Piano Recital


Wednesday 6 November 1 pm

On 6th November 2019, it was with enormous pleasure that we welcomed Danilo Mascetti to Brentwood Cathedral. Danilo is a Carne Trust Junior Fellow at the Royal College of Music, London and his piano performing experience is already impressive. Please read his full biography details at the end of this review.

If we were expecting a gentle introduction to this lunchtime recital, Danilo’s opening words and programme notes gave us an indication otherwise, preparing us for the initial dazzling chords of his first piece, ‘Oiseau de feu – Danse Infernale, Berceuse et Finale’ by the Late-Romantic Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971).

Arranged for piano from the original orchestral score for the ‘Firebird’, all the flamboyance of this ballet suite was conveyed across the keyboard, testing the pianist’s technical and ‘orchestral’ powers throughout the work.  After the dynamic ‘Danse Infernale’, the sweet and haunting melodies of the ‘Berceuse’ engaged us with Danilo’s sensitive playing, leading to an energetic ‘Finale’ and in no doubt that the piano transcription was in excellent hands!  

The next piece was by Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) and movements from ‘Six Pieces on a single theme’, completed in 1873 and performed ten years later in St. Petersburg.  Today we heard two extracts from this work: ‘Marche Funebre’ (No. 4) and ‘Scherzo’ (final movement), in which Danilo clearly enjoyed delivering the contrasting emotions and technical dexterity required, and again interacting closely with his audience.

We then left the Russian sentiments for French Impressionism, with ‘Oiseaux Tristes and Aldorada del Gracioso from Miroirs’ by Maurice Ravel (1875-1934), perhaps unfamiliar to many listeners, but enlightening us in this French genre and complementing the Cathedral’s acoustics in musical light and shade.  From a five-movement suite, it was composed between 1904 and 1905 and is typical of Ravel’s middle-period reflectiveness and his influence on other French composers, such as Debussy. Danilo’s interpretation was beautifully sensual, perfectly prepared and truly uplifting.

Danilo concluded his recital with a vibrant and colourful performance of ‘Chorale et Variations op. 1’ by Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013), who followed in the tradition of Ravel, Debussy and Messiaen. As well as receiving several major composition awards, Dutilleux was Head of Music Productions for Radio France for eighteen years! This work entertained us with dynamic statements, jazz features and many contemplative moments, before a fast and furious arrival at an exhilarating climax.

In addition to the programme, Danilo charmed the audience with a taste of Baroque music from Cimarosa’s Oboe Concerto – Italian music is clearly close to his heart. After further applause, Nina How congratulated Danilo on his superb recital and we were all given the opportunity to thank him personally afterwards. Performers often have a favourite piece from their programme, but Danilo said that all good music is his favourite!  

On behalf of our Director of Music, Andrew Wright, we would like to thank Danilo Mascetti for his exquisite and inspiring playing and for sharing with us his love of Russian and French piano music. We wish him well with his studies and hope he will return to Brentwood Cathedral again soon.

Julia Bentham


Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Oiseau de feu – Danse Infernale, Berceuse et Finale
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Marche Funèbre and Scherzo from Op.21
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Oiseaux Tristes and Alborada del Gracioso from Miroirs
Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) Chorale et Variations Op. 1

Danilo Mascetti is the Carne Trust Junior Fellow At the Royal College of Music of London.  He regularly performs as soloist all over Europe, with orchestras such as Pomeriggi Musicali, Thessaloniki State Orchestra, Symphonic State Orchestra of Craiova.  From 2014 he performed in China and Japan, deputed in London, Prague, Rome. USA and North Africa, with orchestras such as the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, the Nova Amadeus Orchestra, the NYCA Symphony Orchestra.  During this last season he performs in Russia, Romania. Czech Republic, Italy and England, and will tour for the first time in India; he gained international reputation becoming laureate of competitions as “Princesse Lalla Meryem” in Rabat, “Gyorgios Thymis” in Greece, “Chopin” in Rome, “Pianotalents”, “E. Pozzoli” in Seregno, “F. Liszt” in Grottamare.   

Refreshments were served in the SONG SCHOOL afterwards

Admission is free, but there will be a retiring collection to help to fund these recitals. If you are able to use Gift Aid this will increase the value of your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you

Photos – Graham Hillman

<—2019 Recitals

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