BBC Music Magazin - April 2007

Tue 13 Mar 2007

BERIO FIVE STARS

...takes just 23 minutes over it here, with a lightness of touch and nervous intensity that seem a perfect match for the music’s obsession with a repeated single pitch that gradually develops into flurries of moto perpetuo.Piano Sonata; Six Encores; Sequenza IV; Cinque Variazioni; Rounds etc
Andrea Lucchesini (piano)
Avie AV 2104 61:32 mins
BBC Music Direct

Andrea Lucchesini’s survey of Berio’s works for piano covers more or less the same round as a disk by Francesco Tristano Schlimé released o the Sisyphe label last year. Both include all the major pieces – Dallapiccola-like Cinque Variazioni, Sequenza IVand the late Sonata – as well as the miniatures collected in to a set as Six Encores and the piano version of Rounds, originally written for harpsichord. But where Schlimé includes the very early and totally uncharacteristic Petite Suite from 1947, the Avie disc has a couple of late pieces for four hands, Touch and Canzonetta typical little essays in crossing lines and layered rhythms which Berio wrote for Lucchesini and his wife, who joins him for them here.

It’s the accounts of the impressive Sonata, though that point up the basic differences between the rival discs. Lucchesini, who gave the work’s premiere in 2001, takes just 23 minutes over it here, with a lightness of touch and nervous intensity that seem a perfect match for the music’s obsession with a repeated single pitch that gradually develops into flurries of moto perpetuo.

Schlimé takes more tan five minutes longer, making the gestures bolder and more emphatic. He takes less care with Berio's subtle shading, which the Avie recording captures so faithfully for Lucchesini.

PERFORMANCE five star
SOUND four star
Andrew Clements