Review by: Jed Distler
Artistic Quality: 8
Sound Quality: 8
The contrapuntal awareness distinguishing Emanuele Delucchi’s piano interpretations of Godowsky’s Chopin Studies informs his very different aesthetic as a composer. His Third, Fifth, and Sixth Ricercares for piano basically transplant Frescobaldi into the 21st century, and strike a balance between that composer’s rhapsodic language and the ambiguous tonality we sometimes hear in the polyphonic keyboard writing of Ghedini and Casella. By contrast, Il Valzer di Francesca and Lullaby for Chira are less cerebral, more harmonically ripe, drawing upon Romantic models, with hints of Bill Evans’ influential jazz voicings.
Gesualdo’s forward looking harmonic vocabulary suits the piano well in three introspective madrigal transcriptions. Delucchi’s transcription of Pur ti miro from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea is similarly austere and quite faithful to the original, as is his transparent and understated solo rendition of Schubert’s Im Frühling.
To be sure, the program’s overall reserve might appeal more to connoisseurs than to general listeners. I would encourage Delucchi to explore a wider range of drama and dynamism in his compositions, while remaining true to his thoughtful creativity and subtle ear. Needless to say, Delucchi plays his original works and transcriptions with authority on two sonorously attractive vintage Steinways.
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Recording Details:Reference Recording: None for this collection
- DELUCCHI, EMANUELE:Piano Music
- Emanuele Delucchi (piano)
- Piano Classics - 10235