The pianist talks about being the artist of the Week on Radio Clásica Nacional Argentina, his Accademia de’Concerti and his next concert in his native village with a string of distinguished Italian and North American soloists.


A grand concert of Bartoli with Rossini.

Pisa. He has just been the Artist of the Week on Argentina’s Radio Clásica Nacional. His last concert, in Munich, was sold out and earned him four enthusiastic columns on the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s premier newspaper. Sandro Ivo Bartoli, the pianist from Pisa who is famous worldwide for his interpretations of early Twentieth Century Italian music, will return to his native Vecchiano on December 30th for a ‘Greetings Concert’ that the music association he directs, the Accademia de’Concerti, has organised. «The news from Argentina – he says – filled me with joy. My family has relations over there, and I know that classical music is very much appreciated. For me it has been a great honour to be their Artist of the Week, especially as, before me, that role has been awarded to many illustrious musicians: Rostropovitch, Julian Bream, Itzak Perlman… I hope I did not embarrass myself too much in the company of such luminaries!» The tribute from the Argentinian national radio came after Bartoli’s hectic recording and concert activity of the st few years. During 2011, the pianist has recorded five new CDs for Dutch label Brilliant Classics and American Company Parma Recordings, devoted for the most part to Italian music. «A musician lives in the theatre, and for this reason he is ephemeral: once the last note of a concert has died away, there is nothing left – only the memory of a musical moment. Recordings, on the other hand, remain. For t reason, I believe, they are very important indeed: they leave behind a tangible record of an interpretation.»  In Germany, where Maestro Bartoli is much appreciated, he played Liszt’s Totentanz, a work for which he claims a special affinity also for personal reasons. «Liszt sketched this masterpiece in Pisa, after he saw the fresco ‘The Triumph of Death’ in our monumental cemetery in the Field of Miracles. I also, when first confronted with the fresco, experienced a very profound emotion; but, as I have no talent for writing music, I have had to make do with playing Liszst’s work! Joking aside, I am very happy that Icould do it; it is almost like bringing a little piece of Pisa around the World. And, sooner or later, I would like to play the Totentanz also in Pisa, perhaps right in the Camposanto Monumentale.» Bartoli organised the ‘Greetings Concert’ at the Olimpia Theatre to greet the new year with music: «the Accademia de’Concerti was born especially to bring back art music in the historic theatres of Italy; the one in Vecchiano, although small, deserves to be revived. I played there recently, for the launch of my latest CD, and on that occasion several friends asked me to arrange something for Christmas. The Accademia had already planned a grand event at the Teatro della Rosa in Pontremoli, and with the help of numerous private sponsors we managed to bring the same programme here. It is a great satisfaction to be able to greet the Bew Year in the company of musicians such as trumpeter Andrea Dell’Ira, violinists Marco Fornaciari and Debra Fast, violist Anne Lokken, cellist Paolo Ognissanti and bassist Fabrizio Petrucci. It is a marvellous group and I am sure that, together, we will share the joy of music making with everybody who will want to keep us company on December 30th.» The programme includes Rossini’s Second Sonata for Strings, Paganini’s Carnival of Venice, Bazzini’s Round of the Goblins, Bellstedt’s Napoli, Liszt’s Malédiction concerto and Saint-Saens’ Septuor Op.65.

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