Irene Veneziano from Sesto to Alla Scala Theatre, a triumphal debut on fingertips (12-01-2011) – ENG

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It’s easy to imagine one’s debut in the spotlight at Alla Scala Theatre. A debut in a perfect melodramatic style, even if we are talking about chamber music. On the contrary, she got on the most world famous theatre’s stage on the tips of her toes. And played on fingertips. Delightful.
Irene Veneziano, from Sesto Calende, not yet twenty-six years old, made her debut last afternoon at Alla Scala Theatre. An important moment in the young pianist’s career, who got a diploma at G. Puccini School in Gallarate, under Mr Massimo Neri’s guidance, and then studied with Mr Sergio Perticaroli at Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome. In occasion of a recital of the season “Invito alla Scala”, she played with some of the Alla Scala orchestra’s first parts, such as the flutist Marco Zoni, the oboist Fabien Thouand, the bassoonist Valentino Zucchiatti, and the cellist Sandro Laffranchini.
They played with style, precision and smoothness. We noticed immediately they were part of an orchestra, hearing how they conversed.
Thouand and Zucchiatti showed themselves refined and intriguing in a nineteenth-century bravura, such as the “Fantasia sull’Italiana in Algeri” for oboe, bassoon (o clarinet????) and piano by Charles Triébert, an ariose full of rhythmical verve. Soft emission and mixture of timbres which were very agreeable for the audience.
Irene Veneziano, at the piano, was simply fantastic. Discreet, elegant, on the same wavelength as her adventure companions. Besides, she is an experienced chamber musician and plays regularly with Zucchiatti. The mutual understanding, in the chamber music, can’t be improvised.
They phrased in a refined way even in the “Trio in G minor op. 63” by Carl Maria von Weber for flute, cello and piano, where Irene Veneziano seemed to suggest phrases to Zoni and Laffranchini, nearly whispering, in a breath of sound. The stylized “Trio” for flute, bassoon and piano composed in 1968 by Chick Corea was less intriguing, but not their interpretation, whereas “Le Grand Tango” for cello and piano by Astor Piazzolla was deep in a transparent elegance, the characteristic of the afternoon.
Among several chamber music pages, Irene Veneziano was able to delight the audience with a very light and sharp “Toccata” by Saint-Saens (the Study n. 6 op. 111), full of soft shades and threadlike resonance. But when it was required, the young pianist showed a great determination, with virtuous lightning. Besides, last summer she was semi-finalist at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw and some years ago she won the Casella Prize at the Venice Prize Competition, reserved to the best Italian graduates: the virtuosity was present and we could hear it.
Even the “Trio” for oboe, bassoon and piano by Francis Poulenc, a full twentieth-century piece, but with the kindness of the melody creation that took us back to the Belle Epoque…), was played with elegance and lightness, between flashes and freaks. Finally, all five got on the stage for the encore, Piazzolla again. And in the last bars Irene Veneziano caressed the keyboard in a very soft glissando.
Luca Segalla

La Prealpina

Tuesday January 12th, 2011