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Music Web International

ODRCD300 Pina Napolitano

My CD reviewed again on Music Web International! Read the review here.

“Napolitano makes the most of the lyrical aspect in the first piece of Klavierstücke Op. 23 but she is equally effective in the more fiery and explosive moments… I am struck by the meticulous detail which Napolitano gives her realisation of this and, indeed, all the movements. Every performance direction marked by Schoenberg is carefully observed and she has obviously spent a long time in preparation. There are a myriad different and subtle levels of staccato and articulation, dynamics and tempo changes…I like the warmer sound of the Odradek recording and Napolitano gives the music more forward propulsion. In piece 4, Napolitano gives an exciting rendition and her explosive climaxes are convincingly approached, whilst the concluding Waltz dances along effectively.
The Suite Op. 25… opening Präludium feels improvisatory though it is meticulously organised and Napolitano brings it to a fiery and energetic conclusion… The Intermezzo is the emotional centre of the work, slow, expressive and intense. Napolitano certainly gets to the heart of this music. The Menuett and Trio attempts to be more capricious, but maybe its complexity is too much for its own good. It is superbly played by Napolitano who is, as always, meticulous in following the composer’s directions. The concluding Gigue is a virtuosic tour de force of virtuosity and our pianist is well able to do justice to this movement’s great performance difficulties. She concludes her disc with fine and exhilarating accounts of Opp. 33a and 33b.
After having listened to most of Schoenberg’s music from time to time throughout my life, I have certainly come to admire it greatly… [and] Pina Napolitano’s recording on Odradek may be a good place to start. The pieces are superbly played and the disc is well-recorded.
To some extent, Schoenberg remained a romantic composer in spite of his route towards increasing atonality and serialism. In her programme note, Pina Napolitano states that she hopes that she succeeds in conveying the expressive and romantic force of Schoenberg’s music. I think we can say that she has achieved her goal.”
— Geoffrey Molyneux