Notes and Editorial Reviews
If you can get past a sonic perspective that places Enrico Mainardi’s intakes of breath on on an even keel with his cello playing, then you’ll find much to savour in his August 13, 1959, Salzburg Recital, abetted by Carlo Zecchi’s bedrock, highly tuned-in support at the piano.
The musicians underline all of the Beethoven C Major Op 102 No 1 Sonata first movement’s tension and release, and make the most of the third movement’s volatile dynamic surges. Zecchi’s liquid, floating legato in the Schubert Arpeggione’s opening measures and at the Adagio’s outset provide an ideal cushion to support Mainardi’s elegant entrances and his viola-like sonority above the staff, so ravishingly controlled and intonationally spot-on.
By contrast, the cellist hits a few inconsequential sour notes in the Brahms E minor Sonata’s first movement exposition, but gradually warms up to his usual high standard. Mainardi and Zecchi ease their way into the music, not quite settling on one basic tempo, yet still making the music’s imitative passages clear. Although the Allegretto is too sedate and uncomfortably dainty for my taste, the finale more than compensates for its monumental projection and rhythmic elasticity – listen to how Zecchi stretches out the first two notes and establishes tempo immediately afterwards, or the coda’s unusual accelerando.
As this release clearly proved, the Mainardi/Zecchi partnership was something special. Recommended.
-- Jed Distler, Gramophone [10/2010]
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