Bei der kroatischen Komponistin Dora Pejačević (1885–1923) denkt man unwillkürlich an Chopin. Denn wie bei diesem steht auch bei Pejačević das Klavier absolut im Zentrum des Schaffens. Außerdem finden sich in ihrem Werkkatalog wohl nicht zufällig eine Sonate in b-Moll, zwei Nocturnes und zahlreich Walzer. In einigen Charakterstücken ist der Einfluß Griegs und Schumanns nicht zu überhören. Die Werke der Reifezeit sind aufgrund ihrer vieldeutigen Ton- und Formensprache auf der Höhe der Zeit und legen Zeugnis ab von einer Komponistenpersönlichkeit, die einen festen Platz in der zweiten Reihe der Jahrhundertwende-Komponisten verdient hat. Es ist einer der großen Vorzüge dieser Gesamtaufnahme der Klavierwerks mit der Pianistin Nataša Veljković, dass man den kompositorischen Entwicklungsprozess über einen Zeitraum von 25 Jahren (von 1896 bis 1921) verfolgen kann. Und dies umso mehr, als Veljković für diese spätromantische Musik pianistisch wie musikalisch bestens gerüstet ist. Die Akkord- und Oktav-Kaskaden in den anspruchsvolleren Stücken kommen passgenau und wirken nie bloß hingedonnert. Das musikalische Spektrum vom Konzertwalzer bis zur weiträumig angelegten Sonatenform durchquert sie mit konstanter Geistesgegenwart und Intensität. Liebhabern der Klaviermusik der Jahrhundertwende sei diese Doppel-CD, die übrigens einen ausgezeichneten Klang hat, wärmstens empfohlen.
Piano News; von Robert Nemecek
Beethoven: Tripelkonzert, Brucknerhaus Linz
„ … Beim „Tripelkonzert“ glänzten die Solisten Natasa Veljkovic am Klavier, Ana Pauk auf der Violine und Othmar Müller auf einem Amati-Cello sowohl mit technischer Brillanz als auch überzeugend in der Gestaltung und Einigkeit mit dem Orchester. …“
“… the Piano Concerto in F Major (by Ignaz von Beecke) was rhythmic, finely phrased and energetic, performed playful and with a steady hand by Natasa Veljkovic, … her mastery, sensitivity, and virtuosity is amazing! It’s no wonder this student of Paul Badura-Skoda and Rudolf Firkusny won the Clara Haskil Competition. She lives and teaches in Vienna, but has concerts throughout the world. In her version of the young Mozart’s Piano Concerto B flat Major (KV 238), brilliant and effervescent passages alternate with astonishing ease with moments of thoughtful intimacy. We would love to hear more from this Serbian lady, and we will: her recording of Beecke’s piano concertos is currently being produced.”
Klassiek Centraal; By Arlette Hellemans
The Bavarian Chamber Orchestra Bad Brückenau and the Serbian pianist Natasa Veljkovic …
Beeckes Piano Concerto F Major… With refreshingly lightness, the orchestra glides into the composition leading to a music duel with the pianist Natasa Veljkovic. A pianist who lives in Vienna, she starts out simply, and takes in her stride a rapid succession of fugues interspersed with delicately glowing flourishes. Her performance was energetic, insistent and also wonderfully sensitive.
Radiant energy and grace also dominates the interpretation of Mozart’s piano concerto No. 6 B Major KV 238. … The pianist plays a clear arrangement with virtuosity, temperament and finesse, never becoming too sweet, but always at the pulse of an infinitely variable energy. The rich depth of the andante brought to light by the differentiated keyboard technique was impressive.”
Erkelenz; By Angela Wilms-Adrians
“ … A recording of the piano concerto Hob XVIII: 3, 4 and 11 by Joseph Haydn … Stylistically confident and insightful, Veljkovic teases out what ends in Hadyn’s piano concertos and what begins to grow in them, in an unconstrained and matter of fact way. Also the thin, lucid, vibrato-confident string tones capture our attention and Veljkovic, in turn, shows that it is possible to cultivate a historically-informed view on a modern instrument. Although we knew this before, it’s always good to be reminded of it. This CD is a successful example of diverse creative and interpretational approaches reflected in a non-dogmatic way and transformed into its own creation – a meaningful, beautiful CD.”
