PRESS

Balduin Sulzer in "Kronen Zeitung", Austria
27.06.2017

We were able to experience a spectacular abbey concert at the summer refectory of the Lambach Abbey. Rodolfo Leone, the young Italian musician (25), winner of the international Beethoven competition 2017 stood out in a dynamic performance, showing a personalised volcanic outburst which after the "Waldstein Sonata", especially with the scherzo and the final Hammerklavier Sonata, nearly caused fear in part of the audience. But still a mega-applause for this courageous price winner.

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Translation: Carlo Penna

Christine Gruhauer in "Neues Volksblatt", Austria
27.06.2017

At the concert in the summer refectory of the Lambach Abbey, the 25 year old Italian musician Rodolfo Leone was able to introduce himself as the winner of the prestigious Beethoven piano competition of this year. With his Beethoven program, Leone with a delicate nuance of touch won already all hearts with the rather short and popular „Andante favori”. Actually, the "Andante" was separated after a friend of Beethoven's advised that the "Waldstein" sonata was too long, although Beethoven himself liked to play it very much and it was performed quite often. In Lambach, Leone received immediately a spontaneous and thunderous applause. He then played the famous "Waldstein" sonata for piano No. 21 C-Dur op. 53, a work created by Beethoven halfway his career, in which the master achieved a great form of exquisite harmony. Already in the „Allegro con brio“, the pianist carefully succeeded in retrieving the characteristic contrasts of the vibrant and sparkling eight note motion. While he played, his body was motionless, in full concentration. A dazzling atmosphere was created within a unusual harmonious setting. It was as if a master fell out of heaven - even though this was preceded by many stations in his career (Berlin, Pesaro and Los Angeles) and a lot of tough work with performances in the most important cities of Europe, China and the USA.

 

After the pause in the heated up refectory, Leone performed the so-called „Masterpiece“ of Beethoven's sonata works, the Sonate No. 29 B-Dur op. 106. With the full four movements and a thoughtful approach, the pianist responded to the high demands of this sonata and earned massive bravos, admiration and applause. A great evening with an artist with a name to remember.

Translation: Carlo Penna

Karin Wagner in "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten", Austria
26.06.2017

Rodolfo Leone is the winner of the Vienna Beethoven Competition. On Saturday, his piano recital at the Lambach Abbey was an
extraordinary event with Beethoven's „Waldstein Sonata" op.21 - previously called „Die Morgenröte“ - a combination of expansion and equilibrium. The "Andante favori", the original second movement, was later excluded by Beethoven. Leone opened with this work and as a noble tonal aesthete, he presented a „Morgenröte“ of unique beauty. The chords play, generous and balanced, the streamlined higher register of instrumental colouring, the subtle middle parts. Leone's passage play is also phenomenal: we observe a smooth floating far away from any
technical or „capability“ issue - its realm is quite different. The room acquires an aura of grandeur and pureness when the Rondo sets in; the promised morning horizon has a lingering effect.
True sound philosopher

The great "Sonata for Hammerklavier" op. 106 is a milestone in piano history; Beethoven breaks all boundaries and Rodolfo Leone sets new standards in perfection. With his adagio he seemed to be
communicating with distant worlds, as a true sound philosopher. We can open the discussion whether due to the submerging into the single chord of this already harmonious and often unrelated movement, we do not lose the bigger picture.
Beethoven's genius in the final fugue is always incredible - and this was also shown in Leone's interpretation. We can only be
amazed at the audacious, rustling and simultaneously lucid and
refined way this was realised by Leone. The audience was
overwhelmed.

Translation: Carlo Penna

© 2018 by Rodolfo Leone