Carlo Zecchi (1903-1984), studied with both Busoni and Schnabel and had a brief, but meteoric, career as a soloist, before switching in 1942 to conducting, with occasional forays into chamber music. Like his fellow Italians Michelangeli, Vidusso and Fiorentino, he possessed an immaculate technique, which gives his playing a sense of lightness and ease in even the most difficult passages. The recorded Liszt etudes are almost unrivalled in their virtuosity and in Scarlatti and Bach the evenness of his finger-work has to be heard to be believed. But he was a poet and a colourist too, as the more lyrical works of Chopin, and the Debussy Poissons d’or reveal. Sadly, Zecchi’s recorded repertoire is small and this set includes an example of every piano work he recorded on 78s. Long known as a cult pianist to a select few, it is hoped these new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn will bring his small but priceless legacy of piano recordings to a wider audience.
Cetra Recordings, Milan 1937-1942: Respighi, Ottorino: Gagliarda (Antiche danze et arie); Siciliana (Antiche danze et arie); Scarlatti, Domenico: Sonatas in G major, Kk259; C major, Kk159; D major, Kk96; G major, Kk523; Vivaldi, Antonio/Bach, Johann Sebastian: Concerto in C Major, BWV 973; Bach, Johann Sebastian: Prelude and Fugue No 13 in F sharp major, BWV 858; Bach, Johann Sebastian/Reger, Max: Ich ruf’ zu dir, herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639; Bach, Johann Sebastian: Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D major, BWV 1050 (with Arrigo Tassinari - flute, Gioconda de Vito - violin, E.I.A.R. Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fernando Previtali; Schubert, Franz: Moment musical in A flat, Op 94 No 6; Schumann, Robert: Kinderszenen, Op 15; Liszt, Franz: Paganini Étude No 5 in E major, ‘La chasse’ (S141/5); Paganini Étude No 4 in E major, ‘Arpeggio’ (S141/4); Étude de concert No 2 in F minor, ‘La leggierezza’ (S144/2); Chopin, Fryderyk: Waltz No 5 in A flat major, Op 42; Mazurkas in A minor, Op 17 No 4; C sharp minor, Op 30 No 4; B minor, Op 33 No 4; Berceuse in D flat major, Op 57; Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op 60; Debussy, Claude: Poissons d’or (No 3 from Images, Book II); Ticciati, Francesco: Toccata - Ultraphone Recordings, Paris 1934/5: Scarlatti, Domienico: Sonata in A major, Kk113; Chopin, Fryderyk: Études in G flat major, Op 10 No 5; F major, Op 10 No 8; Grande Polonaise in E flat major, Op 22; Ravel, Maurice: Alborada del gracioso (No 4 from Miroirs) - MusTrust Recordings, Moscow 1930: Liszt, Franz: Étude de concert No 2 in F minor, ‘La leggierezza’ (S144/2); Chopin, Fryderyk: Ballade No 1 in G minor, Op 23;