Pietro Fresa

at Market Drayton Festival Centre 24 November 2019

At the tender age of nineteen, Italian pianist Pietro Fresa has already won first place in twenty-five international competitions, an achievement recognised with a special medal from the Italian House of Representatives. He can now add sweeping the Market Drayton Festival Centre audience off its feet to his impressive list of accomplishments.

Pietro’s recital was built on a thoughtfully constructed programme illuminating the development of the romantic piano. His playing fit that bill to perfection: he combined the sensitive and sonorous with the dashing and heroic, and he won hearts and minds with a captivating performance.

The programme opened with Mozart’s Piano Sonata in F major, followed by Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 2., the link being their gorgeously lyrical second movements.  After the interval Pietro progressed to Chopin, culminating musically with Ballade No.4. One of Chopin’s final compositions, written when he was already facing serious ill-health, the piece condenses the experience of a lifetime into a dozen minutes. The poignancy with which young Pietro delivered such a profound work was deeply moving.

Thereafter he brought us down gently, ending the recital’s journey with a dreamy, pensive Brahms intermezzo. It was the perfect coda to the whirlwind of Chopin.