LABELS: Olympia Explorer
WORKS: Sonata in E flat minor, Op. 3/1; Sonata in A, Op. 3/2; Sonata in C minor (Grand); Fantasia and Sonata in C minor
PERFORMER: Riko Fukuda (fortepiano)
CATALOGUE NO: OCD 494 DDD
George Frederick Pinto (his real name was Sanders, but he adopted his mother’s maiden name for effect) was born in London in 1785 and died of tuberculosis in 1806 at the age of twenty. His teacher, Johann Peter Salomon – best known as Haydn’s patron – considered that, had he lived longer, Pinto would have become ‘a second Mozart’. Certainly his music makes a profound impact. Clementi, Weber and even Schubert spring to mind, and Pinto has something of the strength and wilfulness of the young Beethoven. Indeed, Pinto displayed it at an earlier age.
The first Sonata of this disc is in the outlandish key of E flat minor, which even Beethoven used only once, in all his sonatas, for a substantial passage (the minore section of Op. 7’s third movement). And Pinto’s melodies and harmonies are often in the Romantic mould – as are his long, evocative indications of tempo and mood (Rondo: Molto Allegro agitato con fuoco e con espressione, for instance).
Riko Fukuda plays a restored Broadwood fortepiano dating from 1807. She has a natural flair for Pinto’s style in both its dramatic and its lyrical aspects. If you wish to explore this neglected repertoire, don’t hesitate to buy this disc. Wadham Sutton