Alberto Chines Artistry and scholarship in Rome

Alberto Chines at Roma 3
Sweelinck’s Mein junges Leben was the first work in this highly original concert.Finishing with a scintillating performance of Rameau’s Gavotte and 6 doubles from his suite in A minor.An understanding of the Baroque style with a transcendental technique that allowed him to add ornamentation that brought them vividly to life and made them the highlight of a programme that included Haydn C minor sonata and Schubert’s last Sonata in B flat. It was the same refreshing originality that he brought to these two masterpieces that with his intelligence and musicality allowed the music to speak so simply and directly.with his strong temperament,sensibility and sense of style.The ornamentation in the aria of the double was something to marvel at on this cold winters’ evening in the Aula Magna of Roma 3 orchestra .Especially on a Schimell concert grand that he turned into a magic box of gleaming jewels.Thanks too to Mauro Buccitti turning together with Alberto Chines’s superb artistry a bauble into a gem.Thanks to Valerio Vicari,artistic director for yet another important debut after Giovanni Bertolazzi’s superb recital at Villa Torlonia earlier this week in this collaboration with The Keyboard Charitable Trust

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562 – 1621) was among the first major keyboard composers of Europe, and his work as a teacher helped establish the north German organ tradition .He represents the highest development of the Dutch keyboard school, and indeed represented a pinnacle in keyboard contrapuntal complexity and refinement before J.S.Bach.

Mein junges Leben hat ein End’ is rightly regarded as Sweelinck’s masterpiece—it was the first of his works to be published, in 1894. The sense of reprise brought about by the return to the mood of the opening in the final variation, even though the harmony and part-writing are quite different, is surely a masterstroke.Variations on Mein junges Leben hat ein End (My young life has ended) was originally composed for organ. The specific date of composition is unknown and the melody is likely of German origin, as it first appears in several printed collections by German composers in the early 1600s. Following a simple presentation of the theme, six variations follow that explore the motivic and harmonic possibilities of the original material.Alberto played the variations with absolute clarity and a rhythmic drive with great finger articulation and an overall architectural shape and complete understanding of the style.Originally for organ he convinced us that it works well on the piano too and should be heard more often.

The Sonata in C minor Hob.XV1/20 is a keyboard sonata composed in 1771 was the first of Haydn’s that he titled Sonata. He had called his earlier multi-movement works for solo keyboard “divertimentos” or “partitas”.It was not until later that these works also assumed the title of Sonata and stands out among Haydn’s early keyboard works for its difficulty, dynamic contrasts and dramatic intensity.It is generally regarded as one of Haydn’s best and perhaps also the first great sonata for the piano by anybody.There was a very rhythmic opening with a great sense of almost operatic character.The development reached heights of ravishing beauty before the recapitulation where Alberto added some subtle ornamentation of great effect before the rather dramatic ending.The Andante con moto was played with weight and depth of sound and beautifully embellished.The Allegro was played with great rhythmic drive but maybe was a little to serious and Alberto could have had more fun here!

Schubert’s last three piano sonatas D. 958, 959 and 960, are his last major compositions for solo piano. They were written during the last months of his life, between the spring and autumn of 1828, but were not published until about ten years after his death, in 1838–39.Like the rest of Schubert’s piano sonatas, they were mostly neglected in the 19th century.The last year of Schubert’s life was marked by growing public acclaim for the composer’s works, but also by the gradual deterioration of his health. Schubert had been struggling with syphilis since 1822–23, and suffered from weakness, headaches and dizziness. However, he seems to have led a relatively normal life until September 1828, when new symptoms appeared.However, up until the last weeks of his life in November 1828, he continued to compose an extraordinary amount of music, including such masterpieces as the three last sonatas.

Schubert D 960 opening bars

The opening in Alberto’s hands was very robust with a great architectural line but it missed the magic sense of colour and luminosity which he kept for the development with great effect.It was the same contrast that he had found in the Andante sostenuto with the beauty of the opening contrasted with the rather robust chorale central section.The return of the opening melody was played with even more sensitivity barely whispering the final page.The scherzo entered so delicately with great charm and the menacing Trio with its syncopated accompaniment made for a great contrast.The Allegro ma non troppo was played with great buoyancy and rhythmic drive as it wove its way to the brilliant Presto finale.A very fine musicianly performance but not always capturing the magic atmosphere of Schubert’s last great masterpiece for the piano but showing us the great architectural shape without lingering over pianistic niceties.It was a very refreshing survey by a master musician.

Jean Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) Gavotte e 6 doubles

A truly scintillating account of Rameau’s famous Gavotte was played with astonishing agility and a clarity of articulation.On the modern piano it requires a transcendental technique because of the depth of touch.The ornaments that he improvised in the Aria were an example of the extraordinary detached emotion style of the Baroque period

An unfortunate photo taken after the concert with CA Valerio Vicari and AC

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