BBC Music Magazine, September 2011, J. D. 5 stars, 5 stars
"Musical predigrees don't come much better than Francesco Piemontesi's. At 28, the Swiss pianist has been through many fine musical rites of passage, including Borletti-Buitoni Trust, BBC New Generation Artists and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. In this recital -an album dedicated to one of his mentors, Alfred Brendel- he proves his worth.
It's not just intelligent programme planning -Handel paired with Brahms's response to him. JS Bach respectively with Liszt's -that makes Piemontesi stands out; this is seriously classy pianism. Clarity of thought is complimented by clarity of touch, incisive intellect by a good dose of fantasy. The details are joy: the gradual accelerando into Handel Prelude, the improvised ornamentation in the Bach Partita, the rhythmic springiness that underpins the Baroque works and equally the Brahms that pays tribute to them. The lightest, clearest moments of the Brahms Handel Variations -try Variation XVI- are exquisitely voiced and full fo charm, and these qualities are to e found elsewhere, in the richest and strongest variation, fugue and all. There's space to breathe and to dance. The Liszt transcription of Bach's Fantasy and Fugue in G minor has huge panache : Piemontesi seems to relish recreating the sonorities of a cathral organ on a mere grand piano"
Sunday Times, , S.P., 1st August 2011
"The young Swiss pianist Piemontesi, a BBC New Generation Artist, is a musician of rare intelligence. The Handel's B flat major Suite, HWV 34, is incisive and positive, while clarity is not compromised by the wide tonal palette he displays in Brahms's Handel Variations, Op 24. Bach's Handel Variations Op24.Bach's B flat major Partita is articulated elegantly. A fine account of Liszt's Transcription of Bach's G minor Fantasy and Fugue does its massiveness and thrilling contrapuntal intricacies utter justice..."
The Telegraph, G.N., 04 August 2011
"The young Swiss-Italian Francesco Piemontesi combines communicative panache with remarkable insight. He prefaces a virile, sensitive performance of Brahms's Handel Variations with a stylistically discerning one of the Handel suite from which Brahms took his theme. Bach's Partita No1, Liszt's transcription of the G minor Fantasy and Fugue and Vallée d'Obermann provide further evidence of Piemontesi's exceptional talent".
The Guardian, A.C., 30 June 2011
"There's a real aristocratic sweep to this 27-year-old Swiss pianist's playing; the Handel suite from which Brahms extracted the theme of his Handel Variations is generously expressive, while Piemontesi's account of the Brahms Variations themselves, ..., is full of delicacy and transparent textures that make you hang on every phrase. Liszt's transcription of Bach's G minor Fantasy and Fugue makes the neat link between the first partita and the extract from the first book of the Années de Pèlerinage. Piemontesi's unaffected Bach playing is recognisably all of a piece with his fundamentally unflamboyant approach to Liszt, which manages to present the rhetorical grandeur of Vallée d'Obermann truthfully, without exaggerating it in any way."
The Observer, F.M., 31st July 2011
"This young Swiss pianist (b 1983), a multiple prize-winner and BBC New Generation Artist, has dedicated his recital disc to Alfred Brendel whom he names, together with Murray Perahia and Mitsuko Uchida, as inspiration. This reflects the kind of pianism to which Piemontesi aspires: composer wins over ego, musical integrity over flashiness, tireless preparation over hopeful inspiration. You can hear it in that ultimate test of musical character, Bach's Partita No 1 in B flat[...] In Handel's Suite in B flat, Brahms's Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel and Liszt's Vallée d'Obermann, this pianist reveals a powerful gift of intimacy. You have to stop and listen".
Other great releases :
Dance of the Dead / Petrarch Sonnets