On Saturday 24 July and Saturday 31 July RAI5 will broadcast four episodes of the "Dentro le Note" cycle, in which Roberto Prosseda analyzes and performs piano masterworks by Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin.
24 July at 8.05 and 18.10: Mozart: Fantasia K 475 and Sonata K 457
24 July at 9.10 and 19.15: Beethoven: Sonata op 27 n. 2 and op. 90
31 July at 8.05 and 18.10 Beethoven: Sonata op. 111
31 July at 9.10 and 19.15:Chopin: Nocturnes
One year following his passing, Universal Music Italy is proud to pay a respectful and creative tribute to Ennio Morricone - a true Maestro who, in a career spanning more than seven decades, and through a dual role of both composer and conductor, brought so much prestige through music to his beloved home country.
If it is true that Maestro Morricone enjoyed enormous popularity for the many soundtracks he wrote – work which bestowed upon him multiple prizes and accolades, including two ©Oscar Awards - then it is also true that he remained keen on writing pieces of classical music designed and conceived for performance in traditional concert halls. These compositions are designed for a range of forces - from solo instruments to complex symphonic ensembles.
Piano Music, to be released at the end of June, is dedicated to Morricone’s compositions for piano solo, and includes most of the repertoire written for this instrument.
At the piano we find Roberto Prosseda, an exceptional artist who remains passionate about the Maestro’s music - to such an extent that the two were very often in touch, with Prosseda even enjoying the privilege of having Morricone dedicate a piece to him.
The new album includes Morricone’s original compositions for piano solo, and will give musicologists and critics the possibility to see Morricone’s music through a new lens, as well as experience nine piano transcriptions of soundtrack favourites made by the Maestro himself; these scores have never previously been made available to the public - until now.
The album will be available worldwide, in both physical and digital forms, and presented under the Decca Black logo - the same logo one under the best-selling album Morricone ’60, conducted by the Maestro, was released.
The producers and team behind the album wish to thank all publishers for this kind and generous collaboration and, above all, wish to thank Maestro’s family – for making this recording possible, and for giving access to these rare and previously unavailable scores.
1.La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano ** 2.09
[The legend of 1900]
2. Invenzione 2.55 3. Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto ** 2.59
[Investigation of a citizen above suspicion]
Le due stagioni della vita ** 2.35
Nuovo cinema Paradiso * ** 2.30
Primo Studio per il pianoforte 4.15
9. Cane Bianco ** 3.10 10. Secondo Studio per il pianoforte 3.20 11. Angeli del potere ** 3.46 12. Terzo Studio per il pianoforte 4.20 13. Metti, una sera a cena ** 4.16
Quarto Studio per il pianoforte 3.50
Il deserto dei tartari ** 3.20
Rag in frantumi 5.08
Quinto Studio (Catalogo) 10.45
Gott mit uns ** 1.50
Quarto Studio bis per pianoforte e pedaliera *** 3.56
*Music by Ennio e Andrea Morricone ** Piano transcription: Ennio Morricone *** World premiere recording
Today Decca release the new Cd by Shlomo Mintz and Roberto Prosseda with the three Violin Sonatas by Felix Mendelssohn. It includes the first original version of the Sonata in F major (1838), recently discoveredn and published by Baerenreiter.Read
Italian magazine Amadeus awarded the CD "Mendelssohn Concertos for two pianos" with the "Best of the Month" prize.
The video, made by Spanish TV, of the concert that Roberto Prosseda gave with the Orquesta de la Communidad de Madrid, conducted by Victor Pablo Perez, is now online. Enjoy Gounod's Concerto for pedal piano and orchestra, in Spanish national premiere, live at Auditorio Nacional in Madrid last December 16. Here the link.
