Notes and Editorial Reviews
The third volume of Marco Sollini's eight-part survey of the piano
Sins of Old Age is given over to Book 5, "Album for adolescent children". Irrespective of whether he envisaged the individual volumes being played "through", his skills as an anthologiser are clear enough.
It remains to be seen how Chandos and Sollini will deal with the 12-item "Album de château", which cannot be fitted onto a single CD. Paolo Giacometti's latest volume is given over to the eight items from the album left over from the previous CD (Vol 6, A/04). This splitting up of the album obscures its principal point, which is to contrast time past ("Specimen de l'Ancien Regime", No 1), time present
("Specimen de mon temps", No 6), and time future ("Specimen de l'avenir", a Liszt parody among other things, No 12). Not that a two-CD set devoted to the "Album de château" would have encouraged me to invest in Giacometti and his 1858 Erard. The playing often seems clumsy and unrefined — the last thing you need with Rossini, whose own playing, according to Saint-Saens, was "perfection itself': light-toned and sparely pedalled, yet capable of considerable sensuous beauty.
Sollini is not an especially graceful pianist either but his playing, colourful and robust, has qualities of relish and panache which carry him through. He delivers the "Valse lugubre" with passion and gives blazing accounts of the "Prelude convulsif' (where Rossini seems to be having a certain amount of fun at Beethoven's expense) and the far from anodyne "Impromptu anodin". At the same time, he captures to near perfection the brooding melancholy of "La Lagune de Venise a l'expiration de l'annee 1861".
-- Richard Osborne, Gramophone [1/2007]
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