If anyone has pianojerome's email I know he'd appreciate hearing about this. I sent him a PM but he almost never comes here anymore.
Thanks for the PM; I'm really excited about this, and I wish that I would have been able to be there. This repertoire has been a passion of mine for the last 5 or 6 years, so I'm thrilled that Kissin has taken an interest in it. (Aside from music, Yiddish is also a strong interest, so I'm excited about the poetry, too.)
It's amazing how the reviews all focus on different things:
1. This one from the Washington Post
notes that although his performance was extremely unusual, both in terms of the repertoire and the recitation of poetry, he wasn't doing it for the sake of challenging the status quo. Rather, he was simply expressing himself.
2. This one
devotes a paragraph for each composition, describing the music and historical context.
3. The one in Commentary
presents the performance in the context of the Holocaust and Zionism.
4. This blog post
was the only one that really critiqued each composition, drawing connections to Chopin, Satie, Prokofiev, Debussy, and others.
Of course, all the reviewers were astounded by the inclusion of poetry, which is very unusual for pianists. (The Washington Post review notes that Brendel and a few others had done this on occasion, but it's still very rare, in any language.)
I'm hoping that Kissin will continue to explore this wonderful, if largely forgotten/unknown repertoire. I see that he's planning on performing these same works (Milner, Veprik, and Krein) at the Verbier Festival this summer; he also performed the Milner in New York last year. Hopefully, this is only the beginning!