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Daniel Foley
The WholeNote, December 2011

The present disc features the rarely recorded Italian pianist Roberto Cappello in a truly spectacular display of the challenging amalgam of power, energy and nobility the score demands. Balances in this production are straightforward, emphasizing the elaborate piano writing with a judicious mixing of the orchestra. The Rome Symphony Orchestra proves itself a proficient partner… at this price one need not be too picky and the soloist is indeed truly magnificent. Thank you Naxos for making this awesome leviathan of a concerto more widely available. Read complete review, November 2011

…very fine by any criteria, from the intensity of its opening (in which the piano is not introduced) to the affirmative conviction of its triumphant conclusion. The best thing about this performance is the interplay between soloist and orchestra: Cappello and La Vecchia have excellent rapport and a fine sense of the times when the piano should be front-and-center, those when it should be relegated to the background, and those in which it and the orchestra should be as much in balance as possible. Listeners will find much to enjoy in this impressive recording… Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht
La Scena Musicale, November 2011

Roberto Cappello…gets the mood right and the symphony orchestra of Rome give it all they’ve got.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2011

In 1904 Ferruccio Busoni completed the most extended Piano Concerto to enter the concert repertoire. Its length—at over seventy minutes—drew a mixed response at its premiere. The composer was the soloist, though the work was to gain a place in the repertoire by virtue of performances by Busoni’s pupil, Egon Petri. It had dropped from fashion by the mid-20th century, only to be rescued by the British pianist, John Ogdon, who made a memorable recording. It is a score of prodigious difficulties for the soloist, the layout more related to a symphony with a massive part for piano. It also requires stamina, particularly in ‘live’ performances, as the keyboard is often battling against massive waves of orchestral sound. In the big sweeping melodies, and in the piano writing, we may be tempted to speak of Rachmaninov’s influences, but this concerto came first. The present performance is the most extended on disc, chiefly in the tempo for the slower passages in the first movement. Certainly Robert Cappello—the winner of the Busoni Competition in 1976—has all the fire-power to dominate proceedings without the feeling that the sound engineers helped along the way. …La Vecchia obtains a well judged balance with the chorus in the finale, his Rome orchestra admirable in every department at budget price it makes a very attractive way to fill a hole in your collection.

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