Andrea Lucchesini, associated as no other with the piano works of Berio, Luciano, presents the most comprehensive collection of the great Italian composer’s solo keyboard oeuvre, including the seminal Sequenza IV, the monumental Sonata, and two works written specially for him. Berio first heard Lucchesini in the 1980s and, captivated by his “pure” pianism, asked him to perform his Concerto II at the Proms in London. From that point their association flourished, Lucchesini continued to add Berio’s works to his repertoire, and gave the world-premiere of the Sonata in 2001. Working relationship turned to friendship and on the occasion of Luccesini’s marriage, Berio presented to him and his wife Valentina Touch, a divertimento for piano four hands. On the same occasion Berio offered another duet as a gift to Valentina’s parents, Canzonetta. Valentina joins her husband in both works on this CD. The comprehensiveness of this album is complemented by the booklet annotation, including a personal note by Lucchesini, a note by Berio on his Sonata, a note by the Sonata’s dedicatee Reinhold Brinkmann, and a note of appreciation by Berio’s widow, Talia. All in all, a unique document of an exceptional collaboration and remarkable friendship.
“It's the accounts of the impressive Sonata, though, that point up the basic differences between the rival discs. Lucchesini, who gave the work's premiere in 2001, takes just 23 minutes over it here, with a lightness of touch and nervous intensity that seem a perfect match for the music's obsession with a repeated single pitch that gradually develops into flurries of moto perpetuo.” ***** BBC Music Magazine