Chopin’s soul lives again with Irene Veneziano (11-12-2010) – ENG

The first edition of “Festival Pianistico” in Morbegno started on Friday 10th December at S. Antonio’s Auditorium with the first of some undoubted level concerts.

The protagonists of the evening performance were the pianist Irene Veneziano and the magic, the overpowering passion of Chopin’s music in his birth’s 200th anniversary.

The concert represented a journey which has dedicated to the Chopin music poetics in its most characteristic expressions: one Study, two Nocturnes, one Scherzo, one Polonaise, three Mazurkas, one Sonata.

The interpreter of the programme, we said, was the twenty-five year Irene Veneziano, a pianist who’s going along a really respected career. She has just returned from the Warsaw competition, where she was semi-finalist, and she is going to be engaged in a concert at Alla Scala Theatre and in a tour in China. The S. Antonio’s audience was a witness of an excellent recital.

Irene played Chopin’s pages in a wonderful way, with a manner and an emotional-communicative depth which charmed an absorbed and fascinated audience. Ever since in the first piece, the Study n. 7 op. 25, we understood what kind of pianist is Irene: strong personality, touch sensibility, a taste for an elegant phrasing but never expected and, on the contrary, full of passion, feeling. Everything without misinterpreting the author’s intention. In the Scherzo n. 2 op. 31 she showed her pianism’s technique solidity, which was engaged, during this piece with strong contrasts, in setting up an incessant fight between instinct and reason, passion and sweetness, relaxation and resolution. Veneziano’s approach to Chopin’s lyricism was never foreseen. As well as in the Mazurkas op. 59 , even the Polonaise op. 44 was played with the right character and energy.

After the two Nocturnes op. 15, here is the highlight of the recital: the Sonata n. 2 op. 35, known by the majority for the very famous (and constantly outraged in its transcriptions for various music ensembles) Funeral March, which is the third movement and gravitational centre of the work. The first movement is certainly beautiful in a shocking way: Irene Veneziano gave her best. Impossible for the audience not to get carried away by the passion and freshness which led them from the anxiety of the first theme (played in a sublime way) to the promises and the hopes of the second one. Wonderful.

When the Funeral March began, the atmosphere became cathartic.

In the last movement, finally, she was able to express its own sense: the solitude of a group of sounds that would like to find a role, but don’t find it, that chase each other without a solution, in a despair which doesn’t find any consolation.

The audience clapped with enthusiasm, aware of having experienced moments of great emotion, thanks to Chopin and to the hands, the talent and the sensibility of this sunny girl who is a force of nature when she plays piano, and knows how to reach the audience’s heart, an element which distinguishes a great performer.

Davide Mainetti

Saturday December 11th, 2010