LISZT Vallée d’Obermann; Mazeppa; Consolations n. 3-4; Rigoletto Paraphrase; Variation.
LISZT/BUSONI Fantasy and Fugue on “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam”
CD La Bottega Discantica 167
Liszt by Pedroni: virtuosity, powerful technique, lion-like force and great freedom of phrasing.
A solid and powerful technique, a lion-like force dominates the Liszt interpretation offered by Simone Pedroni in this Cd which cannot be missed because of the superb performance of Fantasie und Fugue uber den Choral “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam”, a page of majestic sound with a complex superimposition of polyphony and timbre.
It is a mighty work which Liszt composed in 1850, drawing inspiration on the atmosphere and on the themes of Mayerbeer’s Prophet, and which was transcribed by Busoni in 1897. A double transcription made by the two most brilliant geniuses of the nineteenth century dedicated to re-creating other composers’ music.
A page of so high virtuosity and emotional depth demands not only the qualities of a great virtuoso but also the sensibility of an extraordinary interpreter. Pedroni, the winner of the 1993 Van Cliburn piano competition, succeeds in the task, showing a perfect command of the vast polyphonic structures of the Fantasy as well as of the refined lyrical atmosphere of the central Adagio and of the complicate final Fugue.
The pianist, born in Novara, possesses a great freedom of phrasing together with a virtuosity aimed rather at achieving great sonority than at rapidity of execution.
Then we find a Paraphrase of Verdi’s Rigoletto made of hesitations and bursts just from the bizarre and sparkling opening bars with a phrasing more similar to a murmured parlando than to a full voice song. An interpretation mutable and variable like the game of seduction and just like the mutable Duke of Mantua who embodies the leading theme of Liszt’s Paraphrase.
Restless is the phrasing of Mazeppa too, perfectly rendered and reproduced by a technically excellent recording.
Great charm in the opening theme of the Vallée d’ Obermann, filtered through a thoughtful lyricism rather than through the usual attack which is so often chosen.
In the end Pedroni gives back with a delicate and supple phrasing, and in a quite convincing way, two frail pages like Consolations n.3 and n.4, which might be easily spoilt by a pianist not so sensitive.