Review: “An interesting recital” (International Piano)

Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions

Works by Bach/Rachmaninov, Liszt, Schubert/Liszt, J Strauss II/Dohnányi and Gershwin

Alessandro Taverna (pf) SommSOMMCD0605

This latest album from the young Italian pianist Alessandro Taverna comprises recordings of highly demanding repertoire captured live at the UK’s Turner Sims 2018/19 Piano Series.

There is poetry as well as virtuosity in Taverna’s vocabulary, even if some of the lines in the Bach/Rachmaninov Gigue (BWV 1006) are over-accentuated. The Liszt Réminiscences de Don Juan brings great atmosphere and harmonic engagement, though there is a slight tendency for the lower frequencies to blur. Some Schubert/Liszt songs act as counterweight: ‘Gretchen’ is gentle and lyrical, but her pulse needs to race a bit more; ‘Erlkönig’ has a rather lumbering climax.

Liszt’s Rigoletto Paraphrase exudes fantasy; the Johann Strauss II/Dohnányi Schatz-Walzer seems so clean and clear in comparison. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is given an intelligent reading, full of verve. An interesting recital.



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