Brilliant Classics

Pinto: Complete Piano Music

Pinto: Complete Piano Music
Composer George Frederick Pinto
Artist Marek Toporowski piano
Format 2 CD
Cat. number PCL10177
EAN code 5029365101776
Release November 2019

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About this release

The only complete survey on record of the piano music by a prodigal English contemporary of Mozart.

According to the impresario Salomon, had George Frederick Pinto not died at the age of 21, ‘England would have had the honour of producing a second Mozart.’ Early in 1806 he probably succumbed to the effects of tuberculosis, much exacerbated by a dissolute lifestyle; Pinto’s ‘very questionable character, his habits of intemperance, and his somewhat lax principles,’ were notorious to his contemporaries.

And yet despite the praise of Salomon and Samuel Wesley, who remarked that ‘a greater musical Genius has not been known’, Pinto’s music fell into obscurity, only to be revived in the 1960s. Within the two or three years before his death he produced an astonishingly mature body of work centred on the instruments with which he was also a celebrated performer, the violin and the piano. Perhaps his most remarkable music is to be found in the piano sonatas recorded here by Marek Toporowski:, more particularly the two sonatas op.3 and the Grand Sonata in C minor ‘Inscribed to his Friend John Field’ (1803).

A Fantasia and Sonata in C minor, left unfinished and completed by Wesley and Wölfl; and three sets of Variations also match up to Pinto’s best standards. These works are blessed with beautiful and original ideas; although the influences of Mozart, Dussek and Cramer are clearly discernible there are many original touches, as well as astonishing anticipations of Beethoven, Schubert and even Chopin. Anyone with even a passing interest in Classical-era piano music will find Pinto’s highly inventive music worth further investigation.

This new recording is the first complete survey undertaken on instruments of Pinto’s own time. Marek Toporowski plays three fortepianos, all of them modern copies of distinguished German models from the end of the 18th century. He also contributes a detailed booklet essay on Pinto’s life and works, informed by both practical and scholarly experience as one of the Polish historical performance movement’s most renowned musicians.

First recording of the complete piano music by George Frederick Pinto.
English composer George Frederick Pinto (1786-1806) was a child prodigy on violin and piano, playing his first violin concerto at the age of 11. His untimely death at age 21 prompted his teacher and mentor, the famous impresario Salomon to say: “If he had lived…England would have had the honour to produce a second Mozart”.
Pinto’s piano music consists of three Grand Sonatas and several variation cycles. His bold harmonic and melodic language, his experiments in form and keyboard writing are all well ahead of his time and suggest comparison with Schubert and Beethoven.
Pianist Marek Toporowski chose 5 (copies of) historical instruments, fortepianos which do full justice to the character and sonority of Pinto’s extraordinary piano music.
Marek Toporowski is a harpsichordist, organist, pianist and conductor, one of Poland’s foremost performers in the Historical Performance movement. He is a scholar and a well known collector of historical instruments.
The booklet contains extensive liner notes on the composer and his works, as well as photos and descriptions of the instruments used.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. George Frederick Pinto: Grand Sonata for the Piano Forte in C Minor: I. Allegro espressivo con foco é risoluto
  2. George Frederick Pinto: Grand Sonata for the Piano Forte in C Minor: II. Poco adagio, tranquillo, legato è con espressione
  3. George Frederick Pinto: Grand Sonata for the Piano Forte in C Minor: III. Rondo allegro molto agitato con fuoco è con espressione
  4. George Frederick Pinto: Minuetto in A-Flat Major
  5. George Frederick Pinto: Cory Owen: I. Allegro moderato
  6. George Frederick Pinto: Rondo for the Piano Forte in E-Flat Major
  7. George Frederick Pinto: Grand Sonata for the Piano Forte in A Major, Op. 3 No. 2: I. Allegro moderato
  8. George Frederick Pinto: Grand Sonata for the Piano Forte in A Major, Op. 3 No. 2: II. Poco adagio affettuoso
  9. George Frederick Pinto: Grand Sonata for the Piano Forte in A Major, Op. 3 No. 2: III. Rondo molto allegro con spirit
  10. George Frederick Pinto: Sonata in E-Flat Minor, Op. 3 No. 1: I. Allegro moderato con espressione
  11. George Frederick Pinto: Sonata in E-Flat Minor, Op. 3 No. 1: II. Adagio con gusto
  12. George Frederick Pinto: Sonata in E-Flat Minor, Op. 3 No. 1: III. Allegro con brio

Disk 2

  1. George Frederick Pinto: 3 Favourite Airs with Variations for the Piano, Op. 2 No. 1: I. Mamma Mia…
  2. George Frederick Pinto: 3 Favourite Airs with Variations for the Piano, Op. 2 No. 2: II. ...and a French Air from the Opera
  3. George Frederick Pinto: 3 Favourite Airs with Variations for the Piano, Op. 2 No. 3: III. Variations on Original Theme
  4. George Frederick Pinto: New Waltz Composed by G. Pinto
  5. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina I for the Piano Forte in G Major, Op. 4 No. 1: I. Allegro moderato
  6. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina I for the Piano Forte in G Major, Op. 4 No. 1: II. A la ecopois
  7. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina I for the Piano Forte in G Major, Op. 4 No. 1: III. Quick March
  8. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina II for the Piano Forte in B-Flat Major, Op. 4 No. 2: I. Allegro moderato
  9. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina II for the Piano Forte in B-Flat Major, Op. 4 No. 2: II. Romance
  10. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina II for the Piano Forte in B-Flat Major, Op. 4 No. 2: III. Rondo. Allegro
  11. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina III for the Piano Forte in C Major, Op. 4 No. 3: I. Marcia maestoso
  12. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina III for the Piano Forte in C Major, Op. 4 No. 3: II. Irish Air
  13. George Frederick Pinto: Sonatina III for the Piano Forte in C Major, Op. 4 No. 3: III. Waltz
  14. George Frederick Pinto: Fantasia and Sonata for the Piano Forte from 4 Canzonets and Sonata: I. Adagio con espressione e poco ad libitum
  15. George Frederick Pinto: Fantasia and Sonata for the Piano Forte from 4 Canzonets and Sonata: II. Allegro con spirito – Adagio
  16. George Frederick Pinto: Fantasia and Sonata for the Piano Forte from 4 Canzonets and Sonata: III. Fugato
  17. George Frederick Pinto: Fantasia and Sonata for the Piano Forte from 4 Canzonets and Sonata: IV. Sonata Grave con espressione
  18. George Frederick Pinto: Fantasia and Sonata for the Piano Forte from 4 Canzonets and Sonata: V. Allegro