Two afternoon recitals by Andrzej Wiercinski took place in the concert room that Susana Walton had built next to her husbands music room.It had been Sir William’s wish to create a space where music could be performed and heard.It was designed by their friend the Architect John O’Connell with special attention to the acoustical properties of all material used.In Sir William’s later years they had discussed the future of La Mortella and agreed that a trust should be formed to preserve La Mortella and to provide help and opportunities for young musicians.Young musicians from some of the major institutions worldwide have since been invited to perform in these wonderfully suggestive surroundings.The hall now boasts two Steinways and the concerts are also recorded for study purposes for the young artists.Not content with having built this 130 seat concert room after her husband’s death even though she had to sell off five holiday houses that surround the principal property to raise the necessary funds.The indomitable Susana has added to this magnificent hall an amphitheatre seating 400 ,where in the summer months Youth Orchestras from around the world can have a platform too.
Susana is buried next to her husband overlooking the garden in the Paradise that they had shared for so many years together and is now a living monument to them both.Andrzej had been invited to perform by the artistic director of the ‘Incontri Musicali’ the distinguished musician Lina Tufano.
Alessandra Vinciguerra,the director of La Mortella and President of the Foundation had made an opening welcoming speech on behalf of the ‘Walton’s’,as were Susana’s wishes.In her own words Susana stated that ‘I was created to take care of William’ and she continued to do that after his death in March 1983 until her own in March 2010 and their legacy will live on for generations.
Superb playing from a real artist offering some master works from the piano repertoire in the two afternoon concerts .Visitors to the gardens had been delighted to hear this young man rehearsing the Chopin Second Piano Concerto and were entranced by his ravishing sound and aristocratic style.An artist is always an artist even in the rehearsal studio and many of the visitors to the gardens had thanked him as he had a well earned rest between rehearsal and concert.It was though in the second recital that Andrzej reached the heights that I knew he would.I had told Lina about this remarkable young man and I was very touched that she trusted my opinion and invited him to Ischia.Lina has been organising concerts for over twenty years at La Mortella and knows that it is always the second recital that really takes ‘wing’.Could it be the shadow of Sir William in the green room with his special Bechstein piano where he composed many of his masterworks that intimidates the artists.Willie would be chuckling at that indeed!Andrzej had felt uncomfortable in his first recital but gave a fine recital,missing that magic that only the truly great artists possess.Playing that is like recreation and creates a rapport between the music and the public where the pianist is just a medium that can point out the beauty and detail in a journey that they are sharing together.Je sens,je joue ,je transmets. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/21/jonathan-ferrucci-in-vicenza-je-joueje-sens-je-transmets-a-timeless-search-in-music/
In the summer of 1819, Adolf Martin Schlesinger from the Schlesinger firm of music publishers based in Berlin sent his son Maurice to meet Beethoven to form business relations with the composer.The two met in Modling,where Maurice left a favourable impression on the composer.After some negotiation by letter, the elder Schlesinger offered to purchase three piano sonatas for 90 ducats in April 1820, though Beethoven had originally asked for 120 ducats. In May 1820, Beethoven agreed, and he undertook to deliver the sonatas within three months. These three sonatas are the ones now known as Op. 109,110, and 111 the last of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
The composer was prevented from completing the promised sonatas on schedule by several factors, including his work on the Missa solemnis (Op. 123),rheumatic attacks in the winter of 1820, and a bout of jaundice in the summer of 1821.Op. 110 “did not begin to take shape” until the latter half of 1821.Although Op. 109 was published by Schlesinger in November 1821, correspondence shows that Op. 110 was still not ready by the middle of December 1821. The sonata’s completed autograph score bears the date 25 December 1821, but Beethoven continued to revise the last movement and did not finish until early 1822.The copyist’s score was presumably delivered to Schlesinger around this time, since Beethoven received a payment of 30 ducats for the sonata in January 1822.
Kreisleriana, Op.16, is a composition in eight movements that Schumann claimed to have written in only four days in April 1838 and a revised version appeared in 1850. The work was dedicated to Frederic Chopin but when a copy was sent to him he commented favourably only on the design of the title page.It is a very dramatic work and is viewed by some critics as one of Schumann’s finest compositions.In 1839, soon after publishing it, Schumann called it in a letter “my favourite work,” remarking that “The title conveys nothing to any but Germans. Kreisler is one of E.T.A Hoffmann’s creations, an eccentric, wild, and witty conductor.”In a letter to his wife Clara,Schumann reveals that she has figured largely in the composition of Kreisleriana:”I’m overflowing with music and beautiful melodies now – imagine, since my last letter I’ve finished another whole notebook of new pieces. I intend to call it Kreisleriana. You and one of your ideas play the main role in it, and I want to dedicate it to you – yes, to you and nobody else – and then you will smile so sweetly when you discover yourself in
Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante in E flat op 22 was composed between 1830 and 1834. The Grande polonaise brillante in E-flat, set for piano and orchestra, was written first, in 1830-31. In 1834, Chopin wrote an Andante spianato in G, for piano solo, which he added to the start of the piece, and joined the two parts with a fanfare like sequence. The combined work (both orchestrated version and solo piano version) was published in 1836, and was dedicated to Madame d’Este.The Andante spianato (spianato means “even” or “smooth”) for solo piano was composed as an introduction to the polonaise after Chopin received a long-awaited invitation to perform in one of Habeneck’s Conservatoire Concerts in Paris. This was the only time Chopin had ever used the term spianato as a description for any of his works.