Third CD by Martin received a good review in the Nederlands Dagblad:
…Interestingly, Oei is fascinated by the fortepiano and enjoys playing this instrument…Sparkling, heady, and then sometimes hushed piano playing, beautifully recorded spatially in the Zeeuwse Concertzaal in Middelburg.(Roel Sikkema)
Before me is pianist Martin Oei’s third CD. His CD debut appeared at the age of 14, and it was clearly to his liking. On the second disc he plays a 20th century Bösendorfer (2012), and on the most recent release a Rosenberger fortepiano from 1800 can be heard. All releases bear interesting similarities to, among others, the first performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fantasia Sonata in D. In three years, Martin is already in the spotlight with his uncommon piano interpretation. These three CDs are an important measure of his pianistic career. It would be nice if from now on tracks and duration would be listed on the covers, as well as an extension to 80 min. playing time, instead of 58 min.; because that is on the skinny side!
De voorliefde voor historische klavierinstrumenten kan men in Martins vertolking van de Mozart- en Beethoven-sonates duidelijk horen! Ook de transparante klank van de fortepiano maakt dat Beethovens Fantasia in D ritmischer klinkt dan Oei’s vertolking op de 20ste eeuwse Bösendorfer. In dit driedelige jeugdwerk (1792) mis ik enige speelvisie van de uitvoerder; mijn indruk is dat aan diepgang en stijlexpressie nog kan worden gewerkt. Musicoloog Cees Nieuwenhuizen tekende voor de reconstructies van Beethovens Fantasia Sonate alsook de 11 slotmaten van Mozarts Fantasia in d mineur. De onstuimige vertolking van de Pathétique Sonate nr. 8 vind ik verdedigbaar en Mozarts KV 397 sprak mij aan door het legato spel van de pianist.
Too bad Mozart’s sonata in A minor sounds too rushed, overplaying the beauty of melodic lines. This was certainly not Mozart’s intention! Therefore a heartfelt advice: listen especially to keyboard masters who also have musicological knowledge. They usually do justice to the authentic performance requirements on historical instruments. Another suggestion: record the lesser known keyboard compositions of Russian tone poets, the latter in close cooperation with a teacher. This would allow this pianist to do pioneering work in the Netherlands. It could also be seen as a small tribute to his teacher Yelena Bazova, who herself comes from the Russian piano school. She has mentored Martin Oei for many years alongside other piano talents at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg. Conclusion: Martin’s first fortepiano CD is already receiving ample attention at Radio 4. In short: listening to this CD is definitely worthwhile!