Reviews
   
THE SUN

“....a real music- maker, playing with poetry and feeling – and great chops.”


IL CORRIERE

” the artist, prodigy of piano technique, seduced the audience”

 


CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA

"...Benelli Mosell's secure and sophisticated technique..."


NEW YORK POST

“a remarkably musical and fluent young pianist named Vanessa Benelli Mosell. She held up her end of the tight interplay with complete ease and the fine sense of style. Remember the name.”


WASHINGTON POST

“...a great talent.”


DER WESTEN

"Ganz das Gegenteil des finsteren Virtuosen die junge Pianistin Vanessa Benelli Mosell. Sie zeigte ihr Können mit Rachmaninovs "Rhapsodie über ein Thema von Paganini."


French pianist Pascal Rogé said of her:

“...she is the most natural musical talent I have encountered in my entire life as a musician and teacher”.


Composer Karlheinz Stockhausen said of her:

"Vanessa Benelli Mosell has the power to let people appreciate my music."


MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL

This first CD by Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell is subtitled 'Virtuoso Piano Music' - needlessly, perhaps, but truthfully. None of the works played here is exactly under-recorded, but for a debut recording this is certainly an impressive programme in every respect.

 

According to the Brilliant Classics blurb, Pascal Rogé has called Benelli Mosell "the most natural musical talent I have encountered in my entire life as a musician and teacher", and shortly before his death Karlheinz Stockhausen said she "has the power to let people appreciate my music". It has been known for 'older gentlemen' to get carried away when spending time in the company of young women, especially sultry, blonde, voluptuous Italian ones with a prodigious artistic talent - far better therefore to let the musicianship speak for itself.

 

That means letting these four great works speak for themselves - which Benelli Mosell does indeed do. Perhaps her youth prevents her from imposing a strong personality on the music, but in an online interview in Italian she implies that she understands - from her study with Stockhausen of his Klavierstücke - that the pianist's role is to communicate the composer's ideas to audiences; in other words, performers should not make the music about themselves. Mitsuko Uchida has devoted herself to this cause, and Benelli Mosell may well be following a similar path. She is so obviously photogenic that unscrupulous agents will doubtless try to persuade her to 'do a Lang Lang', and thereby relegate composers of genius to footnotes - but so far, so good. On Brilliant at least she seems in safe hands.

 

In any case, to open a debut recording with Prokofiev's sarcastic, fiendish Seventh Sonata is a true baptism of fire. Yet Benelli Mosell seems to revel in the densely chromatic, often virtually atonal tumult of much of this Stalin-Award-winning, viciously anti-Stalinist work. To follow that with Liszt's phenomenally virtuosic Rhapsodie Espagnole would be artistic suicide for mere mortals, but Benelli Mosell's arms and fingers, presumably after a good rest, are more than willing, and able, to take on the relentless onslaught of gorgeous notes, and she does so with great panache.

 

After these two works, a keyboard sonata by Joseph Haydn might seem like a stroll in the park, but not so when the sonata in question is the no.53 in E minor, Hob. XVI/34, in which Haydn's poetic restlessness and harmonic ambiguities surprisingly begin to resemble Beethoven. Though Haydn himself would probably have been astounded by Liszt's and Prokofiev's super-human pianism, this Sonata of his is nevertheless liberally scattered with virtuosic demands on top of the specialist skills required by Classical form. Benelli Mosell takes the opening Presto a little on the sub-presto side, but she makes up for it in the Vivace molto finale. The Adagio middle movement is a well-placed balm in this otherwise fairly hectic programme.

 

From its opening bar, Skriabin's First Sonata, op.6 drops the pianist right back into the turbulence and drama of the early 20th century - yet amazingly, Skriabin's visionary work was written with almost a decade still left of the 19th. Benelli Mosell's account of both the bleak Adagio and the desperately sad, funereal last movement is very moving: full of emotion and insight beyond her years.