Decca today releases the new CD by Roberto Prosseda with Felix Mendelssohn's two Concertos for two pianos, recorded with the pianist Alessandra Ammara and the Residentie Orkest The Hague conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend. This CD represents another important step in Roberto Prosseda's project to record Mendelssohn's music for piano and orchestra, after the three previous Decca CDs with Piano Concertos no. 1, 2, 3 and the Concerto in D minor for violin, piano and orchestra together with Shlomo Mintz.Read
Canadian television group Stingray Classica has programmed the airing of the concert - lesson "Prosseda Vs. TeoTronico", filmed live on December 3, 2017 at the Social Theater of Castiglione delle Stiviere , directed by Angelo Bozzolini. The show was premiered on the Stingray Classica Channels last July 13 and will be broadcast on Aug. 7 as well in Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan. The project, conceived by Roberto Prosseda in 2013, consists of a concert - challenge between Prosseda and the robot pianist TeoTronico, to explain, through the comparative listening of their alternating performances, the principles of musical expression on the piano. The show has already been toured in Italy, Germany, Poland, China and Korea, with over 50 concerts performed and over 20,000 spectators.
The video is also available on Amazon Prime TV:
Today Decca publishes the new CD that marks the beginning of the collaboration between Roberto Prosseda and the great Israeli violinist Shlomo Mintz. The disc includes Mendelssohn's Concerto for violin, piano and orchestra, recorded with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig, in the newly rediscovered version with wind instruments and timpani. Mintz and Prosseda have chosen to play the alternative cadenza composed by Mendelssohn for the first movement (world premiere recording).Read
Decca Releases the new digital version of Mendelssohn Complete Piano Works, now available on the music streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc). It includes a newly rediscovered piano work, the Kleine Fuge MWV U 96, which was not included in the previous release of the 10-CD box.Read
Roberto Prosseda's in-depth interview for Yale University School of Music has been published on Yale website:
Pianist Roberto Prosseda will perform a program music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schubert on a Feb. 13 Horowitz Piano Series recital. We recently spoke with Mr. Prosseda about modern modes of communication, musical expression, and the repertoire he’ll perform here at Yale.
Q: You’ve found benefits in modern modes of communication and talked about the importance of direct, in-person experience. “Today we tend to live through too many filters: for many people it now comes more naturally to communicate their states of mind and everyday experiences through social networks, rather than by meeting a friend directly in person,” you’ve written. “Live music, both for those who play and those who listen, is an experience of far greater depth, able to open channels of communication that are profound and direct.” Would you talk about how we, as artists and audience members, should use the tools at our disposal and when we should put them down?
A: Tools such as the internet and smartphones are very useful also for musicians, of course. For example, we have the possibility to find rare scores online (also browsing the digital catalogues of several libraries), or to compare several recordings of the same piece using streaming services: they are invaluable resources that past generations could not use. But today there is a concrete risk that we become slaves to our smartphones and lose the ability to keep our concentration and to enjoy “real life”: a coffee with a friend is a much more rewarding experience than a Facebook chat with the same friend. In the same way, a live concert is not comparable with a CD, and a live piano lesson is something completely different from watching a master class on YouTube. To prevent the risk of being addicted to smartphones or social media, I suggest to my students some “digital detox” during practicing sessions, switching off the mobile phone and the computer, as we do when we attend a concert.
Q: Technology has been an area of interest to you. To that end, you conducted an experiment with a robot-pianist called Teo Tronico in which you each performed the same piece of music and studied the resulting performances. What did you learn about your own playing and interpretations in that exploration?
A: The project with the pianist robot, Teo Tronico, was conceived to explain the differences between a real “human” interpretation and a literal reading of the score. Comparing my own playing with the mechanical performances of the robot was a good way for me to become more aware of those differences, and to deepen the research towards the dramaturgic and poetical elements of music—something that a robot is not able to achieve, yet.
Q: You’ve written, “A cold and calculated performance in which the only aim is to avoid mistakes will prove much more ‘wrong’ than a spontaneous, profound and not faultless performance.” In what ways do you apply this lesson to your own practice and playing and how do you communicate this idea to students who might aspire to a kind of “performance perfection”?