Marco Frei, Piano News
“… Natasa Veljkovic (bears) impressive witness to how agile, eloquent fingers can make this, as it were, semi-virtuoso music speak, sparkle and also sing … ”
Peter Cossé, Klassik Heute (Classic Today)
“… Natasa Veljkovic … very sparkling, great attention to detail.”
Peter Cossé, ÖMZ
On the CD Haydn Piano Concerto, Gramola 2009:
“This particular recording….is among … a limited number of compilations of Haydn recordings which from the onset create a good mood, because they perfectly expresses in an uninhibited, straightforward and youthfully refreshing way the vitality, deep joyousness and earthy charm of this music…
… It appears to me that Natasa Veljkovic has expressed all these characteristics of Haydn’s concert style in fresh unpretentious candor and conciseness…
And Natasa Veljkovic proves herself, in the soulful slow movements of these concertos, without frills, forthright, unpretentious, almost to the point of being an earthy interpreter of Haydn’s spiritual cantilenas, which in their dry, rigorous and plain beauty exude a lot more of their fire, nobility and deep sensibility than if they were loaded with feelings. (One) immediately convincing interpreter of the Vienna School of Piano and a historically oriented style of Vienna Classicism…”
Attila Csampai, Bayern 4 (Bavaria 4)
On the CD Romance Works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Gramola, 2007
“… In her dual biography of Robert and Clara Schumann, Veronika Beci has coined a key romantic phrase, namely, “phantom pain of the soul.” Veljkovic’s approach seems to be thoroughly seeped in this concept…
Natasa Veljkovic takes full advantage – and rightly so – of her formidable skill in manipulating
the keys. So the generally slow tempi she chooses never appear drawn out, spelled out, or the least bit boring – but instead endowed with meaning. She could have made things easier for herself by stretching the tempo less. It speaks, on the one hand, of this artist’s profound seriousness, on the other, of her infallible instinct to so fully gauge musical depths when she – in The Poet Speaks, the last movement of Scenes from Childhood (track 16) – evokes an almost complete stillness. Such an interpretation, filled with an absolute concentration of tension, which appears playful at the same time, is worthy of our admiration.
Even the well-known Dreaming (track 10) appears new: Through Veljkovic this often sweetly-kitschy piece wins back its original character – subtly reduced, internalized, without losing its inner romantic or tonal essence. It’s wonderful how her virtuoso talent keeps erupting. It’s striking how her manner of performance becomes explosive in certain parts of Clara Wieck-Schumann’s G Minor, Op. 11 (Track 19) or Liszt’s piano arrangement of Dedication.
… What makes this recording special is the precise handling of its musical contents. And the romantic drama was rendered by Natasa Veljkovic so enthrallingly well that it was immediately communicated and allowed the listener to revel in it. With this she has definitely entered the league of pianists that really have something to say. Those who want to discover something substantial about Romanticism should take a look at the soul-drenched pictures by Caspar David Friedrich, or listen to the CD or best of all do both."
Richard Eckstein, Klassik-Heute (Classic Today)
“A Poetess on the Grand Piano
Eichstätt (EK) …
Already after the first tones we feel a spark of poetry, which shines from the romantic compositions of Schumann, Liszt and Cho¬pin. The piano professor who works in Vienna has, with delicate strokes, great sensitivity and compelling musicality, proven herself to be a music-poetess, who knows how to convey the magic of Romanticism to an auditorium, introducing her art with sweeping gestures and lively facial expressions.
… Robert Schumann … All these Scenes from Childhood op. 15 appear light as feathers and tender in the hands of Veljkovic, and at the same time – so hard to render in their simplicity. The pianist does not in any way shy from setting personal strong sforzati accents and has a relatively free approach to the tempo.
