On Tuesday 11 October at 8pm, the Manoel Theatre is presenting a recital by pianist Roberto Cominati. This Neapolitan pianist is a favourite with the Maltese music-loving public because he has given several acclaimed performances here.
For Cominati, returning to Malta is like coming back home. In the first half of the programme he is performing Schumann’s monumental carnival, Op. 9. This work includes several episodes in which Schumann provides musical portraits not only of himself and some of the people closest to him but also of certain characters from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte. All are revellers at a Carnival masked ball. For the second part of the programme, Cominati has chosen a series of challenging transcriptions by famous pianists-composers of original works by equally famous composers. The first is Giovanni Sgambati’s piano transcription of the Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice. This is followed by Liszt’s transcription of the Sarabande and Chaconne from Handel’s opera Almira which is in turn followed by Leopold Godowsky’s transcription of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite N. 3. The recital ends with Moszkowski’s transcription of the Chanson Bohème from Bizet’s Carmen.
Roberto Cominati was born in 1969 and his extraordinary precocious musical talent earned him admission at Naples Conservatorio San Pietro a Maiella when he was only eight years old. He pursued further studies with Aldo Ciccolini and later became one of a string of highly successful young Italian pianists who studied with Franco Scala at the Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col maestro” at Imola. He won the Alfredo Casella Prize (Naples, 1991), the Busoni Prize (Bolzano 1993) and in 1999 the Jacques Stehman Prize of the RTVB and TV5 France as part of the Prix Reine Elisabeth des belges.
This pianist has appeared time and time again in Italy’s main concert halls and concerts in leading opera houses amongst which are Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Venice’s La Fenice, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Siena’s Accademia Chigiana, the Santa Cecilia in Rome, Spoleto’s Festival dei Due Mondi, the Châtelet in Paris, the Salzburg Festival, in Berlin, New York’s Kennedy Center, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Australia and Japan. Worth noting a comment by Franco Fayenz following Cominati’s performance of Ravel’s G Major concerto at the Auditorium di Milano at the end of last May:
“As always, he displayed his impeccable technical prowess, with an enchanting touch, phrasing, wise pedal-work and great interpretative depth.”
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