Michele Esposito (composer 1855-1929)

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Michele Esposito (composer 1855-1929)

Post by Lance » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:37 pm

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Brilliant Classics 95102, 2 CDs, 46:40; 52:40
Carmelo Andriani, violin; Vincenzo Maltempo, piano

Now here's a composer I knew nothing about, and pleasant it is. An Italian, Esposito spent time in Paris and eventually found his way to Ireland where he spent 46 years. As a pianist, he studied with a pupil of Sigismond Thalberg (Liszt's rival). Now comes this most interesting two-CD set which, quite honestly, I wanted because of pianist Vincenzo Maltempo who has made quite a recent hit as a pianist performing the almost unplayable music of Charles Valentin Alkan (recordings to be found on the Piano Classics label).

Spread over the discs is:
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Op 32
Violin Sonata No. 2 in e Op 46
Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Op 67
Irish Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 51
Irish Rhapsody No. 2, Op 54
Three selections from Five Irish melodies, Op 56
One selection from Two Irish Airs, Op. 57

So, an Italian with training in Paris and composing music inspired by Ireland. Esposito has quite a fine imagination in his compositional work providing melody, virtuosity for both artists and a fine presentation. Since I have such an interest in instruments being used, I was surprised to discover Maltempo used a Yamaha C5 piano, a 6'7" instrument that is well balanced with the violin. In one selection, however, I discovered the piano to be badly out-of-tune, which should (as I've said many times) never be out-of-tune on recordings with an occasional exception being live recordings. (It happened to Horowitz, Rubinstein, Gilels, and Richter to name a few.)

Nonetheless, this is music that commands listening attention and should be heard far more frequently. I was most taken with the musical beauty of the Irish Melodies and Airs. Carmelo Andriani, violinist, does some fine work, but it was noted that he ran out of bow at the ending of one selection that seemed to be obvious to me.

Anyway, just a blurb on something new you may enjoy. And the price is right! And also let it be said that Maltempo is a phenomenal pianist.
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


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