Clara Schumann’s "3 Romances op. 21" were the discovery of the evening: … Poetically dreamy and romantically swooning, conjuring up a night of magic – letting the tones linger for a long time.
… Années de Pélérinage, the years of wandering, by Franz Liszt … again pure poetry, handled articulately by the soloist, not delivered with trumped up glamour but penetrating deep layers beneath the virtuoso surface.
Of course any program of poetic-romantic delicacies has to include Chopin. A wonderfully serene berceuse lifted us elegantly into the charming world of Paris Salons, and the arc of suspense of an F minor ballad bursting with drama.
An attentive audience, with no disturbing coughers, applauded two encores, the second (Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor K. 397) offered another opportunity for the pianist to prove her sensitive touch, her agility with musical phrases. …“
Hawe, Eichstaetter Kurier (Eichstätt Newspaper)
“… Natasa Veljkovic is the best Mozart interpreter of our time …”
Gordana Krajacic, Belgrade, Borba
“Natasa Veljkovic is our most admired “wunderkind” on the piano, who today has grown into a mature artist with an incredible power of expression...”
Gordana Krajacic, Belgrade, Borba (Newspaper)
“… Natasa Veljkovic dominates the stage with her sound and conveys, in a natural and matter-of-course way, her vivaciousness, her skill and her joy in making music. Her Mozart is very deeply her own, lived-through, spontaneous, fiery and not at all mundane…”
Branka Radovic, Belgrade, Politika (Newspaper)
“Sinfonietta: A Great Delicacy
It was – once again – a great evening
... The program started with a high point. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Op. 37 is an exhilarating dialogue between the piano and orchestra. The pianist Natasa Veljkovic, born 1968 in Belgrade and now living in Vienna, succeeded in performing this masterpiece to its full perfection.
A longer orchestral introduction preludes the entrance of the piano. After an energetic race on the keys, the solo instrument picks up on the main theme and in parts dominates the further course of this wonderfully melodic work. With a springy rhythm and a great delicateness with the details, this charming artist crafted her solo part.”
Leo Willner, BADENER ZEITUNG (BADEN NEWSPAPER), Culture
“Unifying Love of Music
5th Subscription Concert of the Sinfonietta Baden in the Casino
… Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven … Belgrade-born Natasa Veljkovic played the ideal role in this successful performance. With incredible musicality and perfect technical accomplishment she let Beethoven’s notes resonate. “
Raimar Wieser, BADENER RUNDSCHAU (BADEN REVIEW), Culture
"This is Mozart played with wonderful affection and poise by the winner of the 1985 Prix Clara Haskil. Natasa Veljkovic`s immaculate articulation and sensitivity of phrasing are evident from the opening bars of the Sonata facile K575. But more than that, there is a real sense of characterization that reminds one that opera is never far away in Mozart`s music. The Variations K500 are full of quasi-operatic gestures which are expressed to the full here. Much the same could be said of the D major Sonata K311 , the Finale of which positively bristles with affectionate wit. Mention should be made of the choice of a Bösendorfer for this particular recording. The extra richness of the bass register makes, I think, for a more “orchestral” sound image. This pays special dividends in the D minor Fantasie K397, where the Andante really does evoke the darker world of Don Giovanni. The transition into the sunny Allegretto is most telling here, illustrating that the Fantasie is indeed a dramma giocoso in microcosm. Finally Natasa Veljkovic gives a heart-warming performance of the A major Sonata K331. Once again, all the qualities displayed in the preceding works are here in abundance. Overall then, a most satisfying recital by a charismatic artist who clearly has a special affinity and insight.”
