Francesco Mazzonetto

Italian Piano Works

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An album of solo piano music makes an audacious choice for a debut by the teenage Italian pianist Francesco Mazzonetto, and indeed he brings a good deal of flair to this music from his native country. Most successful is his reading of Muzio Clementi's Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 40, No. 2, an energetic performance that shows clearly how much Clementi was part of the compositional world in which the young Beethoven worked. Mazzonetto shows superior technical equipment in the Kammer-Fantasie über Bizets Carmen, BV 284, not one of the more common Busoni works and a clever riff on the old Romantic-era opera paraphrase. He also makes a strong case for the short pieces by Domenico Cimarosa and Baldassare Galuppi, the latter all but forgotten since Robert Browning's poem, but well worth new exploration. The only disappointment is the set of 15 Preludes by Nino Rota of Godfather fame, who also wrote scores for films by Federico Fellini and other Italian directors. These short pieces sound like neither of those; they derive from styles from Debussy up to about Prokofiev, as if Rota was seeking an escape from the modernist rule he had survived at Darmstadt. He found it in film composition, but not here. Still, the individuality and talent shown on this debut mark Mazzonetto as a young pianist to watch.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 9:14
2 1:11
3 2:27
Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 40 n.2
4 8:58
5 8:43
15 Préludes for piano
6 1:28
7 1:36
8 1:06
9 1:29
10 1:54
11 1:36
12 1:22
13 2:05
14 1:21
15 1:06
16 2:22
17 1:20
18 1:51
19 1:33
20 0:59
21 5:09
blue highlight denotes track pick