Reviews

CD Brahms - Supersonic Award by Pizzicato Magazine
With the Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor, Op.5 at the beginning of the program, Carcano enthuses with an in all respects perfect interpretation, taking into account both the youthful ‘Sturm und Drang’ elements as well as the highly emotional moments of the sonata.
[...]
Carcano provides the listeners with a mix of emotions and clearly shows he has much more to say about Brahms.
[...]
The Scherzo in E minor Op. 4 concludes the program on the highest level and shows once more that this young Italian pianist is an intelligent performer and a gifted virtuoso indeed.

Gabriele Carcano (*1985) proves an exciting Brahms performer. His playing has a virtuosity, a sense of character, an astringency and an emotionality which are quite outstanding.
Pizzicato Magazine
Brahms - CD of the week for NDR Kultur
Brahms was almost 20, when he wrote it [the F Minor Sonata] and after that he has never composed a piano sonata again. The impetuosity of this young oeuvre is presented by Carcano with big contrasts in expression and timbre: on the one hand powerful and impulsive, on the other hand sensitive, romanticised and highly emotional. This Brahms is exciting and captivating and you will ask to hear more of it.
[...]
As a listener you will have difficulties resisting the forcefulness created by Carcano’s music.
[...]
Carcano has created a personal statement he already had in mind – and the listeners will hopefully keep it in their mind, too. After this successful debut one wishes to hear more from him soon.

Chantal Nastasi
NDR Kultur
"Un Brahms de haut niveau" - La Clefs ResMusica distinction
Du répertoire pour piano seul de Brahms, le pianiste italien Gabriele Carcano retient trois pièces des années 1853-54, que nous hésitons à qualifier « de jeunesse » tant elles sont abouties. Un enregistrement de haut niveau, au jeu profond et varié.

Comment ne pas être saisi par l’entrée magistrale dans la troisième sonate, dont la dimension symphonique, en son temps déjà soulignée par Robert Schumann, est ici évidente ? Mais aussi par la suavité et la délicatesse de l’Andante qui le suit, puis l’énergie qui mène le Scherzo, comme le Scherzo op. 4 qui clôt le disque, sans toutefois correspondre à l’indication de « rasch und feurig ». Aussi dans l’ensemble, le pianiste semble contenir la fougue et la passion propres à ces œuvres dans un tempo ample qui lui permet de soigner ses couleurs et son jeu, sans pour autant perdre en énergie ni en légèreté. Il sait conduire la musique à son climax : les accords finaux de la sonate apparaissent comme l’aboutissement lumineux et naturel d’une brillante coda.

Avec les Variations op. 5, le pianiste fait entendre un aspect peut-être plus inattendu de l’œuvre de Brahms, et fortement empreint de l’influence musicale de Schumann et probablement de sa liaison personnelle avec la famille de son aîné. Dédiées à Clara, elles s’appuient sur un thème des Bunte Blätter, dont il cite d’autres pièces (la variation 9 faisant par exemple allusion à la pièce n° 5). Les pièces rêveuses et contemplatives alternent avec les pièces passionnées et vives, à l’image des êtres schumaniens Eusebius et Florestan. Le pianiste est convaincant dans ces différents registres.

Gabriele Carcano, trentenaire italien qui a travaillé un temps avec Aldo Ciccolini et son disciple Nicholas Angelich (parfois réunis sur scène) est un pianiste actif sur les scènes italiennes, allemandes, et dans une moindre mesure françaises. Il mène un travail soigné et mûri dans ce répertoire allemand qui semble fait pour lui.
Resmusica
To Brahms' secrets - Artmag by Artallinna
Brahms f minor Sonata it’s clearly Gabriele Carcano's piece: orchestral, played with wide tempo, rumbling sounds and an art to stretch the musical flow using the soft dynamics that I haven’t heard in this work since Claudio Arrau.

Besides his admirable fingers and technique, what strikes in the young Turin born pianist is the clarity of the conception, the evidence of the phrasing, the internal logic of a dared construction alternating Sonata form to rhapsodic moments able to produce the sense of epic so typical in the young Brahms. The tone is always full and never aggressive, Carcano’s has an incredible ability to retain the sound at times, to leave the poetry of the music free to surge. His pedals use let the darkest passage sounds clear, his tempo use is free and yet rigorous: not simple rubato but suspended moments. All this reveals a pianist made for Brahms.

