Thank you to everyone who came to Francesco’s concert at the BBC Proms on 2 August 2015 with the Aurora Orchestra. It is available to listen to online on BBC iPlayer until the end of August. Click here to listen.
Francesco’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.26 ‘Coronation’ has been met with wonderful reviews; read what the critics said below:
“The high point of this Prom was Francesco Piemontesi’s perfectly-judged performance as soloist in Mozart’s ‘Coronation’ piano concerto, with a celeste briefly roped in for a cadenza.”
“The highlight [was] Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.26 (not played at the Proms since 1974). Francesco Piemontesi’s probing performance — gloriously accompanied — somehow suggested that while he was playing a serious piece by Mozart he was listening to a much sillier one. This combination of the sweetly childlike and the intellectually questing reached its height in a first-movement cadenza (written by Christian Zacharias) that saw Collon partnering Piemontesi on tinkling celeste. This was pure Magic Flute, and echoes of Mozart’s operatic swansong cast an autumnal glow over the rest of a magical performance.”
“Memorable, too, was Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi’s clean and authoritative account of Mozart’s Coronation Concerto, which included a perfectly poised slow movement and an intriguing first-movement cadenza by Christian Zacharias, in which Collon moved over to a celesta to filter in one or two magical, music-box-like phrases.”
“Most memorable of all was the Mozart, the so-called ‘Coronation’ Concerto, for which it seems Mozart didn’t write all of the left-hand part. There is an established left-hand part dating from the work’s first publication three years after Mozart’s death, but Francesco Piemontesi supplied his own left-hand writing where needed. And totally in keeping it was too. Piemontesi has a clear, focussed and unfussy manor at the keyboard, to which the Aurora Orchestra responded in kind.
Most intriguing was the first-movement cadenza (both that and for the finale were credited to Christian Zacharias). I’d noticed a celesta stage-left. Bizarre, I thought. But then, as Piemontesi started the cadenza, Collon walked over to the unexpected instrument and, for a few seconds, did a duet with the piano. It should be a music box, but that was thought an insufficient presence in the Royal Albert Hall.
After his lovely performance, Piemontesi gave us a Mendelssohn encore: ‘Duetto’ (Opus 38/6 in A flat) from Songs without Words – just as charming and unfussy as he’d been in the Concerto.”
“Here, the lauded young Mozart interpreter Francesco Piemontesi gave us his own completion of the piano part. In true Mozartian fashion, his marvellous playing seemed to swim in and out of the foreground, while conductor Nicholas Collon achieved a refined play of dynamics from the orchestra”