Lucrezia Liberati at Roma 3 Virtuosity and freedom in the name of music.

Lunedì 8 marzo 2021 ore 21.30 Teatro Palladium (diretta streaming canale YouTube Roma Tre Orchestra)
Young Artists Piano Solo Series 2020 – 2021 – Lucrezia Liberati
L. van Beethoven: Sonata per pianoforte n. 2 in la maggiore op. 2 n. 2 Allegro vivace -Largo appassionato-Scherzo and Trio :Allegretto-Rondo: Grazioso
R. Schumann: Allegro in si minore op. 8
B. Bartók: Klänge der nacht dalla “Suite Im Freien” Sz. 81
S. Rachmaninoff: Études-Tableaux op. 39 nn. 1, 4, 8, 9
Lucrezia Liberati, pianoforte

Some transcendental playing from Lucrezia Liberati at Teatro Palladium for Roma 3 Young artists series.Her rhythmic energy she demonstrated from the very first notes of Beethoven’s remarkable early Sonata op 2 n.2 where the Largo appassionata particularly suited her great temperament and her immaculate technique in the outer movements allowed her to decifer Beethoven’s very precise indications as only a true musician could.
The rarely heard Schumann Allegro op 8 was given a committed performance for a work that strangely takes no inspiration from op 7 (the Toccata)or op 9 (Carnaval)
The colours and clarity she brought to Bartok In the night from the suite ‘Out of doors’ were quite remarkable.
But it was in the 4 Etudes Tableaux that closed the programme that showed where her true heart lay.Such passionate conviction from the first swirling notes of op 39 n.1 through the irresistible rhythmic impetus of the 4th , the nostalgia of the 8th to the breathtaking transcendental fireworks of the 9th.
This very fine Schimmel piano can never have been so content to have a real master on board as today.
She made the piano sound like the finest of Bosendorfer’s with a little help from that other magician Mauro Buccitti.

The Beethoven Sonata in A op 2 n.2 was published in 1796 and dedicated to his teacher Joseph Haydn .It is entirely beyond the range of Haydn and Mozart in harmonic and dramatic thought though written by the 26 year old Beethoven.The three sonatas op 2 showing already Beethoven’s personality whose evolution can be so clearly traced from these first published sonatas to the last of the 32 in a span of only 26 years .This sonata was the first Beethoven sonata to reach America and was performed in New York on June 5 1807 and strangely enough was often played by Glenn Gould too.Lucrezia immediately showed her credentials from the very first energetically played opening notes.A great temperament that even in the lyrical passages never forgot the sense of line or detracted from the overall architectural shape.There is an explosion of energy in these early sonatas that have a driving force with their sudden changes of dynamics and sforzandi that seem to inject even more energy .A great clarity to her playing but also a delicacy where needed,as in the rallentando before the second subject or the harmonic exchanges in the development.Beethoven’s great outbursts played with great technical assurance and it was just these contrasts that are so remarkable in these early sonatas.Beethoven’s tempestuous temperament already so marked as would become even more apparent in the middle sonatas before finding peace in his own sound world and celestial vision with the final great trilogy of op109,110 and 111.

The remarkable slow movement is one of the few instances in which Beethoven uses the marking Largo, which was the slowest such marking for a movement. The opening imitates the style of a string quartet with a staccato like bass against lyrical chords.It has been described as: “showing a thrilling solemnity that immediately proves the identity of the pupil of Haydn with the creator of the 9th Symphony”.Played very appassionato indeed maybe a fraction too slow giving a rather menacing appearance to the left hand staccato.However it was a very convincing performance where the extraordinary contrasts in dynamics were played with true explosive Beethovenian character.A crisp and clear Scherzo contrasted so well with the beautifully shaped trio with its pointed sforzandi and final fortissimi chords before the innocent return of the Scherzo.The opening flourish of the Rondo was played with vigorous charm before the tempestuous middle section with its insistent triplets and chordal interjections .Lucrezia’s great temperament allied to her unfailing technical command was quite imperious and contrasted so well with the almost Haydnesque charm of this Rondo,ending so unexpectedly in a whisper.

“Everywhere only confused combinations of figures, dissonances, passages – in short, for us torture” – Schumann certainly did not deserve this contemporary slating. He only published the opening movement “Allegro di bravura” of what was originally meant to be a sonata – the other parts were apparently destroyed. Clara, who was otherwise rather reserved as far as Schumann’s early works were concerned, soon incorporated this piece into her repertoire. Ernestine von Fricken, the dedicatee and with whom Schumannwas still engaged at its time of composition, often played it after their separation, even if “with quite curious expression”. Hats off to Lucrezia for including this rarely performed early work of Schumann.Together with the Paganini Caprices op 3 and 10 they are the odd one’s out of a series of masterpieces that start with the Abegg variations op 1 up to the Humoresque op 20 taking in Carnaval,Kreisleriana,Fantasie etc.A very imposing beginning soon gave way to a quicksilver flight of notes played with a crystalline clarity of great effect almost making sense of a work that seems to lack the great lyricism of Schumann’s other masterpieces of this period.

There were amazing colours in the most evocative piece from Bartok’s Suite ‘Out of doors’. A clarity allied to a great resonance showed her command of the pedal.The almost religious chant and native dance rhythms like visions in a night full of strange noises on a continuous sheen of sounds.It is a remarkable work and in many ways similar to the sound world that Ravel creates in Le Gibet.It requires a transcendental control of sound which Lucrezia demonstrated so well on this sumptuous sounding instrument.I remember many years ago being astounded the first time I heard this piece,not by the transcendentally difficult Chase which ends the suite,when played by Radu Lupu in one of the rounds of the Leeds piano competition.

Rachmaninov’s Etudes tableaux were intended to be “picture pieces”, essentially “musical evocations of external visual stimuli”. But Rachmaninoff did not disclose what inspired each one : “I do not believe in the artist that discloses too much of his images. Let the listener paint for themselves what it most suggests.” And Lucrezia certainly did that as she threw herself into the first study op 39 .A passionate outpouring of sumptuous sounds played with a technical brilliance of absolute control.The great bass comments over the continuous flow of notes leading to a passionate climax and enthralling accelerando of chords to the exciting ending.There was an intricate charm to the Gavotte like fourth study where she created a crisp clear texture to the many notes that enshroud this playful dance.The beautifully mellifluous eighth study was played with a languid nostalgia with a very flexible rubato finishing with the whispered ending before the powerful eruption of the ninth.Some transcendental playing of driving rhythms and enormous sonorities,a playful middle section only a brief respite before the exciting build up to the tumultuous ending.

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