CD Review by Pietro Barbareschi in Gothic Network July 21st, 2019 – “Liszt: Les harmonies de l’esprit”
July 21, 2019

Franz Liszt: The harmonies of esprit – Sacred Piano Works. A Da Vinci Classics CD that represents the debut in the discographic market of the young pianist Ingrid Carbone and that proposes some particularly inspired and highly refined compositions by Liszt.

In the collective imagination of classical music users, the name of Franz Liszt is associated with a particularly elaborate repertoire of great technical difficulty. It is no coincidence that his figure in the world of piano literature is associated with the one who for the violinist was equally celebrated as the maximum expression of virtuosity on the verge of the executable: Nicolò Paganini, and certainly not by chance some famous Paganinian compositions have been transcribed for piano by Liszt transposing similar levels of executive difficulty on the keyboard up to exasperation.

Having said this, the listener will not find in this beautiful CD of the young pianist Ingrid Carbone for the Da Vinci Classics label a variety of difficulties and somersaults without the typical network of Lisztian writing. Apart from the composition proposed in the first track, “Après une lecture du Dante (Fantasia quasi Sonata)” in which the writing is undoubtedly elaborate and complex but not with virtuosity for its own sake to amaze the listener, all the other songs they present us with a more intimate, very refined Liszt and, without wishing to discriminate with this statement, in our opinion much more interesting and engaging than many of his other compositions.

The choice of Ingrid Carbone is therefore interesting and well thought out, accompanying us on a journey in which we share with Liszt a world of melancholy, love and a religious spirit. A section of the Lisztian catalog undoubtedly important and in which all the intellectual depth emerges, freed from frills and elaborations that on certain occasions can amaze but reveal only a superficial level of the author’s nature.

As we said, the first track proposes a composition called “Fantasia quasi Sonata”. Even Liszt like other authors of the period does not consider binding the adhesion to a compositional scheme that somehow encapsulates the composer’s inspiration. As in the extraordinary Sonata in B minor, also in this case, with undoubtedly different inspiration, the music flows without interruptions and divisions between various movements. Writing is not easy and it is necessary to have a solid and well-formed technique. Ingrid Carbone easily overcomes any roughness, allowing the listener to appreciate the refined harmonious taste and the ingenious formal structure used. Don0t feel offended the aforementioned virtuoso Liszt fans, but in our opinion, and it is a personal opinion, Liszt’s real and innovative genius emerges in the other tracks so well executed by Ms Carbone. In the series of the “Consolations”, in the “Liebestraum” as well as in the “Legend 2”, not only a solid technique is required, but also a great sensitivity and a great heart and an ability to tune in with inspiration that refer to fundamental concepts for man as introspection in search of existential values, love or religiosity. In these songs, Liszt, almost peeling off the useless frills that often hide precious stones or shapes already perfect in their proportion, gives us moments of great emotion, thanks in this case to the performance of Ingrid Carbone.

Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, son of the great Johan Sebastian, wrote in his execution treaty that “to overcome difficult passages great exercise is needed but in practice not as much effort as the interpretation of simple ones”. A concept that perhaps many performers should keep in mind. In this case we cannot speak of simple music in the literal sense of the term, but without a doubt, compared to other pieces by the same author, less, so to speak, elaborated. We are pleased to think that Ingrid Carbone has seen, in this apparent difficulty, something important. Listening to the CD we think it’s really like that.

Read the full text here>>

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Join my mailing list to receive the latest news and updates about my music.

You have Successfully Subscribed!