 

The recording is good, although the Steinway piano sounds as if it has seen better days, and the microphones are close enough to pick up sometimes too much of the noise of the piano action. Acireale is famous for its spectacular location at the foot of Etna, its carnival and its churches. The liner-notes do not specify the exact location of the recording, but the lack of reverberation suggests that Brilliant preferred the technical reliability of a studio.

 

For pianophiles to be in a position to determine whether or not Pascal Rogé really was hamming it up, much more evidence will be needed, and on the strength of this disc can be eagerly anticipated. Meanwhile, for anyone looking for an introduction not only to Benelli Mosell's indisputable gifts, but to the piano music of Liszt, Prokofiev or Skriabin, this is a good, neutral place to start.

 


ABEILLE MUSIQUE

   "Le jeu de Benelli-Mosell, disons-le tout de suite, se plaît dans ces œuvres puissantes, amples, dans lesquelles la virtuosité arbitraire (celle, par exemple, des premiers Liszt) cède le pas à une virtuosité nécessaire, celle imposée par la musique elle-même. Celle de Prokofiev et du Liszt de la Rhapsodie espagnole, des œuvres d’essence orchestrale où les plans sonores dégagent mille sonorités opposées et dix mille timbres colorés. Dans Haydn, elle s’attelle à faire surgir la puissance du discours au-delà de l’apparente simplicité du discours – car c’est là la sonate la plus tragique de Haydn. Enfin, son Scriabine déborde de diaboliques déliquescences névrosées. Vanessa Benelli-Mosell, une jeune pianiste à suivre de près, maintenant qu’elle a assuré ses débuts sur une majorité de grandes scènes internationales."


GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE

"Sparkling technique in demanding music", "She leaves no doubt of her enviable facility throughout this, her ultrademanding debut Album", "Dextrous and cool-headed, she launches into Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata at a cracking pace...she is off like a rocket in the drum-beat 7/8 Precipitato finale, remarkably maintanining her impetus in the ever-widening leaps of the closing pages."


MELOMANO

"Benelli Mosell has chosen a demanding program that shows her remarkable talents and exploits the potential of the piano to the fullest. Furthermore, a precision of high purity technique and a chamaleon ability to match each one of the different styles and moods of the programme."

 

Brilliant Classics presenta el álbum de debut de la joven virtuosa Vanessa Benelli Mosell. La italiana ha desarrollado de manera fulgurante su carrera tocando el piano por medio mundo, con orquestas, como la Filarmónica de Berlín, o en recital, como en el Wigmore Hall de Londres. Por lo que ha resultado verdaderamente conocida es por haber sido invitada por el ya fallecido Karlheinz Stockhausen para estudiar con él en Alemania, lo que le llevó a convertirse en toda una experta y reputada intérpretede la música de este autor. No obstante, para su disco de presentación, Benelli ha escogido un exigente programa que despliega sus notables talentos y explota el potencial expresivo del piano al máximo.A ello cabría añadir, a resultas, una precisión en la técnica de gran pureza y un amoldamiento camaleónico a cada uno de los estilos expuestos.El repertorio abarca siglo y medio de historia de la música, desde la dramática obra en tonalidad menor de Franz Joseph Haydn de 1784 hasta la segunda de las tres Sonatas de Guerra de Serguéi Prokofiev. La obra del soviético,la Sonata para piano nº 7 en si bemol,abre el fabuloso disco mientras que la Sonata para piano en mi menor Hob.XVI: 34 de Haydn sucede y antecede a otras dos piezas muy relevantes: la Rapsodia Espanola S254 de Franz Liszt del año 1863, y ySonata para piano nº 1 en fa menor opus 6,de Alexander Scriabin, compuesta en 1892.

