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18th of September

“A refined, probing, uncompromising intelligence”: the Spectator on Francesco


British magazine the Spectator published a feature on Francesco ahead of his Proms concert with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in August.

Focusing on Francesco’s recording of Schumann’s Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor (Claves 2009), writer Damian Thompson praises him as a pianist of “refined, probing, uncompromising intelligence”, comparing his approach to the architecture of a piece, for example, to that of Alfred Brendel.

Read an extract:

Can you tell how intelligent a musician is by listening to him play? Last year I discovered a recording of Schumann’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, a sprawling and spidery work that can fall apart even under the nimblest fingers. Not this time. Francesco Piemontesi, a young Swiss–Italian pianist, totally nails it.

Believe me, it takes some nailing. In the opening Allegro brillante and the final Prestissimo possibile, Schumann stretches lyrical melodies across madcap scales and arpeggios that dart in every direction. The rhythms are insistently dotted: Schumann at his most obsessive-compulsive. There are lots of crunching gear changes and scampering pianissimo passages that turn to mush if the pianist seeks safety in the sustaining pedal.

Click here to read the full article.

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