You could also hear Bach in the most devilish concert of the festival Saintes & late in the evening, Jan Michiels plays for almost two hours short pieces of Bach, Bartók, Ligeti, Kurtág and Janácek. There is not one piece that doesn't give us a view on the abysses of the soul (...) a concert as an example for the anti-commercial direction of Herreweghe.
(De Morgen, 28/07/2000)
The orchestra Beethovenacademie, the conductor Peter Eötvös and Jan Michiels have played in a wonderful way-with their interpretations they reached to the essence of each piece a.o. 'quasi una fantasia' op.27,1 of G.Kurtág (...). Jan Michiels went to the deepest core of Webern Variationen op.27 and he played an almost perfect Beethoven (Sonata op.27,1).
(De Standaard, 24/09/1993)
In this original coupling Bach/Nancarrow, the British pianist Joanna McGregor was already ahead of him. But the precision and the flexibility that characterized his maintaining of Nancarrow's pleasantly disturbing derailments in one imperturbable groove, was impressive and surpassed largely the recording of McGregor.
(De Standaard, 15/11/1997)
Michiels' version doesn't have anything demonstrative and the delicate pieces are shaped like in a mineral light.
(about Ligeti-Etudes (Megadisc) Monde de la Musique, 01/08/2002)
His affinity with Central-Europe covers all ages.
(De Morgen, 24/11/2003)
Every expression is present, unnecessary sentiment doesn't have a chance. An important recording on the international scene.
(about Liszt (Eufoda) Knack, 09/01/2002)
What a perfect technical mastery, what a physical power, what a breathttaking musicality!
(De Standaard, 22/10/1999)
GRAND MERCI for the cd Ligeti-Etudes I'm very impressed (already before, I liked your playing)
(György Ligeti-letter 24/09/1996)
Jeanne Loriod (ondes Martenot) and Jan Michiels, both superb presences...
(in Messiaen, Le Soir, 07/03/1994)
His interpretation was compelling, feverish and exciting-resulting in a long ovation.
(about Bartók's 2nd Pianoconcerto - De Standaard, 06/07/1998)
At the beginning of the Brahms-year, we received some very important recordings: symphonies with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, stringquintets with the Hagens and pianomusic with Jan Michiels.
(De Morgen, 12/1997)
In the Concerto for piano and winds (Stravinsky), Sian Edwards could relay on the support of Jan Michiels, who raised as a soloist the performance to a high level.
(De Standaard, 27/09/2000)
He gave to this score a superb dramatic and sonorous form.
(about Nono's ...sofferte onde serene... Le Soir, 02/04/2001)
Jan Michiels delivers a visionary look on the tormented spirit of Liszt.
(about Eufoda-cd De Standaard, 19/10/2002)
You hear an unique diversity of colours and the figurative language of Debussy comes to the foreground in a fantastic way. A renewing version - an international standard.
(Klara Radio-Het Eerste Oordeel, 2000)
Brahms doesn't ask for pianists, but for musicians. You can hear one here.
(about Eufoda-cd De Morgen, 02/05/1997)
Jan Michiels gets to the heart of Bartók.
(De Standaard, 25/10/1993)
I esteem Jan Michiels as an extremely gifted pianist who possesses exorbitant possibilities.
(Dieter Schnebel-letter 05/01/1993)
Michiels gives you the impression that this music (Ligeti, Kurtág, Janácek, Bartók, Debussy) cannot and may not be played in any other way.
(De Morgen, 06/09/1996)
Michiels brought off a colossal accomplishment during this unforgettable evening. (concert with Ligeti, Bartók, Goeyvaerts concerti a.o.)
(De Morgen, 07/10/1996)
You could think that splitting up the composition of Haydn '7 Letzte Worte' by putting other music in between, could harm this masterwork. Nothing is less true (...) Michiels' programm was clearly built with a vision that was convincing not only on paper but also musically (...) The frail miniatures of Kurtág moved us especially, still more than with the Keller Quartet some days before.
(De Standaard, 29/11/1997)
Michiels playing in all of these works Bartók-cd is brilliant detailed, layered, nuanced and powerful, he's given superb assistance by Inge Spinette.
(American Record Guide 2001)
Music for piano four hands is special and requires a perfect balancethe touch, the dynamics and the way of playing should fit perfectly. No problem whatsoever for the duo Michiels-Spinette.
(BN/De Stem, 15/04/2002)
A long time ago, Rudolf Finkusny (...) gave us a magnificent version of the works [of Janácek]. Belgium dare to repeat it ... and brilliantly!
(Crescendo - jan/feb 2009)
‘Playing the Kammersymphonie opus 9 of Schoenberg on the piano is quite a challenge. (…) Jan Michiels gave an extremely rich version of this Steuermann-transcription, with an extraordinary musical power.’ (Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – 04/10/2006)
‘(…) Jan Michiels in a selection of Debussy’s Preludes : with extremely many colours, with poetry and drive – guided by a clear mastery of the text and with a perfect technical ease.’ (La Libre Belgique – 22/12/2006)
(about Schönberg/Berg/Webern recording) ‘A very cultivated sonority and an always clear polyphony : with these qualities Jan Michiels gives this music much more ‘Wiener Espressivo’ than other pianists.’ (Luister – March 2006)
(about the Liszt-cd) ‘Jan Michiels doesn’t see the concurrence with his colleagues as a goal, but he takes the challenge to get into discussion with the music and with her quite complicated historical evolution : these are choices that deserve respect and above all gratitude.’ (Contra – Jan/Feb 2002)
(about a performance of Dvorak’s Piano Concerto) ‘He realises a performance with a rhytmical and brillant playing. The slow movement is extremely well balanced, simple, gracious and natural – with a splendid light toucher. The final movement is vigorous and full of joy.’ (ClassiqueInfo.com – 25/02/2008)
'The magic of Michiels': the hero of the saturday's concert at Ruovesi Festival - the Kuhmo of Birkaland - was the wonderful Belgian pianist Jan Michiels who axed the role as a roarsman in four big chamber music works (Aamulehti - 1.7.2013)
(over de opname 'Lost in Venice')
Michiels zoekt in deze opname naar het bereiken van een muzikaal multiversum (...)
het is een schitterend verdwalen en aftasten, met muziek van Bach tot en met Holliger, gebracht met weergaloos vakmanschap. (Brussel Agenda - februari 2014)
(over 'A Bohemian-Hungarian Rhapsody')
Duo Yin Yang laat de dansen van Brahms afwisselen met die van Dvorak, en dat levert een ravissant resultaat op. Het hart zindert bij zoveel luistergenot.
(Klara's 10 - november 2013)