Previous albums on Piano Classics by Leonardo Pierdomenico have won enthusiastic praise from the international critics. Of his debut Liszt recital including the Csardas macabre (PCL10151), Fanfare noted: ‘scrupulous performances, featuring exceptional textural clarity and rhythmic resilience, coupled with an often striking attention to harmonic nuance.’ Gramophone awarded it Editor’s Choice: ‘His highly developed technique and cultivated sound, both adaptable to a variety of effects, are wedded to those twin essentials for artistic Liszt playing: imagination combined with thoroughgoing, scrupulous musicality.’
Such qualities illuminate his new recording of the Piano Concerto by Dvořák, made in the Czech Republic with an orchestra who live and breathe the composer’s music. One of his most neglected works, the Piano Concerto requires particularly devoted advocacy as well as formidable virtuosity to overcome the technical shortcomings of Dvořák’s piano writing, but the effort is rewarded with episodes of no less ardent lyricism than the high points of his concertos for violin and cello. The Piano Concerto, however, burns with a ferocity all its own, more similar in that regard to Schumann’s impassioned writing for soloist and orchestra.
The unusual pairings draw on the talents of the Pardubice orchestra’s front desks, with two equally unfamiliar concertante miniatures by Dvořák, the Mazurek for violin and orchestra (dedicated to Pablo de Sarasate) and the Rondo for cello and orchestra intended for Hanus Wihan, who would in time inspire Dvořák to compose the Cello Concerto. Thus the album will complete a Dvořák concerto collection on CD as well as offering a further demonstration of Leonardo Pierdomenico’s artistry.
- Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) wrote three concertos for solo instrument and orchestra: for violin, cello and piano. The Piano Concerto, though a masterwork in its genre, is the least performed of these.
- The concerto unfolds in three movements, each possessing distinct characteristics. The opening movement bursts with energy, introducing the piano and orchestra in a lively dialogue, punctuated by lush melodies and rhythmic motifs. The second movement takes a more introspective turn, offering a lyrical and deeply emotional experience, as the piano and orchestra engage in a heartfelt musical conversation. The final movement exudes exuberance, as Dvořák expertly weaves Slavic folk elements into the fabric of the music, infusing it with dance-like rhythms and vibrant melodies.
- Also included on this new recording are the Rondo for Cello and Orchestra in G Minor and the Mazurek for Violin and Orchestra Op. 49.
- This fourth recording for Piano Classics by young Italian pianist Leonardo Pierdomenico firmly establishes his position as one of the most promising artists of his generation. His first album with works by Franz Liszt (PCL10151) received rave reviews from the international press, among which the prestigious Gramophone Critic’s Choice: “His highly developed technique and cultivated sound, both adaptable to a variety of affects, are wedded to those twin essentials for artistic Liszt-playing: imagination combined with thoroughgoing, scrupulous musicality.” His second album with the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony 5 and the Beethoven/Alkan 3rd Piano Concerto (PCL10224) made the critic of Fanfare declare Pierdomenico as “the Carlos Kleiber of the piano”.
- The excellent Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice under conductor Vahan Mardirossian provide idiomatic and enthusiastic orchestral support.