RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Andrea Bacchetti: Mendelssohn

img  Tobias

On Andrea Bacchetti’s homepage, next to an endless list of trophies, competitions, prizes, medals, scolarships and awards this man has won at the still tender age of 29, and after a dazzling and dizzying display of articles, hymns, laudatios, praises, recommendations, superlatives and verbal bravo’s, there is a page with pictures of him as he meets some of his fans and idols: Sviatoslav Richter (a somewhat serious scene on an uneasy leather sofa, with Bachhetti crammed into the corner), Luciano Berio (they shake hands and exchange gloves in mutual recognition) and harpist Marielle Nordman (seemingly uncertain about who is giving an autograph to whom here). But the most expressive foto by far is the one which features him with out-of-the-ordinary American pianist Uri Caine, Uri holding his copy of Bachhetti’s “Berio” CD into the camera and embracing tiny Andrea as though he were his son. Quite instinctively one senses that there is something about this man that makes you want to take him into your arms.

As an alternative to perusing the web for more such visual treasures, you could simply listen to his latest recording, his second on the fine German label ARTS (after stints at Decca and the somewhat less well known VideoRadio Classics) and a collection of Mendelssohn’s works for Piano and Orchestra. Bacchetti handles conducting duties as well on this, which is of special interest as we are talking about a live recording, taped in Milano in early 2004 with the Prague Chamber Orchestra. This multiple role of soloist, metronome and inner ear is a hard one, a fragile balance between conflicting interests and even more so with Mendelssohn, whose music can easily be played to pieces by the piano or superficially sugarcoated by an overly enthusiastic ensemble. Remarkably enough, the result is none of the above and instead thus perfectly executed that one has the simultaneous sensation of being seated in a huge concert hall and inside an intimate circle of friends. Bacchetti, too, keeps the duality of the pieces alive, their sudden leaps from unfettered optimism into sighs of sadness, from happiness into defeatism, from major to minor and from near-silence into jubilant exultation. The euphonous approaches of many of his colleagues towards this composer are certainly not entirely ill-advised, but it is refreshing to listen to someone without the typical flatline-vision, especially when it is delivered with such zeal and zest. It all comes together in the two-part B major Serenata, with its bittersweet opening and a rhythmically moved, playful finale – Andrea’s smooth and clear intonation, his seamless keyboard sprints and his unique touch between the directness of Baroque and the dreaminess of Romanticism. You’d sometimes wish for the applause to be cut a little later, so you can join in.

There is something simultaneously fragile and extremely powerful about this disc and that is maybe a good picture for the artist as well. Bacchetti knows what he wants and how to get it, but behind this determined mask he is still a boy with a childlike curiosity,  in constant search for the perfect sound and with the orchestra his gang of mates, out to conquer the world together. You just want to take him into your arms for that.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Andrea Bacchetti
Homepage: ARTS Records

Related articles

Gabriela Montero: Live in my Living Room
After infusing the entire classical ...
CD Feature/ Catherine Gordeladze: "Hommage a Haydn"
Cycles of unusual brevity: The ...
CD Feature/ Dino Ciani: "Mozart - Piano Concertos No. 20 & 25"
The James Dean of Classical ...
CD Feature/ Limpe Fuchs: "pianobody"
Her methods are rooted in ...
CD Feature/ Jan Vogler: "My Tunes"
Applies a different set of ...
CD Feature/ Viviana Sofronitzki: "Mozart - Piano Concertos"
A world premiere on historical ...
CD Feature/ Elijah Bossenbroek: "Harmony in Disarray"
Pure and beautiful songs without ...
CD Feature/ Mozart: "Unknown Arias for Soprano"
Even 15 years after their ...
CD Feature/ Christine Anderson: "Live Summer Session"
Uplifting, powerful and damned-hard to ...
CD Feature/ Tzimon Barto: "A Basket of Wild Strawberries"
Takes listeners to a marble ...
CD Feature/ Alina Kabanova: "Piano Recital"
Not afraid of showing her ...
CD Feature/ Duo Hammel - Sanchez: "176 Keys to Europe"
Roars through the cobweb-filled ruins ...
CD Feature/ Shostakovich: Symphony No 11
Something terrible is about to ...
CD Feature/ Salome Scheidegger: "Anthology"
Manages to open up ghostly ...

Partner sites