Vanessa Benelli Mosell in Siena Micat in Vertice young artist’s series

Bonn 1770 – Vienna 1827

SONATA n. 16 in sol maggiore op. 31 n. 1 (1801-1802)

1. Allegro vivace
2. Adagio grazioso 
3. Rondò. Allegretto 

Moscow 1880 – London 1951

from 2 Skazki (2 Fairy Tales) op. 20 (1910)
n. 1 Allegro con espressione

from Zabýtye molítvy (Forgotten Mélodies) op. 38 (1919-22)
op. 38 n. 6 Canzona Serenata

Kerpen 1928 – Kürten 2007

Klavierstück VII (1954)

Verona 1959

from Miniature estrose (Book 1 1991-2002) 
Birichino, come un furetto

Raiding 1811 – Bayreuth 1886

Réminiscences de Norma S. 394 (1841)


Recorded live
Boccherini Room
Palazzo Chigi Saracini, 15 May 2021.

Once again, the Accademia Chigiana hosts the young pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell within the Micat Concerti in Vertice Season. This concerts is part of the Roll over Beethoven cycle, a project supported by the SIAE in 2019, which presents the chamber music of Ludwig van Beethoven interpreted by young talents, perfected at the Siena Academy. The program combines masterpieces of romantic and modern pianism, favoring the meeting of very different composers, but united by the same look towards the future and moved by the same spirit of innovation that made them approach the piano composition, each from their own historical and cultural context. There are nineteenth-century compositions represented by Beethoven, Medtner and Liszt, up to the present day with Stroppa, and passing through the twentieth century with Stockhausen, the author of which Vanessa Benelli Mosell is one of the leading interpreters.

The Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell is establishing herself as one of the most important names on the international music scene today for her technical virtuosity, her musical depth and expressive intensity of her pianism and her conducting style. Benelli Mosell’s charismatic artistic talent and natural leadership are quickly establishing her as one of the most interesting personalities of the new generation of young conductors. Combining raw power and boundless imagination, her electrifying musicality was heavily influenced by her mentors, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Yuri Bashmet. She is also appreciated for her knowledge of the most demanding and complex repertoires as well as her particular dedication to contemporary music.
Her recordings by Stockhausen and her recording debut with the London Philharmonic exclusively for Decca Classics have received universal acclaim from critics and audiences.

VANESSA BENELLI MOSELL, nata a Prato nel 1987, ha iniziato lo studio del pianoforte a tre anni. A sette anni è stata ammessa all’Accademia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” di Imola, dove ha studiato con Franco Scala fino al 2006. A undici anni ha debuttato negli Stati Uniti presso il “92nd Street Y” di New York. Si è perfezionata con Joaquín Achúcarro presso l’Accademia Musicale Chigiana di Siena nel 2005 e 2006 e nel 2007 ha studiato al Conservatorio Čajkovskij di Mosca con Mikhail Voskresenskij. Si è laureata nel 2012 presso il Royal College of Music di Londra sotto la guida di Dmitrij Alekseev.
Vanessa Benelli Mosell ha suonato in prestigiose sale da concerto, tra le quali Berliner Philharmonie, Auditorium di Radio France di Parigi, Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, Kings Place di Londra e Teatro alla Scala di Milano, sia da solista sia in formazioni cameristiche al fianco di Renaud e Gautier Capuçon, V. Repin, M. Quarta, D. Kashimoto, J. Rachlin, R. Vlatković e del violoncellista francese Henri Demarquette.
Nei 7 album realizzati per l’etichetta discografica Decca Classics, rientra l’incisione dei Klavierstücke di Stockhausen, che l’hanno portata a collaborare a stretto contatto con l’autore e con eminenti compositori contemporanei fra i quali G. Benjamin, H. Dufourt, S. Gervasoni, M. Matalon e M. Stroppa.
In qualità di direttrice d’orchestra ha lavorato con la Wiener Kammer Orchester e il Divertimento Ensemble di Milano.

