Marino Formenti - Reviews


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“A compelling pianist and an increasingly active conductor, Mr. Formenti has gained attention for programs that boldly juxtapose music of different styles and eras.“   - Liszt Inspections at Lincoln Center‘s Kaplan Penthouse, THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 6, 2014

"The performance began with defiance, as Formenti wildly attacked Diabelli's waltz even before completely sitting down on the piano bench. He embodied old Ludwig laughing like crazy -- funny, exaggerated, full of irrepressible spirit. From there, ideas gleefully and preternaturally leapt left and right as the variations became the dances of neurons firing."   - Philharmonic Society of Orange County concert review, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, January 9, 2012

"A 'philosophical pugilist,' said my friend about pianist Marino Formenti, whose dazzling reading of Ligeti's Piano Concerto was the highlight the opening of the New York Philharmonic's Hungarian Echoes at Avery Fisher Hall."   - Ligeti Piano Cto, NYPhil w/Esa-Pekka Salonen, Seen and Heard International, March 12, 2011

"The Italian-born pianist Marino Formenti, making his Philharmonic debut, was an impressive replacement, capturing the color and character of the music in his brilliant performance, complemented by Mr. Salonen and the Philharmonic."   - Ligeti Piano Cto, NYPhil w/Esa-Pekka Salonen, The New York Times, March 11, 2011

"Surely the most original and brilliantly executed solo recital any of us are likely to see this year."   - Kurtag‘s Ghosts program, Wigmore Hall, Ivan Hewett for The Telegraph, February 10, 2011

"Marino Formenti dazzles, delights, and confounds with his disc "Kurtag's Ghosts"...what a feast to open-minded ears!"   - CD, Kurtag‘s Ghosts, Kairos, Ionarts Best Recordings of 2009, December 14, 2009

"Lou's Piano Concerto, out of which Marino and Gustavo whaled the daylights at Disney Hall last week, is strange, wonderful, spellbinding and gorgeous...Formenti heads now for San Francisco, to play Messaien's vast devotional exercise Vingt Régards. Lucky San Francisco."   - Harrison Piano Concerto, Gustavo Dudamel, LA Phil, Alan Rich on So I‘ve Heard, December 6, 2009

"Formenti offered the requisite dexterity and raw muscle for this wide-ranging work, but was most persuasive in its more intimate moments, whether in Bach-like precision or almost Brahmsian lyricism... Pianist and conductor lent it utmost commitment, but it was Formenti who had to do the heavy lifting, including plunging his right forearm onto the keyboard and loudly stamping his foot in the second-movement "Stampede."  - Harrison Piano Concerto, Gustavo Dudamel, LA Philharmonic, MusicalAmerica.com, November 30, 2009

"But Saturday magic arrived when the expansive Asian-Californian fusion opening tune found its sweep...the wondrous slow movement took my breath away. Formenti suspended chords in the air like bells in the clouds of lush string sonorities."   - Harrison Piano Concerto, Gustavo Dudamel, LA Philharmonic, Mark Swed for the LA Times, November 29, 2009

"Marino Formenti links the seventy short pieces together to form a logical and coherent single work. The result is a resounding success in every way. Kurtág's pianistic miniatures shine even more brightly when juxtaposed with the works that inspired them. Formenti's pianistic technique is formidable, the engineers of ORF Vienna have captured some of the best piano sound I have heard for a longtime, and the beautifully presented full price CDs are accompanied by an illuminating interview with the pianist. It is such an outstanding release I will even forgive the unattractive ECM-style cover."  - CD, Kurtag‘s Ghosts, Kairos, On An Overgrown Path, May 25, 2009

"Marino Formenti, the Italian keyboard phenom, was on hand as pianist and conductor, and he was entirely in his element. That Formenti makes everything he touches, whether new music or old, seem astonishing is well known in Los Angeles, and the hall was full."   - "For Galina Ustvolskaya" at Monday Evening Concerts, Mark Swed for the Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2009

"With astonishing technical command of the instrument, he coaxed out sounds of surpassing beauty in the many quiet moments, able to sustain successions of soft chords in 'Le baiser de l'Enfant-Jesus' and 'Regard de silence' with such delicacy, tenderness and grace that a listener could not help but float along with it effortlessly...This was simply glorious music making."   - Messiaen‘s "Vingt regards", The Aspen Times, August 9, 2008

""Marino Formenti was the exhilarating, superhuman piano soloist. The performance was, in every respect, fabulous."   - Messiaen w/Esa-Pekka Salonen and LA Philharmonic, January 17, 2008

"What James Joyce did for the novel, Formenti seems intent on doing for the piano recital. The results were unforgettable...He is a unique artist, whose presentations should not be missed."   - Joshua Kosman on Kurtag‘s Ghosts, San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2007