others, but my mind was transfixed in the music and nothing else was of interest. The enchantment of Glass's music returned, unexpectedly, 'simple' (which is not), pleasurable and magnificently played. These are things that are missing in the programming of contemporary music concerts.
... I consider her recording of Philip Glass's piano music an absolute must have in your record collection, as it was recorded live too and all in it is superb, crystal clear and perfect. It is better than the recordings of Glass himself and his partner Michael Reisman, and better than any other artist's recording of the same pieces I have in my collection. As Philip K. Dick wrote: "That is the artist's job: take mineral rock from dark silent earth, transform it into shining light-reflecting form from sky." Branka Parlić does that.

Branka Parlic: The Cone Gatherers
The Capstone Theatre
12th November 2013
Reviewed by Joe Coventry

Balkan Bravura

Serbian-based Branka Parlic has played all over Eastern Europe, and it was a real treat to see her in the Capstone's brilliantly acoustic setting for an evening of minimalist and post-minimalist piano music tonight.
Her commanding presence and no nonsense meticulous attention to detail became apparent in Gnossiennes, (Nos 7 and 5), from Eric Satie. Languid and sensuous miniatures, with a hint of lingering doubt, they were mere truffles of sound invoking timeless nights of indulgent dalliance.
Next came Arvo Part's Fur Alina, to the accompaniment of some squeaky seats and rustling programmes. It was first performed in Tallinn in 1976 and was played 'Tintinnabuli' style; (think Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells). The music, full of introspection, humming overtones, and shadowy resonances was fabulously evenly paced, before timelessly drifting away to nothingness.
Next came a piece that echoed Michael Nyman's film music for 'The Piano'. This composer though was Dutch and J. van Veen's Minimal Prelude No 18, (2001), filled the air with undulating ripples of sound from the central keys of the gleaming Steinway Grand. This was sonorous, full bodied and at times on edge, emotionally building to a crashing stop before a slow coda to finish.
The first half ended with eleven minutes around the tone of E; a dark, discordant, migraine of a piece. It became faster and more manic, before eventually resolving itself, but by then it was resigned, unhappy and worn out in some nostalgic otherness. Graham Fitkin's 'The Cone Gatherers' reflected harshly on the replenishing of Scotland's post World War 11 de-nuded pine forests.
The second half was billed as a Philip Glass showcase. Along with Steve Reich he was responsible for introducing the minimalist canon into contemporary music, where harmony is eschewed in favour of rhythm, melody and repetition. Recalling Kafka, Metamorphosis Nos 1,2,3 were searching and evolving works. At first No 1 is commanding, but it ends, not sure of itself; No 2 is all trills and frills breaking out into ecstatic abandon with a dark edge to it; No 3 initially a cascading belly laugh falters before glumly concluding.
Mad Rush needed a page turner and, as the title implies, after a slow stop-start introduction it grew in stature to a work that demanded extreme manual dexterity from the performer. It was somehow commissioned to welcome the Dalai Lama to New York in 1981 and finished to well earned applause.
Recalled for an encore, Branka Parlic served up more dark chocolate with a caramel finish, in Satie's Gnossienne No 4, and all too soon this exploration of the genre, was over.

Koen Devlaminck, 29 Jan. 2011

Serbian Branka Parlic turns Glass into Crystal, 29 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Philip Glass Metamorphosis (Audio CD)

Let's for once skip all the nuances. No 'althoughs' or 'if onelies' therefore. This cd, with Branka Parlic interpreting Philip Glass' Metamorphosis cycle, Mad Rush, Wichita Vortex Sutra, Glasswork Opening, the finale from The Hours and Modern Love Waltz approaches perfection so closely that only a criticaster having a bad day would dare to complain.
I have listened to Philip Glass performing on Solo Piano and to Aleck Karis playing the same tracks + Glassworks Opening and Modern Love Waltz. The former turns out to be the least virtuosic pianist (sorry Mr Glass) and Karis has chosen for a dry, correct, academic approach.
Branca Parlic by comparison has managed to keep up the correct pace throughout this more than 70 minute cd and her interpretation is more romantic than Aleck Karis'. Add to this the beautiful acoustics of the Novi Sad Synagogue and you start to wonder why it is that this release is so hard to get. Why for example is this masterpiece not even mentioned on the Philip Glass website?
So on behalf of every Philip Glass fan, make this cd available to the masses!

Herman van der Made
Leeuwarden,Holland, 2012

... Branka Parlic plays these compositions (Satie, van Veen, Fitkin, Glass) with dedication and with excellent control of the rhythm. It was a beautiful rendition of the various works.Especially when Branka Parlic played Glass one could notice how much pleasure she has in playing works of this composer. When she played Mad Rush it was like being in a kind of a waterfall.

Borislav Hlozan, Dnevnik, 08.07.2005.

... Philip Glass’s compositions for solo piano, Branka Parlic has played focused and decently , rich in colors spectrum of sublime piano’s timbre and dynamic shades…

Ring Ring Festival, Belgrade 2006, Zorica Kojic, Danas, 15.05.2006.

... Therefore this was altogether one exceptional spiritual moment in which power of simple sense is overtaken by the tools of artistic delight. That’s why thrilled auditorium has focused all its essence in salutation to this delicately nourished artistic love without interest.

Zorica Kojic, Danas, 19 – 20. Maj 2001.

... In magnificent tranquility, without a bit of nervousness, feeding one full - blooded, unbroken flow, Branka Parlic arranged rare and delicate audio pleasure for audience in a Big Hall in SKC in Belgrade…

All about Jazz All About Jazz; September 28, 2006, Nenad Georgievski

... Parlic shows an exquisite touch in her interpretation of the piece, paying great attention to the varying dynamics and pace throughout. This approach enables her to produce a recording which is both heartfelt and academic in its precision. For many reasons it is an essential recording by an exceptional player.

Plastelin – Online magazine 2006, Mileta Okiljevic

... Inspiring performance with a strong feeling that artist and instrument are inseparable. Piano is like one of her organs, physiologically and by her choice. Needless to say, just listen.

Plastelin – Online magazine Retro 2006, Branislav Nikolic

... Branka Parlic’ s album is first presentation of Eric Satie’s music in region of ex-Yu. Ten pieces is fairly enough to introduce you to magic of Satie’s mystical cabaret.

Blic, 2006-06-30/ Gorcin Stojanovic

... Even though I have few CDs of Satie’s music, Branka Parlic’s way of playing is my favorite…Sound initiation is as well important as physical…” Time Regained” as Marcel Proust has said.

Franz Zamazal, OÖNachrichten, 22. November 2006

... Die ausgezeichnete Pianistin aus Novi Sad hat mit Geschmack und Selbstverständlichkeit sondergleichen das Charakteristische greifbar gemacht.

... Diese Bearbeitungen erlauben zu brillieren: mit musikantischen Ernst, mit Schwung und klanglicher Delikatesse, so dass zwei köstliche Zugaben unausbleiblich waren.

Tijana Jovovic, Vijesti (Podgorica) 21.02.2001.

... lucid, pure, convincing interpretation od Satie’s pieces…