A programme of Beethoven,Medtner,Stockhausen,Stroppa and Liszt for the Chigiana’s series of concerts under the title ‘Roll over Beethoven ‘for young interpreters that have perfected their studies in the famous Academy founded by Count Chigi Saracini.It was in the 20’s and 30’s that many noble families opened up their family homes to the great musicians who were only too pleased to be their guests in their Palaces in Siena,Perugia or Aquila Horowitz,Rubinstein,Casals,Segovia,Cortot,Serkin,Busch were just some of the names of their illustrious guests .It is enough to look at the photos with dedications on the pianos of Count Chigi in Siena or Alba Buitoni in Perugia to realise how enlightened these noble families were to invite musicians who would otherwise have only rarely visited Italy on their worldwide concert tours.It was in 1968 that two young freshers at the Royal Academy hearing about the marvels of the Accademia in Siena took time during the Summer break to go and listen to the marvels that were talked about of Guido Agosti’s summer studio in Siena.Having inherited the class from Alfredo Casella in a period when Franco Ferrara,Segovia,Navarra,Gulli,Brengola and many other visiting artists including Casals and Cortot were giving summer Masterclasses in the magical city of Siena.In fact there is a photo of Cortot turning the pages for Guido Agosti who is accompanying his wife Lydia Stix Agosti.A real Mecca for musicians that inspired these two freshers who thought they would get the sack from the RAM in London for daring to seek out other sources of musical inspiration.When they got back to London they were very surprised to find that not only was their secret out but that they had been awarded the Tobias Matthay Fellowship to help towards the cost of their wondrous adventure.One of them went on ten years later to meet his future wife in Siena whilst accompanying the class of Agosti’s wife.He even went on to create a theatre in Rome with his wife the illustrious Ileana Ghione that inspired by Count Chigi’s example became a Mecca for all the musicians denied a space in the Eternal City.Teatro Ghione was the much loved home, like the Wigmore Hall is in London today,for the 30 years that Rome was denied the magnificent concert halls of Renzo Piano.It became loved home to Agosti,Perlemuter,Nikolaeva Tureck,Tortelier,Ricci,Cherkassky Fou Ts’ong and above all it was Stockhausen’s favourite theatre.It is nice to be reminded of our great friend reading that Vanessa was his last student and that she has recorded all his Klavierstucke.I am very happy to read also that Vanessa had passed several summers in Siena in the class of the highly esteemed Joaquin Achucarro (who incidentally was the solist in the very first orchestral concert that I attended at the Festival Hall in London.)

It was indeed her Beethoven that shone out with a sparkling light as she had said it would in her opening interview.A Beethoven full of contrasts and rhythmic playfulness that she played with scrupulous attention to Beethoven’s very precise indications.A beautifully poised Adagio grazioso that is a truly inspired bel canto that she played with superb legato with the lightly staccato accompaniment beautifully judged.The slightly menacing middle section was maybe a little too aggressive where the indications are only forte-piano not sforzando in a Sonata that has very little of Beethoven’s usual aggressive contrasts but is full of a ‘joie de vivre’that was rarely the world which he inhabited.The Allegretto was played with great brilliance and rhythmic drive and in fact Beethoven does not add the grazioso that is it’s true character.Vanessa is a superb pianist and a very fine intelligent musician and to see her at the piano is like watching the water nymphs in Copenhagen.Her actual movements on the keys though do not mould the sounds naturally like a sculptor or painter with a brush and palette of colours.She has a technical perfection that with her superb intelligent musicianship shapes the music with great architectural arches and rhythmic precision but this lack of natural movement sometimes does not allow her the mellow shaping of a singer having to breathe.It may also be the magnificent Fazioli that has a very bright sound that gave a little too many Beethovenian contrast in a sonata that is ,unusually,all radiance and light.The two works by Medtner were magnificently played and her superb temperament and technical control together with a sense of colour really brought these two rarely played works to life.As Vanessa said in her interview she tries to contrast well known works with lesser known ones as she did today.It was fascinating to hear the Klavierstuck VII and the contemporary work by Stroppa which were like a breath of fresh air between Beethoven and Liszt. I was reminded of Rubinstein who would add four mazurkas by Szymanowski to his all Chopin recitals saying that it was like a lemon sorbet after a rich meal that just whet your appetite for more! The Stockhausen and Stroppa were superbly played most notably without the score too.She had really digested these works with the same intelligence and superb technical control that were a hallmark of everything she played.

Lydia and Guido Agosti with my wife Ileana Ghione in Teatro Ghione,Rome

Stockhausen loved my theatre in Rome and he loved playing with the lighting and sound from the back of the hall.His 12 Klavierstucke we’re on the programme one year played by a young German pianist and also his daughter.The organisers had hired a Yamaha piano but Stockhausen seeing the Steinway ‘D’ in a corner begged me to be able to use that instead.Of course Mr Stockhausen but you must reassure me that it will only be played with two hands and two feet in the conventional manner!Well he ‘almost’ kept his word ,but in the last Klavierstuck his daughter started to sit on the keys as she fired toy missiles into the public!The missiles were another story as he had just performed the same concert in Palermo and the missiles were not returned by an excited public only too happy to have a memento of such an occasion.’Chris’ what shall we do ,exclaimed the Maestro.Show me one and we will see what can be done.He luckily had saved one and I showed it to our stage technician who during the day set about making a dozen missiles.’What are you making’ the actors passing under the stage would ask.’Missiles for Maestro Stockhausen’ was Castelli’s innocent reply.The concert was a great success and a few weeks later I got a big packet in the post from Kurten.The address written in red .It was a couple of signed prints from Stockhausen that now hang in the most frequented room in my house! A heart shape to which was added ……..dially Stockhausen!It was the Liszt Norma Fantasy or more precisely reminiscences of Norma that showed off to the full the superb artistry of Vanessa.Sumptuous sounds,cascades of notes but above all a musicality that was of the magic world of Opera.Such tenderness,passion and excitement creating the unique world of Bellini’s wondrous world .


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