There was a real classical buzz at the Courtney Centre last Sunday. Marco Fatichenti's recital of romantic and impressionist composers charged the audience with enthusiasm and awe.
His direct approach to Debussy's Masques shimmered and sparkled; then was movingly languorous. There was no doubt that the stage was set for drama, or life.
What better vehicle to expand this theme than Schumann's Carnaval? This frequently performed work is demanding of versatility and virtuosity: characteristics we expect as normal from a NADSA concert. However, this performance transcended normality. At times the speed was breathtaking, but the dynamic structure still shone. In poignant moments the intensity was palpable. I found myself thinking that musicality took precedence over time signatures or indeed any printed notation. We were sharing an experience directly through a musical performance. As a member of the audience put it [herself a pianist of some standing], she had not come across such a combination of technical skill and control of colour for many years. She also loved his lack of affectation and flamboyance.
After the interval, we returned to Debussy with three preludes from Book 2: 'Mists' was portrayed as rolling and swirling ripples with the abrupt interjection of high treble and low bass notes; 'The Wine Gate' was Spanish heat and habanera; and 'Odine' was compulsively lyrical.
Marco gave us an introduction to his next two pieces which were by Granados. He asked us whether we thought a score was the ultimate truth, and told us that composers often improvised when playing their own compositions; and Granados was a great improviser. So perhaps a performance could aim to be what the composer might have done. This, being part of his doctoral researches, heightened our feelings of being at the cutting edge. The titles of the two movements that we subsequently heard from Granados' Goyescas are almost self-explanatory of the experience: 'The Maiden and the Nightingale', - intensely romantic; and 'Epilogue, The Ghost's Serenade'.
The programme's final pieces were Chopin's Berceuse, and Scherzo No 2. Both are familiar, and suffice it to say that Marco's performance of these works illustrated why they are so popular.
The audience demanded an encore; Debussy's 'Fireworks' with their explosive dazzle and sparkle was rather more than anyone could have expected.
The exuberance generated was long lasting. The audience, whose ages ranged from 9 to 90, and some of whom had travelled 100 miles for this performance, were reluctant to let him leave. This was Marco Fatichenti's first concert for NADSA, and I, and I'm sure many others, hope that he will be returning before too long.