A: The above mentioned robotic performances should never be a model for us, but nevertheless there are students who think that “perfection” consists in just playing the right notes, literally respecting what is written in the score. From my point of view, the priority in making music is the intensity, depth, and sincerity of our musical expression. “Reading the score” also means knowing all the historical conventions, the meaning of each gesture corresponding to the indications written in the score. A wrong note played with the “right expression” is much better than a right note played with a wrong expression. But, while the score indicates the right notes in an incontrovertible way, the “right expression” is something that also relates to our own sensitivity, culture, and even creativity. And the same sign on the score (a staccato dot, or a slur) can have different meanings according to the context. When we perform a composition, we are at the same time film directors, actors, and photographers. It is fundamental to be aware of states of mind, expressive attitudes, dramaturgy, and rhetoric. Often, during lessons, I like to talk about the “depth of field” between the theme and the accompaniment, about the “focus” of a given melodic contour, of the temporal and spatial distance of the themes. The piano is, in fact, also a time machine, as it can “set” a theme in the present, the past, or the future, also defining the context in which it appears (reality, dream, memory, hope, illusion).
Q: Many of your projects have included an interdisciplinary element. Have these been informed by your curiosities, a desire to offer audiences something unique, or both?
A: When Franz Liszt, about 180 years ago, invented the format of the “piano recital,” this was a great innovation, breaking the traditional schemes and improving the connections between artist and audience. But I am quite sure that if Liszt were performing today, he would not give a piano recital in the way we are used to. The piano recital still works perfectly for audiences who are used to listening to classical music (and I still give about 30 piano recitals per year for those audiences), but there are alternative ways to present classical music in live formats, which fit better for other kinds of audiences. As a performing artist, I feel a responsibility to deliver a social and cultural service also to “the rest of the world.” There are millions of people who use Facebook and YouTube but will never enter a classical music auditorium if first we don’t help them “taste” and discover the intensity of a live classical music concert. Using multimedia formats or video teasers online can be an effective way to reach a wider audience and to give them the tools to understand and enjoy classical music.
Q: What is it about Mendelssohn’s music that’s been of particular interest to you?
A: I’ve always felt a close affinity with Mendelssohn’s lyricism. His music expresses a very wide range of moods, always keeping a perfect balance between complexity and freedom. I very much like Mendelssohn’s ability to write complex musical textures, never losing his unique linearity and rhythmical energy that are trademarks of his style. Then, I have always felt a special attraction for the “musical discoveries”: the piano repertoire still presents many unknown masterworks, and Mendelssohn’s piano output is, incredibly, lesser known than the one of Schubert, Schumann, or Chopin. For this reason, about 20 years ago I started researching Mendelssohn’s rare and unpublished pieces and got more and more enthusiastic about his music. After my first two CDs dedicated to Mendelssohn’s unpublished piano works were released, I started performing and recording the rest of his piano production, as even some published works are still quite unknown to the public and are seldom recorded. In the meantime, more unpublished manuscripts came to light, and in 2009 Breitkopf & Härtel published the new Mendelssohn Thematic Catalogue (MWV) by Ralf Wehner, which is now the reference for any Mendelssohn scholar. In recent years I’ve gradually completed recordings of Mendelssohn’s piano works, now released by Decca in a 10-CD box set. Soon after the release, I learned about a new discovery: a “Kleine Fuge,” MWV U 96, which was found among the papers of Mrs. Henriette Voigt (dated September 18, 1833). Of course, I recorded it as well, and it was digitally released worldwide on February 1.
Q: The program you’ll perform here at Yale features repertoire that was written over a 50-year period, roughly. What did this period yield in terms of innovations in the piano repertoire and the instrument itself? What do you hear of the period and the region in this particular repertoire?
