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ON WATCH

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at the Van Cliburn Competition,
with JOHN BELL YOUNG

MAURIZIO BAGLINI (Italy), age 26

Maurizio Baglini

Maurizio Baglini is a musician's musician, one who values quiescence and impassioned understatement as the measure of musical expression. Though in many ways his playing brings to mind Artur Schnabel, Mr Baglini's carefully wrought, thoughtful Schubert playing was informed by a fastidious techique and a pristine listening apparatus. Indeed,  in his hands the G major sonata was a model of interpretive discretion wherein no affective opportunity was overlooked. Mind you, Mr Baglini is hardly a hands-on-sleeve pianist of the often didactic Russian variety. Virtuosity for this pianist is neither something to parade nor to hide, but to savor as a means to an end.

Rarely have I heard Liszt's Dante Sonata become something more than the sum of its parts, as I did here. In a superbly planned and meticulously crafted performance, Mr Baglini paid passionate homage to the work's noble sentiments and rhetorical excesses  without indulgent exaggeration nor the usual pounding favored by so many youthful, if empty headed players. On the contrary, Mr Baglini gave voice to its operatic elements, investing its internecine dramas and bel canto flourishes with magisterial intensity.

 

Copyright © 31 May 2001 John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA

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