Giuseppe Guarrera at the Wigmore Hall

Giuseppe Guarrera at the Wigmore Hall for YCAT
Some truly commanding playing from this young Sicilian pianist.
Interesting to know he is from the school
of Siavush Gadjiev whose son Alexander Gadjiev made his London debut with such success a few months ago.The total conviction and personal aplomb of Giuseppe Guarrera was allied to such intelligent musicianship.
His sense of dramatic colouring was quite overwhelming in the menacing bell like chimes of the Andante caloroso of the Prokofiev 7th Sonata.
The sense of architectural understanding in what must surely rank as one of Chopin’s greatest works – The Polonaise Fantasie op 61 – together with a very personal style never overstepping the aristocratic taste of Chopin, was of a chosen few.He had a strange way of taking his hands off the keyboard but leaving the sustaining pedal.Listening so intently to the beautiful sounds he had created, gradually dying away, before placing his hands on the keys again.A pianist who actually listens to what he is creating is rare indeed.
The very deliberate opening of Alborada by Ravel was soon whipped up into a frenzy of quite transcendental playing.
The famous glissandi in thirds glided as swirls of sound as Ravel brought the extreme contrast between the song and the frenzied dance to its ultimate conclusion.
No encore was possible,although dearly sought by a very full hall,after the Prokofierv Precipitato.
This last movement of the Prokofiev Sonata had crept in so quietly in the shadow of the Andante before completely mesmerising us with his unrelenting rhythmic drive that verged on the hysterically hypnotic.
Hats off to YCAT for finding yet another very special talent amongst the many very fine pianists who had auditioned.
Flippo Juvarra the artistic director of the Amici della Musica
in Padua had told me not to miss this exceptionally gifted young artist at the start of a great career.
I am glad he did …….but then Filippo and I have over the past 40 years shared artists such as Vlado Perlemuter and Annie Fischer and we often exchange ideas.

He too has a young Italian musicians series and just the other day I was there with Giovanni Bertolazzi.Concerts, unfortunately, are now postponed in Padua otherwise I would have been there with Nicola Losito for the Keyboard Trust this Sunday again.

All great talents of which Giuseppe Guarrera and Alexander Gadjiev are from the Venetian school of Professor Siavush Gadjiev and are both first prize winners of the prestigious Premio Italia.

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