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Martino Tirimo plays Mozart,
reviewed by BILL NEWMAN


Marino Tirimo's penultimate 2006 Mozart recital at London's Cadogan Hall took place on 1 November. He began with 'London Chelsea Notebook' pieces 28-33 K15 dd-ii. During their course one noted the unusual aspects of each -- the sudden gaps, episodic phrasework, left hand links with the right hand, spritely and wayward, continuation leading to a minor key middle section, the key of C major (caught 'on the wing') with minor key contrasts. One could well imagine, from Tirimo's playing, a patterned tapestry overlapping one to the next. The Sonatensatz in B flat, K400, together with Maximilian Stadler's recapitulation, also contains some daring innovations, like florid arpeggios, and the answering motifs in the middle section are typical of Mozart. The key A minor provides a second linking subject with the left hand travelling down into the bass register.

Adagio in C for glass harmonica K617a, in contrast, is delicate and simple with first and second subjects. Later exploratory writing makes this endearing late piece unique of its kind. Brought forward from the programme's second half, the Rondo in D, K485 is 'a piece of many notes', but 12 Variations in B flat on an Allegretto, K500 has the pianist slowing slightly in his replies and delighting the audience with left hand cantabile playing. Such a wide spectrum of diversity and complexity demands rubato treatment, while the widely spaced right hand figuration adds filagree to the textures.

Sonata in F K280 demonstrates and reflects, by accented bass notes, minor statements, poetic images and replies in the opening movement. In the middle movement a new major subject is introduced together with variants of previous material, while the Finale is jocular and vivacious with perky staccatos and interruptive sequences. The ever popular Sonata in C, Sonata facile K545 is full of magical scale passages and trills, and heightened phrase work. Note in the first movement, Tirimo's deliciously simple C major thread of melody, decorated on the repeat, and again at the restatement. The central Andante movement is more straightforward, but the Rondo finale is punctilious with a cheeky demeanour.

Ten Variations in G on 'Unser dummer Pobel meint' by Gluck, K455 (later used by Max Reger) is full of bold display. Note the wonderful lightness of touch in repeated notes and the sudden quickenings for the replies. There are also sustained trills together with a fabulous combination of ideas complete with accents in the bass. I made note of a possible two closing sections featuring a solemn incantation, both vociferous and delectable in turn!

Sonata in B flat K333 might be described as a Poem in Coloratura outpouring. It is ultimately an object lesson in the interpreter's tonal weight and finger articulation: the opening movement's middle section -- which leads into the minor mode, and out again, has to be perfectly handled. Gentle rubatos are controlled by the musical flow, while in the second movement, there are leanings on phrases while slight tensioning at the start of each emphasizes the inner message. Contrast the 'holding back' in minor statements followed by the gradual buildup to give power to the coda. The finale's clarity and innocence is tempered by the virtuoso brilliance of the scale passages, and the starkness of the central part and accented key changes must counterbalance each other. This is reflected in the coda in the most wonderful manner.

Copyright © 16 May 2007 Bill Newman, Edgware UK



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