at Ravenna Festival live
Dedicated to Beethoven is was to him that his last sonata was given a superb performance.
A maturity way above his age allowed him to give a performance of enormous power and energy.
The rhythmic impetus was something that held us on the edge of our seats from the opening solidly majestic octaves- strangely played by two hands to the unrelenting wave that carried us to the final ethereal bars.
Never a moment of doubt that this was a statement of great importance and a fitting tribute to Beethoven in his 250th anniversary year.
Inspired by the great music that he had unfolded before us he went on to give another superlative performance of the Schubert Impromptu op 90 n.1.Here he opened up a whole world with a fantasy and sense of colour and minute attention to detail that was breathtaking.
The Schubert ‘Fantasy’ Sonata in G I have written about before when he played it at the historic Teatro Argentina for the Filarmonica.
A musicianly performance but missing the fantasy and colour that are the very soul of this very elusive work.
A very fine performance but everything paled in the face of the inspiration of the Beethoven and the not so little encore.
Filippo confided afterwards that he had had to battle with the noise of cars and cicadas in this seemingly idyllic setting.
The Schubert G major Sonata certainly needs the intimacy and sensitive acoustic that an open air venue cannot always provide.
It was a very fine performance but Filippo outshone himself with an unforgettable performance of Beethoven op 111.
After a brief interval he had obviously got used to the atmosphere and was ready to take us by storm with Beethoven’s tempestuous first movement that gave way to the sublime Arietta and variations transporting us into the celestial atmosphere where an already deaf Beethoven could envisage so perfectly the paradise that awaits.
Filippo is a very rare breed as an interpreter who happens to play the piano superbly .
There was never any showmanship or distraction.
His hands rarely left the keys.
His head bowed in concentration and it was obvious that he was listening to every strand of sound that he was creating with such sensibility and intelligence.
Like a great conductor holding the whole work under tight architectural control.
His recordings of Beethoven Diabelli and Hammerklavier have understandably taken the music world by surprise much as the arrival of Barenboim did years ago.
He tells me that during lock down he has been working on the Art of Fugue of which I have heard a part of his work in progress.
I cannot wait to hear the whole work.
This a very serious young man with something important to say.
It is only fitting that the festival of Riccardo Muti in Ravenna should have had the courage and wisdom to present him to the world in these troubled times.
It gave us hope for a better future and a gentle reminder that it is quality not quantity that is needed for our souls.