CD Review and live performance on Radio România on October 19th, 2022 – “Ruggiero Leoncavallo: Pour Piano [complete works]”.
October 19, 2022
Pieces for piano by Ruggiero Leoncavallo performed by Ingrid Carbone – CD Review, 3 October 2022
Ruggiero Leoncavallo is one of the Italian composers from the second part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century who remained known for their lyrical creations. These composers, however, had a lot to say in the music of that time and were extraordinarily successful during their lifetime as creators of operettas, symphonic poems and chamber music. Ruggiero Leoncavallo, the initiator of verism in music, wrote the opera “Pagliacci” in Milan in 1892 on his own libretto, an opera that brought him fame, being included in today’s repertoire of the great opera theaters in the world. In addition, he composed several operettas and piano pieces. Moreover, the keyboard instrument has been part of Leoncavallo’s life and concerns since childhood, when he studied with his mother. Later he studied piano at the Naples Conservatory with Professor Beniamino Cesi. Attached, therefore, to the sonorities of the piano, the composer created at different stages of his career scores for this instrument, which are almost unknown nowadays, constituting an interesting repertoire for performers to explore for the public.

The piano pieces by Ruggiero Leoncavallo were recorded in their entirety in May 2022, in the Classica Viva studios in Italy, by Ingrid Carbone, an acclaimed pianist and president of the Clara Schumann association, initiator of the Calabria International Piano Festival. Ingrid Carbone studied at the Conservatory of Cosenza, her hometown, then trained at prestigious academies in Italy with the pianists Sergio Cafaro, Hector Pell, Ronan O’Hora and Lazar Berman. She gave recitals and concerts in Europe and Asia both as a soloist and as a chamber music performer, she was also part of the juries of the international competitions Città di Barletta and Mauro Paolo Monopoli Award. In 2018, she founded the musical association Clara Schumann, and from 2020 she became an artist in residence at maison Bechstein. Ingrid Carbone has a wide repertoire, particularly focused on romantic compositions, and has so far released four albums – all with the Da Vinci Classics record label: two CDs with music by Franz Liszt and one with works by Franz Schubert, the most recent being the album that includes the complete pieces for piano by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, released on June 27, 2022.

Ruggiero Leoncavallo composed about 40 opuses for piano – serenades, nocturnes, minuets, scores inspired by Italian and Spanish folklore, works in baroque style, waltzes and other miniatures that share the romantic essence, a nostalgic and dancing atmosphere specific to salons aristocratic musicals from the end of the 19th century. These scores are difficult to find and study because they were not published in their entirety. All the more praiseworthy are the initiatives of the pianists who recorded them: a version published in 2019 belongs to Marco Sollini, before the release this year of the pianist Ingrid Carbone’s album, which offers us a convincing, lyrical and elegant interpretation, in tone with the spirit of Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s music.

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