The Sonata will transport you towards its secrets as rarely before but in the Scherzo op. 4, sparkling rather than furious, Carcano’s imaginative sound will show all itself, agile and orchestral at once: there are trumpets and pipes here as there were violas and english horns in the Sonata.

At the middle of the album there are the Variations op. 9, one of the most secrete and beautiful Brahms’ piano work. […]. Gabriele Carcano has all understood of this fragile and deep cycle, expressing a tragic feeling which is only sketched. A wonder enclosed in the centre of a sumptuous album […]

Jean-Charles Hoffelé
Artalinna
Amadeus - 5 Stars
Amadeus - 5 stars

"He wasn't looking for a heir, he wanted me to be myself". This words where the conclusion of an interview I had with Gabriele Carcano over a year ago. The most important teaching that Aldo Ciccolini left him was to indicate the way to be himself. Disciple for six years of the great maestro disappeared in 2015, the 31 years old, Turin born, would actually have all the qualities to be his successor, considered the fact that not only he absorbed his teaching but they also performed together. But that would be doing wrong to him (even though the fact that for the young pianist this would be an injustice might sounds like a sort of paradox, considered the stature of such a guru). The reality is, seeing this remarkable recording, that Carcano has indeed found his way. And it's a personal one. Starting from the choice of the repertoire, featuring a young impetuous Brahms in his 20s that with his third Sonata (the last he composed) has already in mind an orchestra and an intense writing that would lead to other paths. Carcano excels in extricating the writing and pacing the urgency of the music. The highlights are the lyrical moments that, in the Variations op. 9, will expand into enrapturing rhapsodic moment in this fascinating interpretation.

- Nicoletta Sguben
Amadues
Fonoforum
Gabriele Carcano’s debut CD with works by Brahms can easily compete with the big recording catalogue. The 30 year old Italian keeps up with the three early and challenging works and modelizes them musically thoroughly and without extravagance, stylistically staying between the lyricism of Ugorski and the strictness of Leonskaja. Carcano’s interpretation, a coproduction of Oehms and BR, benefits from an magnificent open sound, that unites brilliancy, highly differentiated colours and ambience.”
Fonoforum Magazine
"An interpretation exalting Brahms" - Suonare News
"The fascinating program, the wonderfully controlled sound, yet passionate
and alive, win the listener's attention from the first hearing. Carcano has
the courage to look straight at the innovative pianism, youthful and mature
at once, of a composer that at twenty years old already understood to have
finished the exploration of the romantic world contemporary to him. [...]

The result of a long gestation process and study, also in terms of
character, Carcano's interpretation strikes for its beauty, pureness and
mature richness of poetical inflections. "

- Angelo Foletto
Suonare News
Four encores for an enthusiastic crowd - Mozart concertos with Camerata Ducale
Four encores were given this last Saturday at the Viotti Festival by the young and talented pianist Gabriele Carcano for a numerous and enraptured public. It could have been ten or twenty of them because the loud clapping seemed not to get to an end. […] It was evidently a very successful night for this young musician, less than 30 years old but already internationally acclaimed.
[…] The all Mozart program featured the two concertos in minor tonality: K466 and K491. Carcano’s interpretation gave big space to the dramatic structure of the pieces and was able to make sound alive what the music describes. His playing was visceral and delicate at once, his nervous fingers were producing a deep and yet luminous sound, with a great deal of attentions for every tone and nuance.
With his very expressive approach he combined moments of pathos and virtuosity, while in the slow movements the result was a dreamy cantabile, able to be extremely correct and expressive at once.

- Rita Francios
La Sesia
Beethoven 5th Concerto - Orchestre National Montpellier / Ion Marin
"The pianist Gabriele Carcano is completely in his element, he has no technical difficulties and interprets this well-known piece in a wonderfully expressive and romantic style. He's a virtuoso when needed but knows when to dialogue with the orchestra, which elegantly responded him."

- Alain Breton
L'Herault du jour
Verdi Orchestra Milan - Corriere della Sera
Soloist for Beethoven 3rd piano concerto was the young, Turin born Gabriele Carcano, who made a wonderful debut with the orchestra that night. He has a brilliant technique with great precision in the articulation. He showed, nonetheless, sensitiveness in the sound: none of the chords would prevaricate the melody in the cantabile sections.

Carcano offered then a Scarlatti Sonata played with great delicacy.

