Fantasia (Capriccio) in C, HXVII:4
Sonata in C, HXVI:50
Piano Sonata in G minor, Op.22
Variations and Fugue on Chopin’s C minor Prelude
Gaspard de la nuit
Mariangela Vacatello (piano)
Reviewed by: Robert Matthew-Walker
Reviewed: 15 January, 2008
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London
This recital proved to be no ordinary affair. Given under the auspices of the Kirkman Concert Society, this was an intelligently-planned programme that would have stretched any number of virtuosos, both technically and musically, but Mariangela Vacatello rose superbly to the occasion. One’s only query was the occasionally steely tone of the Fazioli concert grand she had chosen, but the instrument was beautifully responsive in piano and pianissimo passages, aiding Vacatello’s enviable command of coloration.
The two works by Haydn, proved excellent choices – the Sonata especially was impressively interpreted throughout and it was a pleasure to have the important first movement repeat observed. Schumann’s G minor Sonata, which ended the first half, was also notably interpreted, being given a performance of considerable insight.
Busoni’s Variations on Chopin’s C minor Prelude, which was also used by Rachmaninov as a basis for Variations, was a very welcome rarity, and this was also most commandingly played, the work’s myriad sensibilities drawing playing of no little refinement from this gifted artist.
Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit ended the recital, receiving a simply spellbinding account. This was a commanding recital from a very exciting player.