This was the last recital of Franceso Piemontesi full Mozart piano sontatas cycle at Wigmore Hall. And after it I can only regret of having moved to London just recently and missed all the previous one. It is amazing when a pianist have something new and interesting to shown on very well known works like this. Piemontesi approach to Mozart is deep and reflexive: Like keeping the joy and clarity of Brendel but more intense but without the darkness of, for example, Barenboim.
I’m a declared fan of Roberta Invernizzi since her first recordings with Antonio Floro, Alan Curtis and Fabio Bonizzoni. As her recital title, she is a Queen of the baroque opera. I would have preferred a recital with less well-known repertoire, like the Neapolitan composer she has frequented or even Vivaldi rather than so much Giulio Cesare. As an example we have just had in London a full performance of this masterpiece by the English Touring Opera and will have another one with the Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn at the 2018 Handel Festival.
Xavier Sabata was an actor before becoming a singer. That’s why role characterization is one of the strongest points of his performances. London baroque scene was excited about seeing him live at Wigmore Hall: to enjoy not only his beautiful voice but also his acting (yes, even in a recital). Programme was comprised by arias from his latest recording Catharsis and he was accompanied by the same baroque ensemble that in the recording: Armonia Atenea directed by George Petrou
Paul O’Dette forms together with Jakob Lindberg and Hopkinson Smith the first golden generation of early music lute players. This lunchtime recital at Wigmore Hall was not a generic lute greatest hits or baroque lute showcase but focused on English lute music. It was, however, rich and varied enough to please not only connoisseurs. It ranged from harpsichord adaptations (Byrd) to original lute compositions (Johnson, Dowland and Bacheler). It was also varied in forms, with the nice contrasts between pavans and galliards.
When I got the ticket for this concert at Wigmore Hall with Leila Josefowicz and John Novacek very in advance I did it mostly interested on the Prokofiev violin sontata Op.80 and the one by Bernd Alois Zimmermann. The inclusion on the programme of two arrangements for violin and piano of two very popular works (Sibelius Valse Triste and the Adagietto from Mahler’s 5th) looked to me less appealing. On my way to the Wigmore Hall I realized the pattern across all the works in the programme.
Disclaimer: I already loved Fretwork vision of Bach’s The Art of Fugue. Several years ago I got this very cheap CD with the Harmonia Mundi catalogue: and felt in love with it. Nowadays is mostly agreed that Bach did The Art of Fugue as a intellectual exercise for composers/music students. It was intended as a study work not as a concert work. So the question “in which instrument(s) should it be played?
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