- Paolo Isotta
Corriere della Sera
Ravel - Württembergische Philarmonie Reutligen
"The outstanding pianist Gabriele Carcano was the masterful interpreter of the Ravel G Major concerto..."

- Nicole Jost
Frankfurter Neue Presse
Musicians from Marlboro tour
"Gabriele Carcano produced music of zest and passion […] displaying sparkling-clean finger work."
- Robert Battey, The Washington Post


"Carcano’s piano playing throughout was stunningly accurate."
- Lee Eisaman, Boston Music Intelligencer


"Carcano drove the piano lines with silky tempo shifts, and gave the performance lustrous immediacy. Some of his keyboard dexterity makes you wonder if Ludwig van Beethoven was the first jazz composer."

- Lew Whittington, The Huffington Post

The Washington Post / The Huffington Post
Thought through every detail - Munich Herkulessaal
"...the concert was wonderful: Carcano is a sculpture of sound. An aesthete.
His performance of some of Scarlatti's Sonatas was exquisite. High-precision, refined dynamic graduation, elegant in tasteful accents and the discreet use of pedal [...]
It was enchanting how, in the Schubert-Liszt transcriptions, the melody came out from the dense writing, Carcano filling it with life."

- Andreas Pernpeintner
Süddeutsche Zeitung
Elegance and charm - BASF Matinee with Italian pianist Gabriele Carcano
"Sunday Piano matinees in BASF’S Gesellschaftshaus are always interesting. Young pianists take to the stage to perform a mélange of classical and contemporary repertoire, delighting audiences from Ludwigshafen and the surrounding areas.

As a salute to his Italian heritage, Gabriele Carcano opened with sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. What a wonderful idea. The Italian born Scarlatti is often described as the father of classical and romantic piano works. Gabriele Carcano’s playing, which combines elegance, control, charm and flexibility, casts a spell on his audience.

The young pianist then proceeded to play pieces by Luciano Berio, Schubert songs (arranged for piano by Franz Liszt) and concluded with Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze. It quickly became clear that this young man takes a meticulous approach to every piece he studies and is a far cry from replicating the keyboard style of the mid-18th century. Carcano plays as he thinks and dreams as he plays. His authenticity cannot be denied.

Carcano seems to particularly love Berio's 5 Variazioni. His playing was especially rousing and quite refined. Berio experimented with sharp contrast and Carcano played with great range of tone and a big sound. HIs inspired attacks to the keyboard and his sound felt like an excursion into exotic landscapes.

Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze can be rather demanding. Even the titles of the individual dances are odd: lively, swiftly, with humour, impatient, not too fast. Gabriele Carcano however, had no problem with any of this. Quite the opposite in fact – his version of the more dainty dances could be likened with a fairy waltz. For the dramatic dances, his skilled, strong hands were seen in action. Carcano bade us farewell with a piece by French composer, Erik Satie."

- Gerd Kowa



Rheinpfalz
The mind and the heart - Bordeaux, Festival Esprit du Piano
The twenty-four-year-old Italian pianist Gabriele Carcano is already a very skilled and convincing artist.
Beethoven is clearly one of his preferences: it's not just anyone who achieves such a lively approach and freedom in a sonata less often heard as the Opus 22. Between tension and lyricism, Carcano found the right balance with an impeccable sense of construction. Such ability was also shown in the "Pathétique" Sonata, in which the fast movements, played with ardor but never rushed, and the Adagio, with its simple approach, revealed a first rate stylist with a superb technique never imbued of itself.
One couldn't expect less than two stunning Schubert / Liszt's Lieder Transcriptions played with grace, then, and finally Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit" that rejected any exterior effects in favor of an original and poetic approach, as if it was coming out of a dream...

