Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Joao Domingo BOMTEMPO (1775-1842)
Piano Sonatas Volume 2
Sonata No 11 op 20
Sonata No 6 op 15 No 1
Sonata No 7 op 15 No 2

Nella Maissa piano
Recorded Studio Jorsom, May and July 1989

Bomtempo, Portugal’s leading composer from the Classical period, is now well represented on disc. This CD is part of the Portugalsom/Strauss edition and it makes for vibrant and exciting listening. An assimilator rather than an innovator Bomtempo lived in Paris and London, moving in Clementi’s circle before returning to Lisbon to become that city’s leading innovative force.

He had a distinct lyrical gift and an ability to spin arching song-like slow movements to great effect, all the while reserving for himself a battery of pianistic devices – scalar passages, riotous hand crossings and virtuoso runs – which argue for his exceptional technique. The fusion of lyricism and virtuosity is most rewarding; the op 20 Sonata reveals, as everywhere in Bomtempo, the influence of Beethoven which seems by this time to have begun to eclipse that of Mozart. Composed between 1812 –1816 it is a big work of some 33 minutes and if there is a certain diffuseness in the first movement the distinguished Turin-born pianist Nella Maissa triumphantly brings out the spine of song that runs throughout the work.

Both here and in the Beethovenian staccato of the rondo of the op 15 No 1 sonata Nella Maissa displays formidable executive powers. In 1989, when this recording was made, Maissa was 75 but she plays with real fluency and élan even though the constricted acoustic doesn’t flatter her, tonally. She graces everything she plays with understanding and skill and brings distinction to this disc.

Jonathan Woolf


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