Mariacristina Buono bringing Christmas to Roma 3 with intelligent brilliance.

Mariacristina Buono – Young Artists Piano Solo Series 2022 – 2023

I might have guessed that our genial host at Roma 3,Valerio Vicari,would have something special up his sleeve for the last concert before Christmas of his Young Artists Piano Solo Series.
The surprise was a beautiful young pianist from the school of Benedetto Lupo in Bari – the home of San Nicola – Father Christmas.After a recital of well known classics from the piano repertoire she appeared with one year old baby Leonardo in her arms.

Mariacristina with baby Leonardo and Valerio Vicari


Having just watched a Christmas Carol in the Ghione Theatre too I am feeling very much in the Christmas Spirit in the Eternal City.


Mariacristina Buono trained from an early age under Benedetto Lupo and went on to study with Fabio Bidini in Cologne and in Zurich with Ulrich Koella.
It was no surprise then that her intelligent musicianship from such superb mentors shone through everything she played.
Haydn Variations that were played with a clarity and impeccable phrasing with the tempo intelligently maintained as the variations were allowed to unfold so naturally.
If it was slightly missing grace and charm it was in part due to the brightness of this magnificent Fazioli Concert Grand that stands so proudly in this overly spacious rationalist hallway.
It was also,we realised later,the tension at leaving baby Leonardo in the Green Room while his very talented mother left him in his grandmother’s arms so she could offer us her gift of music that she had brought from Bari to the Eternal City.

The return to Bari


Leonardo’s cousins ,uncle and grandmother had travelled up together to Rome to enjoy this musical treat that Maria Cristina was sharing so generously with us today.

The new venue for Roma 3 concerts


This is the splendid new venue that Valerio has added to the Teatro Palladium and the historic Teatro Torlonia.
The Convitto Vittorio Locchi is just a stone’s throw from Roma 3’s Teatro Palladium and is in its own grounds where open air concerts were held this summer under the portico of this very imposing building which is the seat of INPS – the official Italian social security office.


Beethoven’s so called ‘Moonlight’Sonata was allowed to flow naturally with the melodic line architecturally shaped.Sustained by the anchor in the bass as the triplets were obviously the gently flowing waves of Lake Lucerne that had inspired Rellstab’s naming of ‘Moonlight.’The Allegretto was gracefully played and phrased so intelligently with scrupulous attention to the composer’s indications.The imposing Trio was played with weight as it contrasted so well with the gentle charm of the ‘Minuet’.Leading immediately into the Presto agitato that was played with startling rhythmic energy and real Beethovenian bite.The tumultuous last cascades of notes finally came to rest on a trill that unwound so naturally as it led to the downward scale which heralded the exciting final few bars.


Chopin’s first Ballade is one of the best known works by Chopin and in Mariacristina’s intelligent hands it was restored to the aristocratic tone poem that had been inspired by the poet Adam Mickiewicz.
From the very opening flourish that was played like someone opening a book with a tale about to be told .Coming to rest on a long held note that gradually dissolves as Chopin recounts his story of ravishing beauty and nobility.The subtle beauty of the opening led to the nobility of the first passionate climax played with aristocratic authority and musical intelligence.It dissolved into brilliance and scintillating jeux perlé as it built up again to the outpouring of mellifluous passion leading to a transcendental coda of technical brilliance and excitement.


The Mendelssohn Fantasy op 28 found Mariacristina in a more relaxed mood as the reams of notes that Mendelssohn weaves with mercurial lightness just flowed so naturally from her fingers.Played with passionate conviction and architectural shape as she moulded the phrases with mercurial sentiment of great control and brilliance.If the Allegro con moto could have been lighter with more Italian charm than German nobility it was contrasted with the breathtaking brilliance of the Presto.Knowing Leonardo was enjoying her performance too she threw herself into the fray with astonishing abandon and passion.


All obviously was now well back stage and Mariacristina felt free to offer as a thank you to her enthusiastic audience Chopin’s final study op 25.Ocean waves flowing with passionate drive and ravishing sounds played with brilliance and a technical command with a musical line of clarity and intelligence.
Happy Christmas to you all from Valerio Vicari and his untiring team at Roma 3.

The Andante with variations in F minor (Hoboken 17/6), also known as Un piccolo divertimento, was composed in Vienna in 1793 for the talented pianist Barbara (‘Babette’) von Ployer, for whom Mozart had written the concertos K449 and K453. This profoundly felt music vies with the Andante of the ‘Drumroll’ Symphony as Haydn’s greatest set of alternating minor–major variations and is among his most popular piano works.It was possibly inspired by the death of Maria Anna von Genzinger (1754–93, called “Marianne”) The variations are a set of double variations, the first theme is in F minor and the second theme in F major.Two variations of each theme and an extended coda follow.Haydn’s last piano work is also considered to be his most famous single work for this instrument. The minor theme is filled with emotional depth: “a melancholy andante in f minor, with variations, as only a genius can do them, that almost sounds like a free fantasia” (thus described in a review of the time). The autograph shows us that the work was originally intended to be the first movement of a sonata.

