Brescia Oggi
From Beethovento HandelCominati’s sense for genius
They say that sometimes extremes meet. It sure wan’t the case last night at the concert in San Barnaba where Roberto Cominati performed at the International Piano Festival, although the combination of Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 2 No. 1, immediately followed by his Sonata Op. 109,could have led to think of a closing circle, from youth to full maturity. But the works were too different, and so were the atmospheres around thetwopieces of music, to dwell on that image: we prefer to think about the creative and pianistic development of a musical genius like Beethoven, who was working around the musical forms of his era. Indeed, if we think about the very young age of the composer when he wrotethe Op. 2, we may admire, apart from the tributes (declared as such, as a matter of fact) to authors like Haydn, the creativity surfacing from a Sonata like this one, especially in the Second movement’s Adagio, the most delicate and beautiful moment of the entire piece, a delicacy that Roberto Cominati underlined with great sensitivity before playing the Minuet, and especially the before explosion of the Finale’sPrestissimo. The Sonata Op. 109 brought us quickly to the heart of the evening, to a work that at the time was surprisingfor its three movements,and especially because it endedwitha Theme with Variations. Thereis where we actuallyfindits real strength, whereRoberto Cominati delivered truly beautifulmoments, from the initial theme, until the same theme returned in the Finale, somewhat like the Goldberg Variations, although in a completely different setting. Following the interval, a whole section was dedicated to piano transcriptions of works by Handel, but very different one from another. The sectionbegan withhisMinuet in G minor rewritten by Kempff, a straightforward conductor, but capable of incredible sweetness, in what isafter all a short but truly charming piece. The atmosphere created by Liszt’s version of the Sarabande and Chaconne fromtheAlmira was very different: the strong initial chords already reveal a piece that is boundto have a strong impact on the listeners, and we may well say that Cominati rightly underlined the Liszt of the transcription more than the Handelof the original composition, in an unstopping and powerful crescendo. Such sounds gave way for a moment to the celebrated theme from Rinaldo, “Lascia ch’io pianga”-transcribed by Moszowski -before the evening’s overwhelming finale where Cominati performed another Chaconne, the one in G major transcribed by D’Albert, revealing all his virtuoso skills. The audience was as always numerous, and the unending applause brought to two encores to complete a very successful evening.
Luigi Fertonani