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See latest reviews of other albums..., February 2012

Alessandro Marangoni continues to show tremendous skill with and understanding of this music, which is by no means as trivial or salon-like as the Péchés de vieillesse are often deemed to be. In fact, several pieces here qualify in length and complexity as pianistic fantasias or even tone poems. There is plenty of lightness here, to be sure: Prélude pretentieux, for instance, is filled with fugal counterpoint to and beyond the point of ostentatious display, while the delightfully titled Tarantelle pur sang (avec Traversée de la procession)—“Purebred tarantella with procession crossing”—contrasts the dance’s headlong progress with two interruptions in which a stately procession, complete with hymn tune, gets in the way. It is the richness, the contrast among these pieces that makes them so delightful to hear, and Marangoni’s free-and-easy virtuosity lets listeners focus on the delights of the music rather than any struggles of the pianist… © 2012 Read complete review

Giv Cornfield, PhD
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, January 2012

This 2-CD set is the fourth of Alessandro Marangoni’s traversal of all of these little (some even not-so-little) gems. He has the temperament and technique in abundance to bring off the flashier pieces with panache, while at the same time imbuing the longer ones (e.g., the Prelude semi-pastorale) with a sense of continuity… © 2012 The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2012

Having enjoyed a glittering career as an opera composer, aged thirty-seven Rossini withdrew from the stage, only returning to writing during the last ten years of his life. During that period he completed thirteen volumes of piano music, Peches de vieilleese (Sins of Old Age). As they do not fall comfortably into a piano recital programme, we seldom hear them in the concert hall, though they have fared somewhat better on disc. This new release, the fourth in a new cycle for Naxos by the Italian pianist, Alessandro Marangoni, is mainly given to the Eighth Volume with the title Album de chateau. That book is in twelve parts, some serious, some funny and at times salon music well within the scope of the amateur, but with sufficient moments to showcase the brilliance of the performer. In all it lasts for around two hours, so while it is pleasing, it is also a score of some substance that is not afraid of breaking out into a fugue, or taking us into a nightmare scenario in Un reve (A Dream). If dates of composition didn’t place this before Liszt, you would imagine parts are parodying the Hungarian’s pet ways of piano showmanship, and you will also find plenty of examples of Rossini taking a wry look at other composers of his time. And there are those sections—the Tarantelle in particular—that you will recognise in Respighi’s orchestral garb as part of the ballet La Boutique Fantasque. It ends on a serious note with Specimen de l’avenir (Specimen of the Future), music intentionally full of rhetoric and no substance. Book Nine contains sections for violin, cello, harmonium and horn, the present disc containing only those sections that involve the piano. That leaves five substantial sections lasting some thirty-four minutes, the Petite Fanfare played in the version for four hands, Marangoni performing both parts. More arresting in the poetic moments of the two discs, and with hands that make quiet passages quite captivating, Marangoni makes the two discs a valuable addition to the catalogue.

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