Title page of the first edition of the score, published on 2 August 1802 in Vienna by Giovanni Cappi e Comp

The Piano Sonata No. 14 Quasi una fantasia, op 27 n.2 was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil Countess Giulietta Guicciardi The popular name Moonlight Sonata goes back to a critic’s remark after Beethoven’s death and comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab. In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne.Beethoven’s pupil Czerny described the first movement as “a ghost scene, where out of the far distance a plaintive ghostly voice sounds”.Berlioz commented that it “is one of those poems that human language does not know how to qualify”

Autograph of the first movement

The first movement was very popular in Beethoven’s day, to the point of exasperating the composer himself, who remarked to Czerny, “Surely I’ve written better things”.although technically a sonata,’quasi una fantasia’is suggestive of a free-flowing, improvised fantasia.
Of the final movement, Charles Rosen has written “it is the most unbridled in its representation of emotion. Even today, two hundred years later, its ferocity is astonishing”.It is thought to have been the inspiration for Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu, and the Fantaisie-Impromptu to have been in fact a tribute to Beethoven.

The Grey Goose San Felice Circeo

Mendelssohn was among many nineteenth-century German composers, among them Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Bruch, who were fascinated by Scotland, by its folk music, history and literature. Mendelssohn was the only one of these six who visited Scotland, when at the age of twenty during the summer of 1829 he found the inspiration for his Scottish Symphony at Holyrood Chapel in Edinburgh and for the ‘Hebrides’ Overture (also known as the ‘Fingal’s Cave’ Overture) on the desolate island of Staffa off the coast of Mull in the Hebrides. But well before he made his celebrated walking tour of Scotland in 1829, he was reading the poetry and novels of the ‘great wizard’ of the North, Sir Walter Scott, and was acquainted with the ‘Ossianic’ poems, one of the great literary forgeries of the eighteenth century. In the early 1820s he composed two settings of verses from Scott’s epic poem The Lady of the Lake (including the Ave Maria, also set by Schubert). Then, probably in 1828 or early 1829, the young composer attempted his first full-scale work inspired by a Scotland he had not yet seen or experienced. The three-movement Fantasia in F sharp minor, Op 28, eventually released in 1834, took shape originally as a ‘Sonate écossaise’, mentioned already in family correspondence from early 1829. Four years later, early in 1833, Mendelssohn revised the work, still titled ‘Sonate écossaise’, but then published it the following year as a Fantasia, without its Scottish attribution.

Christmas comes to Italy – the Grey Goose San Felice Circeo

The ballade dates to sketches Chopin made in 1831, during his eight-month stay in Vienna.It was completed in 1835 after his move to Paris, where he dedicated it to Baron Nathaniel von Stockhausen, the Hanoverian ambassador to France.

Autograph of the first page

In 1836, Robert Schumann wrote: “I have a new Ballade by Chopin. It seems to me to be the work closest to his genius (though not the most brilliant). I even told him that it is my favourite of all of all his works. After a long, reflective pause he told me emphatically: ‘I am glad, because I too like it the best, it is my dearest work.'”

Mariacristina Buono intraprende lo studio del pianoforte all’età di 5 anni, si diploma a 17 anni con 10, Lode e Menzione presso il conservatorio “Niccolò Piccinni” di Bari; prosegue gli studi con Benedetto Lupo, sotto la cui guida
consegue la Laurea specialistica con 110 e Lode, presso il conservatorio “Nino Rota” di Monopoli. Nel 2015 si trasferisce all’estero, dapprima in Germania dove studia con Fabio Bidini presso la “Hochschule für Musik und
Tanz” di Colonia, concludendo brillantemente nel 2018 il suo Master in Pianoforte solistico; dopo in Svizzera, dove frequenta un Master in “Specialized Klavierkammermusik” all’ Università delle arti di Zurigo, sotto la guida del Prof Ulrich Koella. E’ vincitrice di circa 50 primi premi in concorsi pianistici internazionali, e di numerose borse di studio. Nel 2017 la Giuria della “Werner Richard Dorken Stiftung” le aggiudica una Borsa di studio e diversi concerti in Germania. Sin da piccola suona in veste di solista e camerista in Europa, in America e in Australia, contando ad oggi più di 200 performances, fra cui l’esibizione, nel 2019, alla Carnegie Hall di New York. A 22 anni debutta con la “Fima orchestra” eseguendo il Concerto n. 1 op. 11 di Chopin con ad Almeria (Spagna). Vincitrice del Concorso docenti 2016, è titolare di cattedra di Pianoforte dal 1° settembre 2017, presso il Liceo Musicale “Cirillo” di Bari.
Dal febbraio 2022, è docente presso il conservatorio “Monteverdi” di Bolzano.

My adopted granddaughter Anastasia first birthday today too !
All well ,Christmas is here
Our genial host the artistic director of Roma 3 Valerio Vicari
Mariacristina presenting her programme

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