 


SUONO

Challenging program chosen by Vanessa Benelli Mosell for her début album. Works that require it remarkable technical skills beyond sensitivity of interpretation. Armed with a prestigious curriculum that places her among the most talented pianists of our age, the young Vanessa securely tackles this challenge by offering high-level performances. Prokofiev Sonata n. 7 has been written in 1940. Second of the three “war” Sonatas, it won a Stalin Prize which made it famous. The first movement Allegro inquieto, alternating between two contrasting elements, is followed by the Andante caloroso, lyrical and espressivo, and closes with the famous Precipitato with fast sequences of drum-beat chords. Rhapsodie Espagnole by Liszt is from 1863 and belongs to the Roman years of the Hungarian musician. Liszt inserts some Spanish themes as the Folie d’Espagne which, after a brief introduction, opens the work, and Jota Aragonesa with a distinctly virtuoso character. A third theme follows, which together with the previous themes triumphantly closes the composition. Trills, octave jumps, sprints and fast repeated notes makes the Rhapsody a real virtuoso challenge. Haydn and Scriabin follow. By the first we have the E minor Sonata Hob: XVI/34, composed by three movements with the Adagio between the fast movements. The Sonata is written in 1892 and about a hundred years separates it from Scriabin Sonata n. 1 op. 6. Haydn’s classical language is however not missing conflicting elements and rhythmic tensions that dominate the Sonata n. 1 op. 6. Composed in 1982 is in four movements with a long initial Allegro followed by a movement without indication , a Presto and a Funeral march which accentuates the dramatic nature of the work. (SUONO - September 2011, Paola Raschi) Artistic quality: 8, Technical quality: 9


INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW

 

“As she was described by Pascal Rogé as “…the most natural musical talent I have encountered in my entire life as a musician and teacher”, one naturally expects an intriguing listen from Italian Vanessa Benelli Mosell’s début disc. Acclaimed performances of Stockhausen’s Klavierstuecke (with whom she studied until his death) suggest she possesses a command of technical challenges, which indeed manifests itself in assured playing throughout this recital. She attacks the opening of Prokofiev’s Sonata n. 7 with a determined impetus and nervous energy. Passages of quieter reflection come across as somewhat detached rather than desolate, portraying as almost nonchalant passive-aggressiveness. This feeling continues throughout the second movement Andante Caloroso. While she does make the transition from the rather beautiful opening to the highly chromatic middle section and back again effectively, one senses a slight innocence to the underlying bitterness in this movement. She launches into the final Precipitato toccata with an electric energy, highlighting strands of counterpoint and hidden voices with a steely precision. The dizzying pace is maintained right up to the last bar, an impressive feat in itself…”

“Mosell’s handling of Haydn’s E minor Keyboard Sonata, Hob. XVI/34 is particularly deft. Tempos are promisingly brisk, supplemented by a clarity in rapid passages throughout…”

“Unsurprisingly, Mosell launches headlong into Scriabin's unfairly neglected Sonata No. 1. Think for a moment what impact over-practicing Balakiriev's Islamey can have on the hands. It is said Scriabin damaged his right hand considerably doing just this, penning this Sonata as an outcry against what he believed was his fate. With this in mind, Mosell is appropriately melancholic in the Adagio second movement, allowing it to pass by as if it were an introspective stream of consciousness, as well as in the closing Funebre. The third movement Presto is well handled, showcasing her apparent ease with rapid octaves…”, “…This is a promising début recital, showing flashes of inspiration and virtuosity. Young female contemporaries might just have a contender waiting in the wings.”


KLASSIEKE ZAKEN
VALSE IMPROMPTU, CAPRICCIO ALLA TURCA E.A.

"The most natural musical talent in my whole life as a musician and piano teacher ever encountered," said pianist Pascal Rogé in 1999, after he was eleven Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell from Prato had heard play. Years of intensive study at the International Piano Academy of Imola, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow (with Mikhail Voskresensky, student of Lev Oborin) and The Royal College of Music (with Dimitri Alexeiev) have in no way prejudiced Mosell’s remarkable musical feature : an comprehensive naturalness, which is not only reflected in the spontaneous intensity of her animated Liszt interpretations, but also in the enviable instrumental fluency of this now 24-year-old Young Steinway Artist. On her second album, Mosell plays dazzling virtuoso pieces such as the Hungarian Rhapsodies and Grand Galop Chromatique and also lyrical reveries such as the sentimental Liebestraum. It is incredible how many expressiveness barriers of CD recording technique Mosell knows to break. Listening to her Liszt album you get the impression that this impassioned pianist turns your home into a concert hall, so penetrating and convincing her expressive performances. Mosell is clearly a great promise for the future.


MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL
CD REVIEW - LISZT RECITAL ALBUM

After her excellent recent debut CD entitled 'Virtuoso Piano Music' (see review), young Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell has returned almost immediately to the studio for Brilliant Classics for this all-Liszt follow-up.

 

Pianistically, this recording is every bit as thrilling as the first. Benelli Mosell's sculptured programme - styled after a Liszt recital - surrounds four of the Hungarian Rhapsodies with a miscellany of other pieces, both 'light' and virtuosic. What is particularly interesting about the works Benelli Mosell has chosen is, on the one hand, the fact that they all come from Liszt's earlier years, and on the other, that none of the four Rhapsodies is the Second! The point is that Benelli Mosell could easily have followed the route favoured by every big-label 'superstar', which is to play Liszt's original No.2 and include a meretricious cadenza, or more usually to play the over-the-top arrangement vulgarised - in more senses than one - by Vladimir Horowitz. Instead she has elected not to spotlight directly her own personal brilliance, but rather to be a conduit for Liszt. In an online interview in Italian last year she explained how she had come to understand - from her study with Stockhausen of his Klavierstücke, no less - that the pianist's role is to communicate the composer's ideas to audiences, not his or her own.

 

Benelli Mosell has already demonstrated, in her debut disc, that Liszt is bread and butter to her, making astonishingly light work of his electric Rhapsodie Espagnole. Here she picks up where she left off, dazzling with her technique and surprising with her emotional maturity. There is no call for much in the way of pathos in her programme, to be sure, although Benelli Mosell's Liebestraum in A flat is markedly poetic. But when it comes to virtuosity, sensibility, panache, however, she has what it takes. Her articulation in particular is outstanding, with every note - Liszt permitting! - clean and precise.

 

According to Brilliant's own blurb, Pascal Rogé has described Benelli Mosell as "the most natural musical talent I have encountered in my entire life as a musician and teacher". Substantial praise indeed, but not necessarily helpful - in a market of virtuosos, such words, however accurate, tend to ring insincere. Rather surprisingly perhaps, given her instantly obvious talent, Benelli Mosell's own website seems to emphasise not her pianistic ability, but her nubililty - all pages are divided in two, one side providing a carousel of photos of her in various costumes posing sultrily for the camera. 

There is more hyperbole to be found in Gerald Larner's booklet notes, which strike a provocative note from the first line: "It is no exaggeration to claim Liszt as the greatest of all 19th-century musicians." Has he forgotten Beethoven? Mendelssohn? Schubert? 

Engineering quality is very high - an improvement on the first album in every regard. At Brilliant's bargain price - now considerably cheaper than Naxos - this is a recital worthy of wider attention.

 

Read more: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/Dec12/Liszt_Benelli_Mosell_94357.htm#ixzz2EBOTV1Xl


CLASSICAL NET

Maurizio Pollini – move over! Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell (b. 1987), although a prizewinner in a few important competitions, apparently hasn't won a major competition outright. That's rather amazing because she possesses a rare talent, but this kind of talent doesn't need a first prize in Moscow or Warsaw or Texas to ride to fame! This is her second recording. I missed her first, which contained sonatas by Prokofiev, Haydn and Scriabin, and Liszt's Rhapsodie Espagnole (Brilliant Classics 94209). I did manage to hear excerpts from that recital disc and was greatly impressed.

 

On this new disc Benelli Mosell plays with an all-encompassing technique and has the interpretive acumen of a seasoned master, the latter quality showing through despite her choice of mostly lighter and virtuosic repertory here. Iconic French pianist Pascal Rogé, with whom Benelli Mosell debuted in duo-piano repertory at age eleven, described her as the "most natural talent I have ever encountered in my entire life..." Listening to this disc, it's easy to see why he heaped such lavish praise on her.

 

Benelli Mosell captures the charm and elegance of the Chopinesque Valse Impromptu, giving the piece a lightness and infectious effervescence in her phrasing and well-judged dynamics. The Capriccio alla Turca is a virtuosic takeoff on themes from Beethoven's Ruins of Athens. It's a colorful piece, full of high spirits and colorful dazzle, and Benelli Mosell shortchanges no aspect of the work's glitter and virtuosity, while showing that such light music can actually offer substantive enjoyment.

 

La Leggierezza is another work that, while sounding like Liszt, has much of the sound world of Chopin about it. Benelli Mosell deftly points up the kinship between the two composers' styles, while storming the heights in the middle section. The four Hungarian Rhapsodies here sound far less episodic than is often the case, and more like the delightful and well-crafted folk-inspired showpieces that Liszt intended. For sheer thrills try the final section of #6, where Benelli Mosell plays those rapid-fire repeating octaves with such precision, lightness and awesome speed.

 

She delivers Liebestraum #3 with utter conviction, not in any way spurning the obviously sentimental character of the music. The last three pieces are light and lively works, with the Rossini-sourced La Danza and the Grand Galop Chromatique showcasing Benelli Mosell's considerable technical skills. While this Liszt recital features little music of depth, those interested in the composer's lighter and more colorful works will find this disc a real delight. True, the fare offered here is just the kind that Liszt detractors cite to make their case against the composer, but the music is unpretentious, imaginative and brimming with energy and brilliant color. The sound reproduction is clear and powerful.

 


IL MATTINO

Il biglietto da visita della giovane Vanessa Benelli Mosell è un intero disco dedicato a Liszt (il secondo per Brilliant Classics), col Valse impromptu, il Capriccio alla turca dalle Rovine di Atene di Beethoven. La leggerezza, le danze ungheresi n.6, 10, 11, 12, il Liebestraum, il Galop russe, La danza (da Rossini), il Grand galop chromatique. La venticinquenne di Prato, allieva a Imola, poi al Conservatorio di Mosca e al Royal College di Londra, si presenta come sincero virtuoso in pagine interessanti che non danno tregua, ma che richiamano anche sensibilità toccanti.

 


GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE

"Her pianism is extremely refined and nuanced"

"Stylish bravura"


BRESCIA OGGI

Il «Valse Impromptu» non è che il primo brano di questo ampio programma tutto dedicato a Franz Liszt e che vede questa giovane pianista, originaria di Prato e già nota al pubblico per aver interpretato i «Klavierstücke» di Karlheinz Stockhausen, impegnata nell'interpretazione del «Capriccio alla turca» su temi delle Rovine di Atene di Beethoven, nel celebre Studio da concerto «La Leggerezza» e soprattutto in quattro delle sue Rapsodie Ungheresi. Il tema della danza non poteva mancare, con il «Grand Gaolp cromatique» e il «Galop russe» come il notissimo e struggente Liebestraum, il «Sogno d'amore». Interprete: Vanessa Benelli Mosell. Cd Brilliant 94357


MUSICA

La ventitreenne Vanessa Benelli Mosell propone un programma lisztiano, in cui non ci si può tirare indietro e bisogna mostrare i muscoli. Brani in cui sono rappresentati diversi tipi di danze che hanno nell'incisività ritmica il loro comune denominatore. Ed in questo la nostra pianista supera a pieni voti la prova. Esecuzioni incisive, scattanti quanto basta, lucide ed emotivamente controllate ci ristituiscono un Liszt ordinato e preciso senza fastidiosi eccessi e cavalcate sfrenate. Il Valse Impromptu possiede un suono luminoso e netto, forse troppo, senza chiaroscuri che ne accentuerebbero l'intrenseco fascino musicale. Il Capriccio alla Turca, tratto dalle beethoveniane Rovine di Atene, possiede sì, all'inizio, un ghigno quasi sarcastico che sa di presa in giro, ma poi scivola via, correttamente, ma senza sobbalzi. Del gruppo di quattro Rapsodie Ungheresi proposte, emerge la decima. Il Sogno d'amore è da lodare per il tono piuttosto austero per i nostri tempi, scevro com'è da seduzioni dolciastre. Gli ultimi tre brani, che potremmo definire da circo per intreseche peculiarità strutturale e compositive, vengono rese col piglio giusto. Convincente il gioioso senso ludico della Galop Russe, ordinatoe lineare il moto perpetuo della Tarantella, La Danza, così come l'andamento talvolta un po' guardingo, del Grand Galop Chromatique. Benedetto Ciranna


CLASSIC VOICE

Un programma lisztiano piuttosto erratico, nella stesso modo di accostare pagine ultranote ad altre più rare, come il Galop Russe da Bulhakov, virato soprattutto su un tipo di virtuosismo di velocità e di eleganza piuttosto che di forza, tratti che la giovane interprete possiede e gestisce con evidente naturalezza. Il suo discorrere sulla tastiera è infatti piacevolmente duttile, libero da sovraccarichi e da compiacimenti, segno di una musicalità che ha trovato già in giovanissima età occasioni per manifestarsi, ancor prima di arricchire la propria esperienza con confronti didattici significativi, dall’Accademia di Imola con Franco Scala, quindi al Conservatorio di Mosca e al londinese Royal College of Music. Un altro segnale piuttosto singolare dell’ampiezza di visuale entro cui si muove la Benelli Mosell è offerto dall’incontro avuto nel 2006 con Stockhausen di cui registrò per Radio3 a corredo di un documentario curato da Mario Bortolotto i primi quattro Klavierstücke, con l’entusiastico consenso del compositore che la invitò a studiare con lui in Germania, avendo compreso con quale intelligenza musicale la giovane aveva saputo penetrare entro la labirintica rete di quelle pagine regolate da una “serialità” estrema nel suo radicalismo, impresa resa ancor più ardua per ogni interprete dalla prescrizione del compositore di eseguire ognuno dei quattro brani - come talora faceva Schumann -“il più presto possibile”, che la nostra interprete mostra di affrontare con naturale dedizione.

Gian Paolo Minardi

 


GOROD NEWS

"Until today, it was impossible to imagine that the music of Franz Liszt may sound elegant. Exquisitely elegant and refined - these adjectives accurately describe how Liszt’s "Hungarian Rhapsodies" sounded from the stage of the Smolensk Philharmonic, performed by Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell. The femininity and beauty of this talented girl is combined with tremendous tenacity and inner strength. It is one of the most technically complex works to perform in the world of music.

 

The evening turned into a kind of three cultures night: Hungarian, Polish and Russian. The Beauty of national Polish musical flavour was embodied in Ballade number 4 in f-moll by Frederic Chopin. The main theme of Chopin's four ballades is the theme of his Motherland, his longing for her. The 4th ballade written by Chopin at the transition to the late period shows the creativity of the composer. It has more philosophical depth than the melodrama inherent in the previous three ballads. Vanessa managed to convey the intimacy in this performance precisely. There was a feeling that the audience held its breath, there was not sound from them. Listeners were afraid to break that ideal musical phrasing.The pianist herself, for the entire concert, did not say a word. She smiled shyly back at the long applause in between works.

 

Three moments from the suite "Petrushka" by Igor Stravinsky sounded precisely Russian - wide open, with valiant prowess. Her accurate portrayal of the spirit of Russian culture is not done by chance - Vanessa Benelli Mosell learned from outstanding Russian pianists such as Michael Voskresensky at the Moscow Conservatory and Dmitri Alexeev at the Royal College of Music in London.

 

At the most dynamic moment of the suite a thunder was heard from outside, which became the perfect accompaniment for such a strong performance and fitted perfectly into the musical texture of Stravinsky."

Lika Volkova


PLANET HUGILL

 

Schumann, Tsintsadze, Janacek, Bartok; Matthew Barley, Vanessa Benelli Mosel; Kings Place Festival Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sep 13 2014 
Star rating: 4.5
Survey of folk-influenced works for cello and piano in a vivid recital

My second visit to the Kings Place Festival on Saturday 13 September centred on a recital by cellist Matthew Barley and pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell, Classical Works: Folk Roots, in which the two explored the influence of folk music on Western Classical music with pieces by Schumann, Tsintsadze, Janacek and Bartok. But I also managed to catch the six man a capella vocal ensemble the Queen's Six.


Vanessa Benelli Mosell - photo credit Roberto Masotti
Vanessa Benelli Mosell
photo credit Roberto Masotti

Matthew Barley and Vanessa Benelli Mosell started with Schumann's Adagio and Allegro Op.70, written in 1849 originally for horn and piano, but the composer suggested violin and cello alternatives and the work has understandably become a staple in cellists repertoires. In his programme note Barley described it as one of his all time favourite cello and piano pieces. Barley brought a lovely lyric singing line to the Adagio(which Schumann originally titled Romance). His tone was beautifully rich, warm and expressively mellow both in the Adagio and in the vigorous Allegro Benelli Mosell supported with strong yet tender playing on the piano.

Also dating from 1849 and written for cello and piano, Schumann's Five Pieces in Folk Style Op.102 show Schumann letting his hair down a bit and writing in a simpler, more direct style. The first, marked mit humorwas a bit Hungarian and rather fun, though the pieces are more complex than their folk title implies. Langsam had a long spun-out melody with darkly romantic moments. Nicht schnell  again had a singing cello line but here with rather intense comments from the piano. Nicht zu rasch had vigorously martial moments and developed into a complex movement with some pretty nifty fingerwork from Barley. Finally the dark and romantically impulsive Stark und markiert.

The Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925 - 1991) is not well known in the west. In his spoken introduction Barley talked of how Tsintsadze mixed folk tunes from his native Georgia with Western classical forms and that the name Five Pieces on Folk Themes was a nod to the Schumann work. Tsintsadze wrote it in 1950, when he was studying at the Moscow Conservatory, and it was commissioned by the Russian cellist Daniil Shafran.

The first movement, Villain's Song on a Carriage had a soulful solo cello opening, as the piano joined the piece became slow yet evocative, building up to some big romantic moments. Tchonguri featured a highly rhythmic pizzicato cello part with no piano accompaniment; an infectious yet tricky piece. Sachidao use what seemed to be a foreign scale, which very evocatively developed into a lively dance becoming something of a Georgian ho-down. Nana was a lovely soft lullaby, with a delicate piano accompaniment. Finally Dance Tune was fast and furious. Tsintzadze;s pieces were a lovely discovery, perhaps quite old fashioned for their period (1950) but quite substantial pieces and evocatively engaging in their use of Georgian folk tunes.

Janacek's use of folk song was entirely different. As Barley explained, Janacek notated conversations he overheard, to use as his musical material and his style involves repetition rather then conventional structural development. Janacek's Pohadka (Fairy Tale) dates from 1910 and consists of three movements inspired by scenes from a Russian folk tale. The three movements were each highly idiomatic in Janacek's distinctive manner, made up of a collage of fragments which changed style and mood in a moment. The mysterious and rather dramatic opening movement evoked moments in The Cunning Little Vixen whilst the performers gave the delicate textures of the second movement a strong sense of dramatic narrative with Barley's cello bringing a whole range of colours into the music. Barley and Benelli Mosell made the final movement vigorous impulsive and it evaporated delightfully at the end. Through the Janacek, Benelli Mosell's piano was very much an equal partner to Barley's cello with the two bringing Janacek's music vividly to life.

Finally Bartok's Roumanian Folk Dances. In them Bartok lies somewhere between Schumann and Janacek, in that Bartok does snot develop the material. Each short movement being little more than a statement of the material. But in performances as enthralling and vivid as these, duration was irrelevant.

Jo cu bata was vigorously rhythmic and richly coloured, Braul had a lovely rhythmic snap to it with Barley giving the cello a mellow seductive timbre. Pe-loc was played high on the cello, making it mysterious and haunting but still with some lovely rhythmic details. Poarga romaneascawas vigorous with a feeling of a ho-down again. The final Maruntel was taken at quite a tempo and made a fine conclusion.

