Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions (Alessandro Taverna)

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Instrumental

Label: Somm Recordings

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: SOMMCD0605

SOMMCD0605.  Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions (Alessandro Taverna)

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Réminiscences de Don Juan (Mozart) Alessandro Taverna
Rigoletto (Verdi) Paraphrase Alessandro Taverna
(18) Lieder (Schubert) Alessandro Taverna
(6) Melodien (Schubert) Alessandro Taverna
(3) Sonatas and 3 Partitas Alessandro Taverna
Schatz, 'Treasure' Alessandro Taverna
Rhapsody in Blue Alessandro Taverna
(18) Lieder (Schubert) Alessandro Taverna

My colleague Harriet Smith wrote a mixed yet accurate and fair-minded review for Alessandro Taverna’s previous live CD recorded at the Turner Sims Concert Hall in these pages (7/17). This transcription-orientated follow-up programme warrants similarly ambivalent comments. Taverna renders Rachmaninov’s devilishly tricky Bach Partita No 3 transcriptions with unquestionable capability. Yet he doesn’t match Daniil Trifonov’s sparkle and scintillation (DG, 11/18), especially in the Gigue, which the latter dispatches nearly twice as quickly and five times as elegantly as Taverna does. It takes a while for Taverna to find his characterful centre in the Liszt/Mozart Don Juan Fantasy but once the ‘Là ci darem la mano’ theme establishes itself, so does the pianist’s subtle palette of nuances and shadings. One only misses power and insouciance in the manner of Simon Barere, Earl Wild or Marc-André Hamelin.

Taverna’s alluringly languid Schubert/Liszt Gretchen am Spinnrade markedly differs from Yuja Wang’s suppler articulation and faster pace (DG, 6/12), in total contrast to his bubbly and dry-point Die Forelle. For all Erlkönig’s clean fingerwork and impressive octave stamina, the musical argument transpires on a seemingly uniform level, whereas other pianists – such as Murray Perahia, Idil Biret and, best of all, the legendary Grigory Ginzburg – better differentiate foreground and background textures.

Taverna delivers a suavely shaped and freshly phrased Verdi/Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase, followed by a Strauss/Dohnányi Schatz-Walzer that simply soars off the page. He should have ended the concert right then and there, on that high point. Instead, he concludes with a lurching, occasionally bombastic and generally unidiomatic rendition of Rhapsody in Blue: he’s got the notes but not the style. Not that it matters to the cheering audience.

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £67/year

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £90/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £67/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £67/year

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.