Notebook - Codispoti

Notebook - Codispoti

Eudora Records  EUD-SACD-2203

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental

Works by Chopin and Janáček

Domenico Codispoti (piano)

A marvelous voyage through the aesthetic of the fragmentary, by the hand of Chopin’s 24 Preludes, op. 28 and Janáček’s first book from “On an Overgrown Path” and his Piano Sonata “1. X. 1905”. As Luca Chiantore states in the accompanying liner notes, this album “is characterised by the fleeting nature of works that speak to us of the fragility of existence”. Domenico Codispoti brings the full brilliance of his pianism to his chosen repertoire, one that reflects the rich and complex inner life of Chopin and Janáček.

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Reviews (1)

Review by Adrian Quanjer - June 18, 2022

An interesting choice: Chopin and Janáček. Chopin as we all know him and Janacek as probably not many do.

In some quarters it is believed that real art originates from misery. There are indeed good examples, but there are also several proving the opposite. If I were to rephrase it then I would suggest that chagrin can be the engine of emotional beauty. Both are present in Domenico Codispoti’s choice. In the liner notes, Luca Chiantore calls it “The fragility of existence”.

Upon first hearing, Chopin’s Preludes are misleading. A series of technical ‘tour de force’. But upon repeated listening, another aspect becomes clearly discernible. A series of short pieces reflecting alternating moods; reflecting life. Or, as the Germans say: from “Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betrübt” (from exuberant joy to depths of despair). And that is exactly how Codispoti portrays it. He may not be a globally recognized Chopin specialist, but he does display that finely tuned feeling for emotion. Going from No. 3 ‘Vivace’ to No. 4 ‘Largo’ tells it all.

For most, Janáček is about Taras Bulba, The Cunning Little Vixen, and not least his other opera Jenůfa, with which he gained as late as 1961 international recognition. But the list of his compositions is much longer. Two of his works for piano, getting increasingly more attention, are included in Codispoti’s recital.

Listening to ‘On an Overgrown Path’, is probably as misleading as Chopin’s Preludes. Composed over a decade and sourced from Moravian folk tunes, it is not, as one might think, a stroll along a countryside lane. In reality, it is about ‘existence’. Existence of the sort described in the notes. In his ‘First Book’ (recorded here) Codispoti takes us with subtle playing and shaded colouring along Janáček’s fragile road of his passionately moving life. From the sunny side of his path to his moments of utter distress, like the tragic death of his 21-year-old daughter, Olga, in 1905. These miniatures are of great artistic value and need to have their rightful place in any serious piano collection.

The apotheosis of this remarkable programme is no doubt Janáček’s short, two remaining movements Sonata 1.X.1905, marking the death of a Czech joiner shot by police whilst demonstrating in support of a Czech university in Brno. It is a contrasting outcry of oppression and mourning, nationalistic in character, but ‘of the right kind’. Although it doesn’t quite supplant my first choice: Danae Dörken, recorded by ARS Produktion in September 2012, I find that Codispoti excels nonetheless in realism and convincing pianism.

The sound quality, signed Gonzalo Noqué, is of the usual, excellent standard, and includes MQA.

Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France

Copyright © 2022 Adrian Quanjer and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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