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Pianist Michele Tozzetti– CD Review, April 26th, 2023

Monday, 16 October 2023 , ora 11.45

Pianist Michele Tozzetti - CD Review; April 26th, 2023

The name of Niels Wilhelm Gade is highly regarded by enthusiasts of Romantic music. Unfortunately, his compositions are often overlooked in concert halls, receiving little attention from the public - a regrettable fact, indeed. The Danish musician played a significant role in the development of 19th century Scandinavian music, alongside composers like Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius. Niels Gade lived between 1817 and 1890, and served as a professor for the Leipzig Conservatory of Music, as a conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and, upon his return to his hometown of Copenhagen, became the director of the Danish Music Society in 1848, a position he managed to hold for the rest of his life. In addition, he served as the director of the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music located in Copenhagen. Gade was a master of various genres and styles, and composed symphonies, cantatas, a violin and orchestraconcerto, works for chamber ensembles, organ and piano pieces, advocating for romantic-inspired compositions where traditional music was crucial. His scores were influenced, on one hand, by German Romanticism, particularly by Schumann and Mendelssohn, as well as Danish musical folklore.

Michele Tozzetti, a young Italian pianist with considerable achievements especially in the field of chamber music, is only one of the artists aiming to bring Niles Gade's scores back into the spotlight. So far, he has recorded albums for a variety of record labels, his latest project being dedicated to Niels Gade's solo piano pieces, released on February 24th by Da Vinci Classics. I propose various selections from this album, which includes the sets Aquarelle op. 19 and 57, Sonata in E minor, and Phantasiestücke op. 31 - pieces recorded on a historic piano from the Romantic period, an 1899 Bechstein previously owned by the Italian-American conductor Nicola Rescigno. Pianist Michele Tozzetti chose this instrument in order to recreate the salon atmosphere of the late 19th century, period when composer Niels Gade carried out his prodigious artistic activity.

Pianist Michele Tozzetti was born in 1991 in Rome where he studied at Anton Rubinstein Music School and Santa Cecilia Conservatory. He attended numerous piano solo and chamber music masterclasses alongside artists like Paul Badura Skoda, Bruno Canino, and Boris Berman. In addition, in 2013he received a scholarship to further his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Collaborating with talented Italian artists, Tozzetti has undertaken various chamber music projects and in 2018, he founded the La Domenica Che si Nota music festival in Rome, as an artistic director. Furthermore, he had successfuldiscographical projects, releasing an album featuring the complete solo piano works of Leonard Bernstein in 2019, followed by three more albums dedicated to Romantic and Modern composers such as Friedrich Kuhlau, Charles Ives, and Niels Gade.

Larisa Clempuș
Translated by Marian-Cătălin Niculăescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu