ROBERTO PIANA (b.1971): 25 Preludi Pittorici, Piano Sonata.

Catalogue Number: 06S087

Label: Centaur

Reference: CRC 3563

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: Piana is a composer who clearly believes that music still has a great deal to say using traditional means, and he writes accessible, tonal works that are communicative and pianistically sophisticated within his chosen idiom. The large (40 minute) 5-movement Sonata is a fine work, full of color and melody. The composer eschews the German heavyweight Romantic tradition in favour of an impressionistic, sunlit southern-European ├Žsthetic, with a great deal of apparent influence from Debussy. Languorous melodiousness prevails in the earlier movements; the fourth movement, a kind of scherzo and trio, is based on motifs of Lisztian pealings of bells, and the finale is an effervescent toccata. The delightful little Pictorial Preludes are miniatures in the time-honoured tradition of representing works of visual art in music. Twenty-five diverse paintings - with a preponderance of lush, languid Romantic subjects (Alma-Tadema seems to be an especial favourite) - form a colorful, appealing suite. For the sake of variety several heroic, humorous and mythological or religious works are included, all depicted in a very Impressionistic vein (although the only real Impressionist painting is Renoir's Bal du moulin de la Galette), with a great deal of Ravelian and especially Debussyan influence. The pieces wittily reflect the styles of the paintings, from the seriousness and austerity (and a tiny fugue) for Haussmann's portrait of Bach, to the scintillating roulades of pianistic light and prismatic color for the Italian Futurist Boccioni. Antonio Pompa-Baldi (piano).

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