MOZART: Piano Sonatas K. 280, 331, 333 – Aldo Ciccolini – La Dolce Volta LDV03, 52:54 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi]****:
What makes this recital by 85-year-old piano legend Aldo Ciccolini is the stunning sound which has more nuances and overtones than digital technology has a right to.
The recording was made in a Parisian church, the Eglise Reformee de l’Annonciation, and if the goal was to show off the beauty of the magnificent Bechstein which Ciccolini plays, then the results overachieve. Produced by Paris-based La Dolce Volta label, the sound you would hear is as if Aldo were playing the Bechstein in his house and you were there, leaning on the instrument’s glossy edge, looking down into at the keys striking the strings with their immaculate cushions, and hearing sounds of pearlescent perfection that are Mozart at his core.
Recording engineer François Eckert has avoided the pitfalls that often plague recordings made in large empty spaces. His microphones capture harmonic highlights with casual ease, seeming to rotate in space to catch their glint and shine; all the while, the velvety sound lays over an articulate dimensional bass so that the music’s course seems indivisible from the development of the musical lines, the performer’s patrician wishes, and the emotions of the sounds and colors themselves.
A rich reflections into Rachmaninoff’s oeuvre