A: Those 50 years have probably been the most intense ones in the history of piano. Between 1785 and 1835, in fact, composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Clementi, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt gave their contributions to the evolution of the piano and its repertoire. The instrument had a very fast and radical evolution: the keyboard range expanded from five octaves to seven octaves and more; the action also underwent drastic developments, as did the sound production, thanks to the increased tension of the strings and the different materials used for the hammers and the other parts of the instrument. The piano language evolved in a parallel way, as composers themselves pushed piano makers to experiment with new models, and at the same time the possibilities offered by the newly built pianos inspired the composers to innovate their own ways to write for piano. For my recital, I chose the three composers to whom I’ve dedicated most of my studies: Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schubert. The recital will open with two of the most revolutionary piano works written by Mozart: the Fantasia K. 475 and the Sonata K. 457 in C minor, published together as a diptych in 1785. Here, Mozart is very radical in using chromatic harmonies and experimenting with deep contrasts, which make this music incredibly dramatic and modern. After the Mozart I will continue with two of Mendelssohn’s masterworks: the Fantasia Op. 28 and the Rondo Capriccioso, along with some of my favorite Lieder ohne Worte. The concert will end with Schubert’s Four Impromptus Op. 90, written in the last year of his life (1828). The No. 1 in C minor has several elements in common with Mozart’s Fantasia K. 475. It will be interesting to compare the way Schubert uses similar harmonic and rhythmical patterns to reach completely new poetic results.
Roberto Prosseda will perform music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schubert on Wednesday, February 13, in Morse Recital Hall.
Decca releases the third album (2-CD) dedicated to Mozart's Piano Sonatas, including the last six Sonatas (Nos. 13 - 18). With this release, Roberto Prosseda completes his 3-year project of recording Mozart's 18 Piano Sonatas. The CDs have been recorded at Fazioli Concert Hall, on a F 278 Fazioli grand piano, tuned with the Vallotti unequal temperament.
In this recording - Roberto Prosseda says - I wanted to deliver the indications of articulation and dynamics in a very radical manner, breaking with a particular performance tradition based on smooth phrasing and the achievement of a “lovely sound” as an end in itself. In contrast, I tried to give a precise, dramatic meaning to every musical gesture in the score, further emphasising the points of dramatic tension by way of flexible notelengths. In line with this standpoint, there has been no compression of the sound, so the strong dynamic jolts that Mozart wanted remain intact, and are a characteristic of my interpretation. The use of the sustaining pedal has also been limited to those instances where I wanted to create a strongly defined “register”, with the intention of getting close to the sound of the fortepianos that Mozart wrote these sonatas on. From this point of view, I calibrated the use of the soft pedal to obtain the greatest difference in timbre, to thin the sound down while maintaining absolute transparency even in pianissimos. Respecting the practice of the time, repeats are often played with improvised decorations. At some pauses before the recapitulations I have inserted brief improvised cadenzas consistent with the examples Mozart himself wrote at similar points. Mozart’s piano sonatas, and these final six in particular, are an essential part of our civilisation’s heritage. The quantity and variety of expressive styles, the profound introspection, the dramatic power that Mozart achieves here have been for me a continual voyage of discovery, a source of constant enrichment. I hope that the enthusiasm that this music unleashed in me during the recording sessions can also reach the listener with the same intensity and joy that it gave me in performance.
SONATA NO. 13 K 333 in B flat major
1 I Allegro
2 II Andante cantabile
3 III Allegretto grazioso
4 FANTASIA K 475 in C minor
SONATA NO. 14 K 457 in C minor
5 I Molto Allegro
6 II Adagio
7 III Allegro assai
SONATA NO. 15 K 533 / 494 in F major
8 I Allegro
9 II Andante
10 III Allegretto
SONATA NO. 16 K 545 in C major
1 I Allegro
2 II Andante
3 III Rondò – Allegretto
SONATA NO. 17 K 570 in B flat major
4 I Allegro
5 II Adagio
6 III Allegretto
SONATA NO 18 K 576 in D major
7 I Allegro
8 II Adagio
9 III Allegretto
10 SONATENSATZ K 312 (K⁶ 590d) in G minor
Roberto Prosseda made his debut with pedal piano at Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Nov. 14, 2018. His performance of Charles Gounod's Concerto (1889) for pedalpiano had a huge success and two enthisiastic reviews:
London Phihlarmonic Orchestra, in preparation of the concert with Roberto Prosseda at Royal Festival hall next November 14th, produced and released three short videos about the pedal piano: