on BBC Music Magazine, 24 Jan 2019.
Liszt: Études d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini (6), S.140 (original version); Concert Studies, S144 & S145
Elisa Tomellini (piano) for Dynamic CDS7815 (57:23 mins)…”Liszt dedicated both the 1838 version of these studies recorded here and the simplified one he published in 1851 to Clara Schumann, of whose playing he said that ‘everything concerned with her art is noble and without pettiness’. I’m happy to say the same of the pianist here, and indeed much more.
It is a rare delight these days to hear a pianist who dares to play pianissimo – rather on the lines of Leslie Howard’s recent observation in these pages that what was lacking in much piano playing today was charm. There is charm here in abundance, together with staggering virtuosity…
… Finally, not the least of Tomellini’s abilities is her grasp of form. The near 10 minutes of ‘Il lamento’ can seem self-indulgent, but here everything unfolds naturally and meaningfully. And the piano sound is superb”…