Filippo Tenisci exults the genius of Wagner and Liszt in Velletri

The second concert in this eleventh edition inspired by Liszt’s Erard piano lovingly restored by Ing .Tammaro.He also had the genial idea of bringing this antique instrument to life with an annual series of concerts which also give a platform to young master musicians.And it all started with the Liszt bicentennial celebrations in 2011 originally in the Villa D’Este but now transferred to another of the hills around Rome in Velletri.
In the beautifully restored monastery that is now a thriving arts centre this Erard piano has found the ideal home for an instrument that was destined for intimate gatherings and certainly not the vast concert halls of today.

Today it was an all Wagner concert alla Liszt by the young Albanian born pianist Filippo Tenisci from the class of Maurizio Baglini.
Maurizio Baglini and Roberto Prosseda are two prodigiously eclectic promoters of music and young musicians in Italy.
I am proud to say that they were both spotted and helped in their formative years by the Keyboard Trust which has now taken Filippo under their wing too.

Leslie Howard the noted Liszt expert is one of the artistic directors of the KT and will play later in this season on the 14th May with his young Sienese protégée Ludovico Troncanetti.

Celebration concert in London just a month before his much awaited appearance this season in Velletri

The world is very small when one encounters master musicians dedicated to a voyage of discovery into the world of the great composers bringing their discoveries to life with dedicated scholarship,passion and instrumental mastery.
And so it was today with this young musician who I had heard recently playing so beautifully a Mozart concerto with the University Roma Tre Orchestra.
I was not expecting to find such dedicated mastery and serious scholarship in an eclectic repertoire of Wagner as from the hands of his father in law Liszt.
I have only heard the Tannhauser Overture before as it was the ‘cavallo di battaglia’ of the great ‘virtuosi’of the past .
There exists a famous video recording of Moiseiwitch playing it.
I also remember Shura Cherkassky playing it for us in Rome in one of his many recitals there in his glorious Indian summer.
It is a real paraphrase and as Ing.Tammaro rightly explained is the only piece on the programme today that is not just a pure transcription.
It is a work in which virtuosistic gymnastics abound but above all requires a superb sense of balance and colour to restore its orchestral glory to two hands and two feet in front of a box of strings and hammers !

Here and in the ingenious ‘Spinnerlied’or the ‘Entrata degli ospiti nel Warburg’ Filippo showed his technical mastery of the keyboard with sparkling jeux perlé,brilliant arabesques and powerful octaves.There was real beauty as he intoned the ‘Coro dei Pellegrini’ with its atmospheric ending that was later to be transformed in the Overture paraphrase with the transcendental gymnastics of a master illusionist.There was ravishing beauty that opened the ‘O du mein holder Abendstern’ with its tenor melody and lapping arabesques before its apparition on high bathed in a luminous mist of pedal.This was just the introduction to the full sumptuous tenor melody in all its moving glory.It was played with great delicacy surrounded by arabesques gradually building to a truly ecstatic climax.It showed Filippo’s very stylish mastery without ever loosing the aristocratic sentiment pregnant with meaning and never descending into empty sentimentalism.

A sudden injection of life with ‘Entrata degli ospiti nel Wartburg’ with the troups insistently marching in the left hand leading to a triumphant finale of great virtuosity and showmanship.The Ballade unfolded with great drama and was a true tone poem in Filippo’s inspired and convincing hands It followed the busy weaving of the famous ‘Spinnerlied’ already mentioned.

It is interesting to note that with Lohengrin Wagner left his youthful world of Tannhauser and Rienzi and was heading for the genial heights that changed the world of opera forever.The first performance in Weimar of Lohengrin was with Liszt on the podium who wrote to Wagner: ‘The wonderful score of Lohengrin moved me deeply.Your opera is simply sublime’.And so it was with the’Corteo nuziale di Elsa alla Cattedrale’ that the long drawn out melodic line was played with absolute serenity as Filippo unfolded it’s simple melodic line in this most literal of transcriptions.The ‘Dream of Elsa’ from Lohengrin was played with the tenor line ,sumptuous and simple over a shimmering accompaniment of great sensibility .

It was Filippo’s remarkable musicianship and scholarship that shone through all he did.Nowhere more than in the brief encore that he offered after a transcendental performance of the Tannhauser Overture.I look forward to the imminent publication of his new Wagner/Liszt CD.
Filippo took this opportunity of publically thanking Ing.Tammaro for the untiring help he gives to young musicians.Giving them a much needed platform to be able to share their music with a discerning public in his seasons of such scholarship and meaningful importance .

He announced he would like to play a piece written for the piano by Wagner himself.
Written in 1853 but revised and authenticated only a year before his 70th and last birthday in 1883.
Just one page of disarming simplicity that after all the notes we had heard today it was a fitting testimony to one of the greatest composers of all time.
It was played by Filippo with simple disarming beauty – a sublime benediction before which I am sure Liszt would have gone on his knees too !To quote Wagner from his letters:’An excitement almost painful comes over me with the arrival of the promised Erard Grand……..On it’s arrival I was extremely moved …….you know for how long I had hoped to own one……Here it is finally the magnificent piano with a voice of gold.’

As Ing Tammaro pointed out it was just such a piano that sat so nobly on the stage today.

Elegie by Richard Wagner completed in 1883 the year of his death – three years before Liszt in 1886.
Ing Tammaro with the dress coat loaned to Liszt by a noble lady in Via Sistina in Rome,where he lived,when his own had been drenched by rain .

Ing.Tammaro presenting Filippo with the specially embossed medal of thanks
The Maxi screen allowed us to appreciate Filippo’s beautiful hand movements and his sensitivity to touch
Cast of Liszt’s left hand
Filippo Tenisci

Here is an article about the first concert in this eleventh season :


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...