09-05-2017
Il Corriere Della Sera
A Virtuoso BeethovenAnd a Monumental Hande
Many hands clapping last night at the San BarnabaAuditorium for Roberto Cominati, the Italian interpreter who is much loved at the Festival di Brescia e Bergamo. In his approach to the keyboard we are in fact reminded of the late Aldo Ciccolini, one of his illustrious tutors. As an homage to this year’s topic the first part of the recital concert was dedicated to two Beethoven Sonatas: the first of thirty-two (Op. 2 No. 1) and the third last of the series (Op. 109). A sort of “U turn” highlighting the long stylistic journey of the great German composer. Cominati, with the first sonata, initially gave the impression of focusing, also through slightly different tempos, on the dialectic between more aggressive phrases and sweeter passages. However, a fundamentally classical and rigorous interpretative approach eventually surfaced, which was made all the morefascinating thanks to hisunparalleledkeyboardskill. His virtuoso playing then emerged again during the more technically difficult parts of the Sonata Op. 109, as in the Prestissimosecond movement,and in the two variations of the Finale, respectively marked by contrapuntal intensity and transcendent trills, immersed in a polyphonic framework. We also perceived a vision of wholeness in the first movement, as opposed to other pianists who prefer to underline the juxtaposition of fragments. It was surely Cominati’s happy choice to dedicate the second part of the program to four piano versions of some of Handel’s works: two miniaturetranscriptions by Kempff (Minuet in G minor) and Moszkowski (the celebrated aria “Lascia ch’io pianga”), and two musical frescos reworked by Liszt (Sarabande and Chaconne from “Almira”)and d’Albert (Chaconne in G major). If Liszt’s transcription highlighted a “noir” trait of the baroque composer, the great Chaconne in its thirty-one variations did justice to his monumental vocation. In both cases Cominati’s interpretation was vibrant and impeccable. Two encores, alsofrom the Eighteenth Century, beautifully rounded off the concert: a brilliant “pièce croisée” by Couperin and a famous Sonata by Scarlatti.
Marco Bizzarini