Pisarenko Conquers the Brescian Public

Published 22 March 2019  Review

(A wonderful review of Vitaly Pisarenko’s recent concert in Brescia – from Giornale di Brescia, 12.03.19.)

Marco Bizzarini, translated C. Axworthy

Excellent debut in Brescia for the 31 year old Russian pianist Vitaly Pisarenko already winner in 2008 of the Liszt Competition in Utrecht. Invited by the G.I.A (Associated Young Interpreters), the young virtuoso took the public by storm in the San Barnaba Auditorium with a four leaf clover selection of Romantic composers: Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms. Apart from having no fear of the most challenging technical demands, Pisarenko’s strong interpretative sensibility joined to a notable palette of colours make him one of the most interesting pianists of his generation.

The Theme and variations op 18b by Brahms is the happy version transcribed for piano solo by the same Hamburgese composer of the Sextet for strings op 1; he had the good sense to underline the greater sense of freedom that a soloist can offer instead of a group.
In the famous Sonata no.2 by Schumann side by side with the outer virtuosic movements one could appreciate the lyrical intensity of the Andantino.

A real rarity was the 1st Ballade by Liszt, a work that joins the spirit of a Barcarolle with the rhapsodic spirit of a Scherzo. An interesting composition that however cannot compare to the fascinating masterpiece that is the Ballade no. 2. According to a tradition passed down by some of Liszt’s students it was inspired by the classical myth of Ero and Leandro.

It is here that Pisarenko probably reached the high point in his recital for the power of his sound and the great display of contrasts in a series of incredible moments of calm and stormy virtuosity.

The applause from the public grew ever more intense towards the end of the recital who were overwhelmed by his performance of the first two Scherzi of Chopin.

A great success greeted by a single encore: The Prelude in B minor by Bach-Siloti.


Marco Bizzarini (translated by C. Axworthy)