Paul Lanfear, "EPTA – PIANO JOURNAL"
"Natasa Veljkovic provides us with impulsive, effervescent accounts of these works. Her playing of La leggierezza is remarkable for its chrystalline clarity, subtle inflexion and emotional restraint. Whilst avoiding any mannerisms, she achieves all the spontaneity of a live performance. One only has to listen to the lofty final bars of Les jeux d`eau a la Villa d`Este to appreciate that here we have an artist who is drawn more to the essence of the music than to the surface effect. One could say that this recording presents Liszt with the sunniest of dispositions, an impression reinforced by the first piece in the Venezia e Napoli that follows. This is no lugubre gondola, for here the sunlight reflects brilliantly on the water. Nevertheless, the ensuing Canzone is given all its tragic poignancy before yielding to a feverish Tarantella. There is a more subdued tone in the Consolations, although the impulse of the moment is just as evident here. Natasa Veljkovic`s interpretation perhaps places more emphasis on the ardour in these pieces than on any sense of resignation. It would be interesting to hear her play Les jeux d`eau a la Villa d`Este in context with the rest of the third book of Annee de pelerinage. She does give us more of this other aspect of Liszt in the LégendeNo.1, where in the final pages we get not only the religious ecstasy of the birds but also a real sense of human doubt in the spare unaccompanied theme. An heroic account of the 12th rhapsodie hongroise ends this exciting and colourful recording.”
Paul Lanfear, "EPTA – PIANO JOURNAL"
“PIANO VIRTUOSO AND A HIGH-SPIRITED ORCHESTRA: Magnificent Final Matinee at the 7th Mozart Week in Bad Reichenhall
… It was a great pleasure… with an excellent pianist such as Natasa Veljkovic from Belgrade… She played with otherworldly grace, vivaciously, always with a mischievous Papageno grin, repeated, like a theme, in diverse variations. The piano concerto was an exquisite bravura piece. Splendidly strung together in the hands of pianist Natasa Veljkovic, marvelous quick passages, trills, staccato and legato intertwined – it all sounded elegantly brilliant.
The cadenzas were genuine caresses of the keys. The enthusiasm in the old sanatorium was enormous: lengthy applause and flowers…”
Aurelia Stark-Richter, Reichenhaller Nachrichten (Reichenhall News)
“As in her recently published Liszt recital, Natasa Veljkovic knows in her new Mozart selection how to develop concise musical concepts, which she interprets with crystal clear sound precision. Even such overpopular hits, supposedly played to death, as the Fantasia in D-minor or the Alla Turca from the Sonata in A-major K331 never produce a sense of weariness in the listener. The Prix Clara Haskil winner of 1985 has here played herself into the top ranks of Mozart interpretation.”
Peter Schlüer Klassik Heute, Munich
“The light and transparent rendering of the Concert Étude La Leggierezza is the first piece of Natasa Veljkovic’s Liszt recital, whose colourful programme allows many an interesting glimpse of this composer’s fascinating piano oeuvre. The pianist’s accurate interpretation makes above all the compositions Les jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este and Saint François d’Assise: La prédication aux oiseaux appear like light-flooded paintings. Without neglecting speed and virtuosity in her tempo, Natasa Veljkovic knows by her minute moments of hesitation how to create islands of structure, which tend to underline the almost glass-like transparency of her play. Nonetheless, the pianist’s grasp always remains filigree in style, which endows not only the Consolations, but also the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 with a special charm.”
Peter Schlüer, Klassik Heute, Munich
“Only recently her Liszt performance has inspired me: Natasa Veljkovic, Serb pianist living and teaching in Vienna, proves on her new CD (with Zulus Records) that she also knows how to play Mozart. Three sonatas, variations, the wonderful fantasia in D-minor in a cheerful, transparent, pointed rendering. Her play suggests wit and wistfulness, tempo never becomes haste, the Bösendorfer piano used allows a well-rounded, plastic sound. This is a lively and highly emotional rendering of great beauty.”
Karl Löbl, Kurier, Vienna
“The fact that the approach to virtuosity has nowadays become calmer and more natural than three decades ago (with Martha Argerich) is demonstrated by a Liszt CD recorded by Natasa Veljkovic, born 1968 in Belgrade, which has recently been issued by Zulus Records. The accuracy, tempo, transparency and key acrobatics offered here are extraordinary.”
Karl Löbl, Kurier, Vienna