Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, January 2010

Naxos is giving us a very important series that is likely to stand for some time, and at a price that can’t be beat.

Musically speaking, this is as substantive a concerto as you could want, and a testament to the composer’s ingenuity. The unusual key of B flat minor had already been used by Tchaikovsky 10 years earlier, and he also created a top-heavy work that feels somewhat concluded after the first movement ends. Martucci’s is actually more balanced; one feels the need for more, as if the argument is not yet over.

…the whole thing is recommended without hesitation.

James Harrington
American Record Guide, November 2009

The big 41-minute Piano Concerto 2 was written for his own brilliant pianistic abilities; and he performed the work under the batons of such notable conductors as Toscanini, Mahler, Weingartner, and Anton Rubinstein. I found both the work and the performance here quite captivating. Since there are many similarities between Martucci and Rachmaninoff, I was often reminded of the Russian as I listened to the Italian…Naxos continues to find lesser-known conductors, soloists, and orchestras that have a level of skill equal to the best-known names and often, as in this case, a commitment to rare music that fully deserves to be discovered.

The concerto begins with a truly heroic first movement, replete with a huge cadenza. Memorable and beautiful melodies characterize [movement] II. I must give special mention to the clarinetist for some gorgeous playing and flawless, intimate ensemble work with the pianist. The writing here is quite flexible in tempo, with much rubato, and the artists play as if they were a long-standing duo. It is not too unusual to find a 23-year-old pianist with all of the technique and brilliance I enjoy here from Coggi. It is unusual to hear this kind of sensitive ensemble work from a relative youngster. The ability usually comes from years of work with singers and instrumentalists.

The rambunctious allegro con brio final movement is all that you might hope for. The filler pieces are all piano pieces arranged for orchestra by the composer and show off the high quality of the orchestra under La Vecchia’s direction. For anyone who enjoys the romantic piano concerto repertoire as much as I do, this is an essential acquisition.

Jeremy Nicholas
Gramophone, October 2009

The recorded sound is remarkable in the circumstances and the colourful scoring makes the effects for which it was intended. One small symptomatic example is the horn triplets at 2’20” (first movement), inaudible under La Vecchia and D’Avalos, making their presence felt under Toscanini who plays all three movements significantly faster—and, as he conducted the composer in the work in 1899, likely to be authentic.

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group