This was a highly satisfying concert as Barley and Benelli Mosell made  strong and vivid partnership bringing the varied programme to life and illuminating the fascinating thread of folk-music running through the music.

 


CLASSICA

"...atmosphères entre héroïsme virtuose et laconisme de l'expression"


TELERAMA

"A YOUNG ITALIAN PIANIST FULL OF VIGOUR WITH A SPONTANEOUS PLAYING"


"Nothing testamentary, however, in her interpretation, but a spontaneity, a radiant joy that makes you forget about the permanent split of the hands, the tough mental gymnastic of score reading and memorisation."

"The playing of Vanessa Benelli Mosell is full of magnificent prodigality."


LA REPUBBLICA

" La diva del piano"


PIZZICATO MAGAZINE

"Thrilling...individual piano playing"


MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL

"She boldly competes on mainstream territory.The concerto is impressive..hope Mosell and Karabits also give us N.3"


THE WHOLE NOTE

"She and Rachmaninoff are the perfect match."


BRESCIA OGGI

"Fearless technical skills"


CHINA DAILY

"Vanessa Benelli Mosell thrills National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing with improvisations"


AMADEUS

"Solida tecnica e sensibilità esecutiva”


LA REPUBBLICA

"She plays with fearless determination." 


OPUS KLASSIEK

"Mosell excels unreservedly..the Decca recording is superior, with a truly fabulous sound"


THE TELEGRAPH

"Glance at the new album from the 28-year-old Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell, and you might think she’s just another blonde babe seized on by a major label for her looks more than her talent.   Look closer and you’ll see the names Scriabin and Stockhausen, an unusual choice of repertoire for a starlet.  Listen to the CD and you’ll discover Mosell is a serious artist with a formidable technique and forthright musical personality.”


THE ARTS DESK

"Spectacular pianism...played with utter sincerity"


DIAPASON

"Réelle constance, ainsi qu'une lisibilité et une solidité technique à toute épreuve"


BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

“Mosell plays the Concerto with verve and direction” 


THE GUARDIAN

“Powerful, emotional, romantic and dramatic, she sweeps us along in a dazzling display of assured technique.”


LA REPUBBLICA

"Stockhausen is enlivened by bright and enthusiastic reading by Vanessa Benelli Mosell"
"She plays with fearless determination"
"The energy of Vanessa and the visionary of Stockhausen" 


THE GUARDIAN

“Mosell confronts this music fearlessly, shaping the smaller-scale pieces … as elegantly as she can, taking their technical challenges in her stride and above all conveying the sense of cutting-edge invention and innovation that is so characteristic of Stockhausen’s early music.” 


DE VOLKSKRANT

“Love & Commitment ... Vanessa Benelli Mosell … keeps her cool with crystal clear sounds ... Benelli Mosell plays Klavierstücke not only with amazing agility, but also allows for example, the beauty of a series of sophisticated overtones resonate. Do you not come closer to Stockhausen?” 


SINFINI - Norman Lebrecht: Album of the week

“When was the last time you heard any Stockhausen? Since his death, at the end of 2007, the German avant-gardist's star has fallen in a reverse curve to that of his French comrade, Pierre Boulez. Hardly any Stockhausen is presently available on record, and there are few concerts where the music can be heard. So an album by a young pianist who worked with the composer in his final years is a welcome opportunity to revisit a brave old world that has virtually vanished. … a really clever programme.”


LA SCENA MUSICALE

“She’s 24 and not afraid of Pokofiev’s  sonata or Scriabins 1st. Whats more the technique seems to match the ambition. These are very convincing readings, with some LisztandHaydn in between.” - Norman Lebrecht


MUSICALIFEITEN

"Sound as clear as possible...great technical skills and panache ... great interpretive power ... the energy and enthusiasm which Benelli Mosell has for Stockhausen shows her thorough approach plus the excellent sounding recording makes her contributions worthwhile".


       
photos by Roberto Masotti     realizzato da UbyWeb&Multimedia