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Reviews of Rosa’s Carnegie Hall performance – October 15th, 2011

On October 15th at Carnegie Hall a star was born. Her name is Rosa Antonelli and that name will soon be flashing in lights at all the great concert halls all over the world. I have seen many “greats” at Carnegie Hall including the incomparible Horowitz and Rosa Antonelli is the closest I’ve seen to that master.

Rosa’s performance was riveting. The sound was rich and emotionally powerful. Ms. Antonelli’s artistry on stage was absolutely stunning; the musical poetry mesmerizing. The standing ovations were second to none and truly deserved.

– Joe Franklin, Legendary TV talk show host and current Bloomberg talk show host

Rosa Antonelli, an excellent Argentinean pianist, presented a recital of mostly Argentine and Spanish composers at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), a concert benefiting Action Against Hunger. Ms. Antonelli, according to the bio in the printed program, “is enjoying an active and varied career.” She has made extensive tours of Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin and North America. Hailed as a leading exponent of Latin American composers, performing works by such masters as Piazzolla, Ugarte, Gianneo, Guastavino–among others–to audiences all over the world.

The concert opened with Floro Ugarte (1884-1975): his Two Preludes from “Suite de Mi Terra” (Suite of My Land). …This suite consists of three parts: the first, in Animato tempo, captures the motion of weeping willow trees and their shadows, depicting a scene of melancholy contentment. The second part, in Lento Tempo, describes with dramatic intensity the approaching darkness as night begins to fall. …

Next came Four Tangos by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992): Rio Sena; Sentido Unico; Milonga del Angel; Chau, Paris. Piazzolla’s music has become increasingly ubiquitous and popular… (After intermission, two more Piazzolla Tangos, written in 1963, were heard. Ms. Antonelli’s performance at this concert was the World Premiere of the original piano version.)

Another Argentinean, Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000), followed the first four Piazzolla Tangos with Two Preludes: “El Patio” and “El Sauce from La Siesta.” … The description in “El Patio” evokes the memory of J. Aguirre and depicts the traditional Argentinean weeping trees with soft flowing leaves whispering in the wind. The first half of the program ended with two works by Enrique Granados (1867-1916): his Epilogo from “Escenas Romanticas” and Allegro de Concierto.
After intermission, we heard two early compositions by Isaac Albeniz (1860-1907): Granada from his “Suite Espanola”, Op. domain list 47; and “L’Automne Waltz”, Op. 170. Ms. Antonelli played all these compositions ‘con amore’. She is a dyed-in-the-wool Romantic Lyricist. Her always aurally beautiful and caressing pianism uses a lot of color via the sustaining pedal; she molds phrases with enormous flexibility, and there was never a hint of harsh, ugly or astringent glint to her lush singing tone. … Ms. Antonelli’s inward poetry forced me to rehear, and revalue, Piazzolla’s Tangos, which she infused with an eloquence and inner communication that, in truth, has sometimes eluded me.

Postludes to a memorably well-played evening, Ms. Antonelli’s flowing, songful rendition of the early Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op. Posth. was an ideally fitting encore.

-Harris Goldsmith for New York Concert Review; New York, NY
Regarded as a leading pianist of Spanish and Latin American music to audiences across the world, Argentinean Rosa Antonelli made her Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall debut on Saturday, October 15th. The program featured works by the Latin American and Argentinean masters Isaac Albeniz, Alberto Ginastera, Enrique Granados, Carlos Guastavino, Astor Piazzolla and Floro Ugarte, as well as the world premieres of Piazzolla’s two tangos – Our World (El Mundo de los Dos) and Imperial – of the piano version. Looking stunning in red, Ms. Antonelli is an interpreter of uncommon sensitivity and has a flare for the music. The Four Tangos by Astor Piazzolla and the two after intermission proved to be the highlights. Ms. Antonelli’s nimble fingers played the stark themes with emotional clarity, but she plays with such fluidity that the darker material was almost ominous. The slow movements, contrasted tonally, but were tinged with sadness. Ms. Antonelli vividly brings this imagery to mind even while skillfully negotiating some intricate passages.

Albeniz, Granada from his “Suite Espanola”, Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, and Op. Posth brought out Ms. Antonelli’s poetry as she caressed the keys like a lover whom we were peeking in on, voyeuristically. Her movements on the keys were only highlighted by her use of sustaining the pedal. Ms. Antonelli is a romantic ethereal creature and her choices in music left us wanting just a little bit of hell. Not speaking during the concert and playing few upbeat numbers made us wish for breaks in the soul searching music and more of the raw passion. Ms Antonelli’s music is sure to cure any stress problems and cure the beast within.

This concert also benefitted Action Against Hunger. On second thought, why ask for hell when heaven was here at Carnegie Hall?

-Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles