Brave … flamboyant … a cleverly designed, exuberantly performed and arresting exercise in putting the politics back into the piano recital.
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review (on debut album ‘Speak to Me’)
A powerful experience … played with unutterable tenderness … remarkably touching, brilliantly constructed, finely played and wonderfully recorded.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine USA, November 2021 (on second album ‘9/11 : 20’)
Adam Swayne perfectly immerses himself in these different worlds. An important album!
Carsten Dürer, Note1Music Germany, November 2021 (on second album ‘9/11 : 20’)
Adam Swayne is masterful and convincing in this repertoire, bringing virtuosic swagger when required, tempered by sensitively shaped phrases and spare rubato.
Frances Wilson, ArtMuseLondon.com (on ‘9/11 : 20’)
Well planned, impressively realised and hauntingly effective, embracing reflection, avoiding the political protest of his previous recital of American piano music.
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review (on ‘9/11 : 20’)
Blistering … an extraordinary programme … picket-line player Adam Swayne impresses.
Claire Jackson, BBC Music Magazine ‘Monthly Choice’, April 2019 (on ‘Speak to Me’)
Poignant … beautifully understated … a very impressive commemoration.
Stephen Page, Lark Reviews (on ‘9/11 : 20’)
Unbridled ferocity … a spectacular display of digital virtuosity … Swayne nails it, in spades. This disc is a wild ride, fascinating and entertaining.
James H. North, Fanfare Magazine USA, April 2020 (on ‘Speak to Me’)
Bracingly weird … an audacious and committed performance from Swayne
Positionen – Texte zur aktuellen Musik, December 2020 (on appearance at HCMF 2020)
… an assured aplomb and wit … Swayne brings a toe-tapping energy and swagger.
Frances Wilson, Cross-Eyed Pianist (on ‘Speak to Me’)
Swayne dazzles throughout with his technique, but more importantly, given the subject matter, the programme is thoughtful and striking, and his performances transparently moving and respectful.
Scene Magazine, November 2021 (on ‘9/11 : 20’)
A very contemporary take on a classic piano recital, intersecting dazzling technique with political thought and audience participation … magnificent … Swayne plays with devastating brilliance … highly recommended. *****
Robert Hugill, planethugill.com (on ‘Speak to Me’)
Swayne is startlingly impressicve … full of energy and infectious spirit.
Gscene Magazine, June 2019 (on ‘Speak to Me’)
A fascinating exploration … positively terrifying … an impressive display of phenomenal technique from Swayne in some striking and highly thought-provoking repertoire.
Nick Boston, nicks-classical-notes.blogspot.com (on ‘Speak to Me’)
In the New York Times in 2002 Michael Kimmelman reflected that memorial art is ‘therapeutic, redemptive, educational’, and the remarkable thing is that Swayne has bought together, with such elegance, a group of works which go a long way towards satisfying these criteria, yet also form a strong, engaging and powerfully performed programme in their own right.
Robert Hugill, planethugill.com (on ’9/11 : 20’)
With most cds the liner notes may occasionally be useful but too often they are little more than a list. Not so here. The works recorded can be played and certainly enjoyed by themselves but make far more sense when heard once one is aware of the context … These days we are frequently encouraged to ‘go on a journey’ but in this case it certainly makes sense to do so, and enjoy the trip.
Dr Brian Hick, Lark Reviews (on ‘Speak to Me’)
Adam Swayne demonstrated immense skill allied to fiery enthusiasm for modern and new music.
John Wheatley, Tempo
The most engaging piece of the evening was Amy Beth Kirsten’s (speak to me) … Swayne put himself on the line with this adventurous piece.
Angelina Panozzo, I Care If You Listen
… he displayed minute attention to details of attack, timbre and rhythmic nuance… we got the ideal blend of panache and subtlety.
Nick Kimberley, Evening Standard
Swayne has a formidable technique and ample agility … his ability to fix the music in his mind was remarkable …
Geoffrey Norris, Daily Telegraph
Adam Swayne proved himself a pianist of formidable technique and high intelligence.
Hilary Finch, The Times
… a very impressive performance by Adam Swayne who was thoroughly attuned to the music’s exploration, pulsation, dark musing and evolution. This dedicated and perceptive account – with something kept in reserve for a thrilling culmination – left no doubt as to Swayne’s musicianship and virtuosity …
Colin Anderson, Classical Source
Swayne describes his piece [Many Dark Actors Playing Games] as a mini-requiem to Dr David Kelly, and as such was a very moving tribute.
Written for string quartet, the nine short pieces [of Reaches] flow in to each other to trace the course of a day at sea. The regular use of pizzicato, often against long held notes on a single instrument, was very effective and the slap of strings against the shifting shimmer and sense of openness was moving … let us hope it is not the last time it is heard.
Dr Brian Hick, Lark Reviews
Adam Swayne’s Hawker Hunter is a memorial piece to the Shoreham air crash. The highly aggressive opening draws on a large number of modern techniques in terms of the piano but these are all finely integrated into the score as a whole. As the piece progresses a sense of brooding calm overtakes it and we hear echoes of Purcell’s final pages of Dido and Aeneas. It is as if the music itself becomes the consolation, and is very effective.
Dr Brian Hick, Lark Reviews
Adam Swayne … opened the Funtington Music Group’s 2012 season with a fascinating multi-media illustrated presentation entitled The Development and Variety of Film Music. He ranged over scores as diverse as those written by Shostakovich to Enrico Morricone’s memorable and easily recognisable themes. It was a marvellous collection of film music that splendidly covered the whole gamut of the past century, illustrated by a first-class lecturer and concert pianist.
Chris Linford, FMG Review
… organised by the great good-humoured Adam Swayne … one of the many who have fostered Hove and Brighton as places for small-scale work in a variety of venues, which is all the more pleasing in an era when music seems divided between stadia and streaming.
Christopher Hawtree, medium.com
Adam Swayne’s customary enthusiastic pianism and artistic brilliance shone through [as he] re-created the relentless rhythm and sound of cotton mill machinery with unremitting fervour and commitment.
The atmosphere at this New Music Brighton event was lively and the audience was captivated not only by the sound of this truly contemporary piano music but also by the pianist’s enthusiasm for it.
Five distinctive modern compositions were all conducted by the articulate and highly expressive pianist, Adam Swayne, here displaying his athletic passion for – often unpredictable – music of the contemporary world.
Play on Dr Swayne and play on New Music!