A piano journey on the
with GIUSEPPE PENNISI
report on the concerts offered by the Istituzione Universitaria dei
Concerti (IUC) operating within the major state university of Rome (Università La Sapienza) since 1945. Its season has thirty-two concerts (mostly chamber music but also jazz and live electronics) in the main University Hall; prices are kept quite low (the top seats in
the full subscription series cost 355 euros for the thirty-two concerts,
but students can buy seats at 5 euros for each individualconcert or have a special full subscription for 250
euros). The quality is quite good; performers who started their career at the IUC, such as the internationally known ensemble I Solisti Veneti, offer a concert at no cost to
the institution every 'season'.
quite interested in Central European music. Thus, in two concerts (12 and 19 January
2013) I followed a pianojourney on the Danube. The pianist was Andrea Lucchesini, a well-known performer with a long list of CDs, including the full SchubertImpromptus.
trip included two musical stops (or tours): on 12 January, we visited Budapest. We started with the programme's most recent composer, György Ligeti (1923-2006), a protagonist of twentieth century music. Ligeti started out as the inheritor of Béla Bartók (1881-1945), but quite soon he adopted the
twelve note row system to move on to experimental music -- live electronics, polyrhythmics,
micropolyphony -- and to nineteen sixties and seventies avant-garde. During the communist regime, Ligeti was able
to keep (mostly due to his friendship with Pierre Boulez) close contacts with the most advanced forms of
musical development, but this did cost him a long exile from his beloved homeland. Lucchesini played Musica Ricercata
(1951-53), consisting of twelve short fundamental pieces from Ligeti's
younger period, and widely known, as Stanley Kubrick used it as a sound track for his filmEyes Wide Shut. Lucchesini's performance
brought out the score's stronginnovative content.
Andrea Lucchesini. Click on the image for higher resolution
second stop entailed a difficultchoice for Lucchesini due to the enormous number of musicians who operated in Vienna between the eighteenth and the early twentieth centuries. He focused on Franz Schubert (three short pieces composed in the last year
of his life), Johannes Brahms (his three Intermezzi Op 117, also in
the composer's last creative phase) and Ludwig van
Beethoven's monumental Sonata No 29, Hammerklavier, which took
him two years to write. An excellent sample, perfectly played. The audience loved the concert, requested and received an encore.