Les Pianos de la Nuit: Francesco Libetta: Godowsky

COMPOSERS: Alkan,Godowsky,Ligeti,Liszt,Strauss
LABELS: Naïve `
ALBUM TITLE: Francesco Libetta
PERFORMER: Francesco Libetta
CATALOGUE NO: DR 2101

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Of nearly 90 pianists who took part in the 2002 La Roque d’Anthéron International Piano Festival in Provence, eight gave short recitals (from one hour to 90 minutes) filmed live in partnership with Idéale Audience International. Later the films were shown theatrically, and are now brought out by Naïve as individual DVD releases.

Likewise, the whole recital of finger-twisting showpieces offered by super-virtuoso francesco libetta should be savoured one dessert at a time, so to speak. The point behind impossible piano music like Chopin-Godowsky Études, Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel arranged by Édouard Risler, Liszt’s solo version of Totentanz, Saint-Saëns’s Étude en forme de valse, or Alkan’s ‘20 ans’ from Les quatre âges is that it should sound effortless.

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Libetta certainly accomplishes that, and, in addition, makes it all look so easy, abetted by Bruno Monsaingeon’s subtle, seasoned camera choreography.