A fascinating concert in the series in Velletri on Ing Tammaro’s 1879 Erard .Alessandra Pompili a voice from the past for me as I remembered her performance as a teenager at the Ghione Theatre in our young artist’s series .Her mother was in administration and knew Electra Moro.We were fortunate to have la ‘Signora Moro’ as administrator as she had formerly been the administrator of the Teatro degli Arti under the historic theatrical impresario Tolomei.Alessandra’s mother had spoken about her talented daughter,a student of Marcella Crudeli and Sergio Calligaris and so we were delighted to allow her to be heard in Rome in our concert series. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/07/31/sorrento-crowns-marcella-crudeli-a-lifetime-in-music/
Euromusica created in 1982 the year we opened the theatre with the idea of giving a platform to all the young and distinguished old artists who were excluded from Rome for lack of venues suitable for concerts.The 80’s and 90’’s were golden years for music at the Ghione Theatre before the opening of the three wonderful new halls of Renzo Piano at the Parco della Musica.Unique halls for music that had been missing for too long from the Eternal City.
Alessandra is now a distinguished artist with a family in Manchester and added to her concert activity is her dedication to humanitarian causes and for music in hospitals.An activity that together with the American pianist and philanthropist Martin Berkovsky has raised millions of dollars for good causes.
Clara Wieck was an accomplished concert pianist, trained by her father Friedrich Wieck.She was already making international tours at age eleven and composed piano pieces for her recitals.Regarded as one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era, she exerted her influence over the course of a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital by lessening the importance of purely virtuosic works She started receiving basic piano instruction from her mother at the age of four but after her mother moved out, she began taking daily one-hour lessons from her father. They included subjects such as piano, violin, singing, theory, harmony, composition, and counterpoint.She then had to practice for two hours every day. Her father followed the methods in his own book, Wiecks pianistische Erziehung zum schönen Anschlag und zum singenden Ton (“Wieck’s Piano Education for a Delicate Touch and a Singing Sound.”)Clara Wieck made her official debut on 28 October 1828 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, aged nine.The same year, she performed at the Leipzig home of Ernst Carus, director of the mental hospital at Colditz Castle.There, she met another gifted young pianist who had been invited to the musical evening, Robert Schumann , who was nine years older. Schumann admired Clara’s playing so much that he asked permission from his mother to stop studying law, which had never interested him much, and take music lessons with Clara’s father. While taking lessons, he rented a room in the Wieck household and stayed about a year.From December 1837 to April 1838, at the age of 18, Wieck performed a series of recitals in Vienna She performed to sell-out crowds to great critical acclaim; Chopin described her playing to Franz Liszt and a music critic, describing her Vienna recitals, said: “The appearance of this artist can be regarded as epoch-making… In her creative hands, the most ordinary passage, the most routine motive acquires a significant meaning, a colour, which only those with the most consummate artistry can give.”Clara Schumann first toured England in April 1856, while her husband was still living but unable to travel. She was invited to play in a London Philharmonic Society concert by conductor William Sterndale Bennett, a good friend of Robert’s to whom he had dedicated the Etudes Symphoniques op 13.In May 1856, she played Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the New Philharmonic Society conducted by Dr Wylde, who as she said had “led a dreadful rehearsal” and “could not grasp the rhythm of the last movement”.Still, she returned to London the following year and continued to perform in Britain for the next 15 years.It was in January 1833, at age 13, she began composing a Piano Concerto in , completing it in November a single-movement Konzertsatz that she orchestrated herself. In February 1834, her future husband Robert revised the orchestration,and the 14-year-old prodigy then performed it in several concerts.She then expanded the work by adding two more movements, using the Konzertsatz as the finale. The new first movement was completed in June 1834, and the slow second movement “Romance” with its extended cello solo was finished the following year. She again orchestrated the work herself, including undoing Robert’s revisions of the original Konzertsatz, completing her new three-movement Piano Concerto on 1 September 1835, twelve days before her 16th birthday.Clara premiered the full concerto on 9 November 1835 as soloist with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Mendelssohn
Her life was punctuated by tragedy Not only did her husband predecease her, but so did four of their children.Their first son, Emil, died in 1847, aged only 1.Their daughter Julie died in 1872, leaving two small children aged only 2 and 7, then raised by their grandmother.In 1879, their son Felix died aged 24.In 1891, their son Ferdinand died at the age of 41, leaving his children to her care.In 1878, she was appointed the first piano teacher of the new Dr Hoch’s Knservatorium in Frankfurt.Among her 68 known students who made a musical career were Natalia Janotha,Fanny Davies,Nanette Falk,Amina Goodwin,Carl Friedberg,Leonard Borwick,Ilona Eibenschutz,Adelina de Lara,Marie Olson and Mary Wurm .She played her last public concert in Frankfurt on 12 March 1891. The last work she played was Brahms’s Haydn Variations , in a version for two pianos, with James Kwast.