Accompanied by the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra), Italian classical pianist Francesco Piemontesi performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503. Conductor: Manfred Honeck. Recorded at Alte Oper Frankfurt on March 27, 2015.
The three movements are:
- Allegro maestoso: The expansive first movement (in sonata form) is one of Mozart’s most symphonic concerto movements. This movement subtly slips in and out of the minor several times.
- Andante in F major: The tranquil second movement is in sonata form, but lacks a development section. It extensively uses the winds.
- Allegretto: The third movement is a sonata-rondo that opens with a gavotte theme from Mozart’s opera Idomeneo. Like the first movement, it touches upon the minor; however, it ends confidently and triumphantly.
Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition. Between 2009-2011 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist. He is regarded as one of the new great Mozartian pianists; in the words of the Daily Telegraph, “Piemontesi’s playing on this disc identifies a Mozartian of rare refinement and wisdom.” But he consciously seeks to balance this both in recital and in the concert hall with other, post-classical repertoire – Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, Dvorak, Bartók, as well as the composers of the great German repertoire. Following his BBC Prom in August 2014, the Financial Times wrote, “What the Burleske [Strauss] does have to offer is a virtuoso piano part, and Francesco Piemontesi sparkled with dashing insouciance, only to contrast that with playing of lyrical beauty in Mozart’s Rondo in A major, K386, after the interval.”
Piemontesi’s playing is characterised by consummate technical skill, a wide and rich palette of colour and a refinement of expression. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.
In 2012, Piemontesi was announced as Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona, by his hometown Locarno.
Francesco Piemontesi now appears with major ensembles worldwide: Cleveland Orchestra, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale. He has performed with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Marek Janowski, Sakari Oramo, Vasily Petrenko and Charles Dutoit and has also established a close musical partnership with, for example, Sir Roger Norrington, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, David Afkham, Nicholas Collon and Andrew Manze.
Piemontesi is a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – the Emerson Quartet, with Antoine Tamestit and Jörg Widmann in trio, with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Clemens Hagen, Yuri Bashmet, Angelika Kirchschlager and during his formative years, with Heinrich Schiff.
In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doelen, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Tokyo Suntory Hall and in Rome, Zurich, Paris, and Brussels. Festival invitations have come from the Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, New York Mostly Mozart, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Festival.