Video News: Rai 3 Calabria (Italy), September 4, 2018
“The internationally renowned Italian pianist Daniela Roma, who lives in the USA, presented a selection of works by both composers on her German debut and it is immediately noticeable: she feels at home in this music”.
– Kulture Port, October 2023
«It rains in Hamburg in the evening. The path leads through an inner courtyard in Kleiner Kielort to a building in which, since 2018, a lot of good music has been recorded with openness and enthusiastic friends, outside of established programs and new media formats, under the name TONALi-Saal.
This creates the ideal environment to listen to a special concert featuring the works of two composers with a romantic influence in a relaxed atmosphere. Although both come from different latitudes, their music emerged in the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. They are contemporaries, the Italian Alfonso Rendano (1853–1931) and the Russian Alexander Scriabin (1871–1915).
The internationally renowned Italian pianist Daniela Roma, who lives in the USA, presented a selection of works by both composers on her German debut and it is immediately noticeable: she feels at home in this music. Roma first presented compositions by compatriot Alfonso Rendano, which are part of his four albums dedicated exclusively to the works of the composer from Cosenza (Calabria). They are compositions that reflect his love for his homeland. From the “Variations on a Calabrian Theme” to the “Tarantella,” the audience experienced virtuoso and sonorous piano playing that can clearly be attributed to late romanticism. The composer Rendano was himself an important pianist, appreciated and friends with, among others, Sigismund Thalberg and Franz Liszt.
Of the Italian composer’s approximately 70 compositions known today, piano works represent the largest part of his work, although he also wrote an opera (“Consuelo”), which was performed with great success in Turin in 1902. A recording of this work was released in 2005.
The presentation and distribution of Rendano’s work is an essential artistic task for Daniela Roma – a kind of mission: In addition to the recording productions and concerts, she is also the artistic director of the “Alfonso Rendano International Music Festival” in the Villa Rendano Cosenza, where The city theater was also named after him. After the pianist has dedicated herself to spreading Rendano’s music for over 20 years, there are more and more enthusiastic performers. In order to complete the album collection, Daniela Romawill also record Rendano’s piano concerto in the coming years, the manuscript of which she personally received from the composer’s nephew. This means that Rendano’s entire piano work can be heard and experienced by a wide audience and a large project is completed for Daniela Roma personally.
The fact that Rendano is unknown in Germany – even among experts – and is almost never performed in concerts here is difficult to understand given the evening we experienced. It is deserving to bring him into the spotlight after 150 years at the concert in Hamburg.
The second part of the program was dedicated to Alexander Scriabin’s early compositional period, which was characterized by his great affinity for the world of Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) – an important fact that the music of the two composers of the evening, who never met in person , connects with each other.
The pianist feels equally familiar with the Slavic sound creator, about whom Daniela Romaalso wrote her master’s thesis at the Rotterdam University of Music entitled “Synesthesia in Aleksandr Scriabin and Vasilij Kandinsky”. The works selected for the occasion are part of her recently released album “Scriabin: Visionary and Poet”.
The repertoire almost chronologically followed the time of creation of the works, in which the complex influence of Liszt and Chopin left visible traces in the characteristic piano writing: starting with the “Etude” in C sharp minor Op. 2 by the fourteen-year-old Scriabin through the selected “Etudes” from Op . 8 – his first collection of this kind, which Scriabin composed in 1894 -, the “Impromptu” Op. 12 No. F major and B minor from 1896 to the “Fantasy” Op. 28 from 1900, which explores the entire spectrum of the instrument with its complex harmonic network and represented a monumental conclusion to the concert.
Great emotions in sounds, to which the audience responded with no less great applause, which the likeable pianist answered with Alexander Scriabin’s “Prelude for the Left Hand” op. 9 No. 1 – visibly grateful for the audience’s warm reception.
Afterwards, in the ambience of the trendy location, there was the opportunity to talk to the artist and other interesting guests who were inspired by the theme of the evening». (Link to the original article in German: https://bit.ly/3PZFnDb)