October 05, 2023

5 Stars for ‘Liszt Transcendental Etudes & Piano Sonata’ in BBC Music Magazine

“The Sonata in B minor gets a noble reading here, with Piemontesi deploying all the weapons in his armoury to pin us in our seats for this wordless but eloquent story.”

Liszt Transcendental Etudes & Piano Sonata, performed by Francesco Piemontesi, received an outstanding five-star review by BBC Music Magazine!

“It’s been worth the wait. Each piece reflects absolute clarity of intention, even in the case of the longest and most episodic one, ‘Ricordanza’. Piemontesi has a rare ability to let us hear the individual notes in a rapid fortissimo wash of sound, and his variations of touch give free rein to the poetry. ‘Harmonies du soir’ opens with a silky touch, and builds to a majestic climax before dying back to a faint echo of itself. The lyrical ‘Paysage’, too, opens sotto voce, but as the sound palette becomes richer, one has the feeling of watching a series of receding landscapes, as in a Chinese scroll painting. ‘Wilde Jagd’ hurtles headlong, ‘Feux follets’ is gorgeously shaded and the virtuosity of ‘Allegro agitato molto’ is magnificent.”

Michael Church