on 2 September 2013
This is an engaging live recording full of vitality, warmth, humour which manages to capture some of the essence of the actual concert in Antwerp. Bollani's prodigious talents are not seriously in doubt but a number of his recordings are overindulgent or lacking in focus. Here, I am happy to say, his collaboration with Hamilton de Holanda on bandolim (10 string mandolin) has harnassed the pianist's powers without straight jacketing them.
From the beautiful stately opener Betriz to the closing sprightly Apanhei-te Cavaquinhoh with its echoes of ragtime, the musicians' interplay is compelling and everchanging, sometimes in the course of one number such as Canta de Ossanha whose shimmering beauty is bookended by a percussive flourish with Hamilton's use of the bandolim as a beatbox augmented fleetingly by audience handclap. Colour and humour are also enhanced by the presence of vocals, whether Keith Jarretesque wordless vocalisations or the fully enunciated semi-sung words of Guarda che luna, the centrepiece of the performance.
In short, warmly recommended and hopefully only the beginning of what is said to be a "priority project" for the pair.