- Alain Cochard
concertclassic.com
Rome IUC - An astonishing sound, able to illuminate.
His young-looking face might seem more well-suited for another kind of repertoire, but appearances could not be more wrong. The young Gabriele Carcano is already a mature artist, able to face some of the most challenging Beethoven's pages. 
Returning to the IUC series a few months after his brilliant and vibrant debut at the end of last season, Carcano replaced pianist Till Fellner after a sudden cancellation and offered and entire Beethoven program.
The Sonata Op. 22 was stunning [...] The final Rondo was remarkable in its balance between form and a passionate mood: superb. There was only time for a quick loud clap and Carcano started the "Pathetique" Sonata. His approach was, from the first few bars, very personal but undoubtedly mature, the sign of a brave personality that doesn't fear facing one of the most well-known and loved of Beethoven's piano compositions.
[...]
The second half started with the Sonata Op. 54, Carcano faced it with an artistry that was perfectly revealing of his excellent technical and interpretative skills. 
Then the "Appassionata": here too, Carcano's rigorous approach to form was paired with excellent personal interpretation. It was highly vibrant from the first bars of the Allegro until the triumphant final Presto in which he showed an impressive legato, control and ability. It was like tightrope walker, a cascade of notes suspended on a wire.
If this was meant to be the confirmation of Carcano's talent after a sparkling debut, we can definitely say that this young pianist, "born already grown up", brilliantly succeeded.
Mr. Carcano offered a musical moment for which to be grateful, thanks to his mature interpretation, astonishing technique and, especially, his sound. A sound that really makes you wonder, that is a delight to listen to and that truly illuminates. A sound that - we're ready to bet on it - many will be soon able to recognise.

- Paolo Brama
dazebao.com
French May - Hong Kong
Mr. Carcano raised the curtain with an engrossing reading of three of Chopin’s Nocturnes. He was natively attuned to the poetic language of the composer by rendering with a milky and singing tone. The vaporous pianissimo in the B-flat minor Nocturne, cantabile melodies in the F major, and crystalline articulation in the E-flat major are all telling exemplifications of his innate poetic insight. I can imagine the refinement he possessed would have sounded more cogent in an intimate salon, a setting that Chopin himself preferred to perform. The following Nocturne by Fauré was also an absolute delight brimming with charm and imagination.


Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit gave room for the young Italian to demonstrate his nimble fingers. The dreamy sonority at the opening and elsewhere was delivered with utmost lightness and cleanness. Under his nimble fingers Mr. Carcano transformed every note into arching lines of a coloristic delineation. Throughout, the music was enshrined in a sense of delusion and myth that gave the audience ample space to imagine their own versions of the story.

- Danny Kim-Nam Hui
concertonet.com
Rome - The touch of a talent
Mr. Carcano enchants immediately with the maturity of his sound, his sparkling touch, and interpretative skills -- rare at such young age.
His ability in solving the complex Skrjabin pages was impressive, and the interpretation of the Sonata n. 9 op. 68 was truly sublime. The virtuoso passages were offered with freshness, the cantabile parts were played with passion and abandon. His youthful spirit is enriched by the craftiness of a mature pianist.
We find the same ability in the interpretation of the Liszt pages, especially in how the melodies were clarified through the dense writing, Carcano showing his artistry and control in the romantic language as well.
The style changed again with Debussy and Ravel, but not the quality of the playing. Here Carcano offered an explosion of colours, showing the ability of the great interpreters to move in different repertoires and showing qualities that one cannot just improvise.

- Paolo Brama
dazebao.com
Piano with personality - Lovere
If the music has colours then the young and talented Gabriele Carcano is surely able to understand them and make them live. In Debussy he was able to create the enchantment for the sound in itself.

- Adriano Frattini
Eco di Bergamo
Carcano, pianist of crystalline technique - Verona, Virtuosi Italiani Orchestra
Gabriele Carcano played Haydn D major Concerto Hob XVIII. 11. [...] Clean playing, crystalline and agile technique, extremely accurate phrasing, a lot of personality: these are some of the characteristics of the 24 year old pianist. He was able to fascinate the public from the first phrase until the final Rondo, which sounded sparkling and luminous despite the many traps hidden in the score.
L'Arena
With youth and sensitivity - Orchestra da camera Mantova
The 23 year old Gabriele Carcano was a sparkling, mature and flawless soloist with the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova. His performance was secure and luminous.

- Andrea Zaniboni
La Gazzetta di Mantova
Vicenza - Orchestra da camera di Mantova
The perfect harmony of the orchestra was even amplified when the piano of the 22 year old Gabriele Carcano joined. He was an exceptional soloist in Mozart Concerto K453, a brilliant performance with ease, incisiveness and grace.

- Eva Purelli
Il Giornale di Vicenza
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Radio

Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze op. 6
Berio: Cinque Variazioni
Liszt: Song Transcriptions
Debussy: Etudes
Bach: Partita for Keyboard no 4 in D major, BWV 828


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