The Night Resounded – Music by Schoenberg and Berg
Pina Napolitano, piano
Rosalind Dobson, soprano
Helen Charlston, Mezzo
Director: Benedict Collins Rice
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
26 February 2017
Schoenberg – Kammersymphonie Op. 9
Berg – 7 Early Songs (arr Reinbert de Leeuw)
Schoenberg – Song of the Wood Dove, from Gurre-Lieder
Schoenberg – Piano Concerto Op. 42, reduced orchestration for 14 players by Hugh Collins Rice
Watch the Event trailer!
Exploring what she terms as Schoenberg’s ‘exasperated Romanticism’ through his solo piano works, Napolitano produces playing of rare penetration, understanding, grace and elegance.
5 STARS – BBC Music Magazine Calum MacDonald
Pina Napolitano’s debut recording… certainly is outstanding… Her knowledge of the music is manifest in every bar, and she conveys its real quality as music – rather than as an object of academic study – with nice judgment and a fine, delicate technique. Tempi are frequently more measured than in many competitors, for instance Uchida in Opp 11 and 19, or Pollini in general. Where some might miss the latter’s masculine drive and momentum in Op 25, Napolitano has a tensile strength to her playing that is distinctly hers while bringing out the lyrical expression and terpsichorean verve. The Suite is, without doubt, Schoenberg piano masterpiece – however much the Op 19 pieces may hog the limelight – yet Napolitano convinces that the Op 33 diptych is its logical extension and refinement.
International Piano Magazine Guy Rickards,
Napolitano excels at highlighting the debts he owed to the past. The opus 11 and 19 suites have a suitably improvisatory, probing quality. Listen with open ears and you’ll encounter marvellous things… The Intermezzo at the heart of Op 25 Suite is mesmeric, its heady romanticism both irresistible and unsettling. It’s as if you’re listening to Brahms while nursing a colossal hangover… Napolitano’s playing is consistently brilliant, emphasising the sheer rigour of Schoenberg’s music whilst unafraid to accentuate its sensuality. Good notes and presentation add to this disc’s charms.
Arts Desk Graham Rickson
Specialising in chamber music of the 20th century, The Facade Ensemble was founded in 2011 by its conductor and artistic director – Benedict Collins Rice. Drawing its members at the time from the finest singers and instrumentalists at the University of Cambridge, the group has developed as a dynamic collective of young professionals with a passion for bringing new music and exciting programmes to a wide audience.From Maxwell Davies to Miles Davis, concerts provide engaging programming – often involving dramatic elements and the juxtaposition of musics old and new.
Benedict Collins Rice
As a singer and an instrumentalist from a young age, Benedict is at home on the concert platform, the theatre pit and the choir stalls. He has performed throughout Europe and America (from The Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall); recorded for several record labels and the BFI, and broadcast live on Radio 3. He read music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, holding two conducting scholarships and working with all the university’s top ensembles. It was whilst at university that he founded The Façade Ensemble – a group specialising in 20th century chamber music which has since developed into a dynamic collective of young professionals with a passion for bringing new music and exciting programmes to a wide audience. He conducts the Cambridge Graduate Orchestra, is a Lecturer at Morley College and a Lay Clerk at Ely Cathedral.