Italian Pianist

Mariangela Vacatello did not win the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition. She was certainly never taught that the only way to make it to the show in the early 21st century is to play louder and faster than anyone else. She plays beautifully, musically, and with a patience rarely found in the very young. She plays as fast and as loud as is called for by the music, but more importantly, every note, every line, every phrase makes musical sense. She is a true musician, not just another of the acrobats being turned out by the thousands in the musical mega-factories of the Far East. In her playing one hears the great pianistic traditions melded with the freshness of an individual approach. One hears beautiful and varied tone production. One hears music.

Below you will hear her play Bach and Haydn, Chopin and Busoni, Ravel and Scriabin (Her performance of the left hand Nocturne is simply to die for), Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Gershwin. And you will hear excerpts from two big Russian concertos, Rachmaninov's 1st and Prokofievs' 3rd. She plays the music in a style and with a tone entirely appropriate to each composer while bringing her own very special understanding of what the music has to say.

Just sit back and enjoy the playing of a true artist of the piano who recalls to mind the great women pianists of recent and not so recent generations. And when you think of the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, think of the pianist who should have won, Mariangela Vacatello.

Bach Italian Concerto BWV 971
ii Andante


Bach-Liszt Prelude and Fugue in A minor
recorded live in 2012

Haydn Piano Sonata No. 60 in C Hob.XVI


Chopin rondo in E flat Major Op 16
Final Round Van Cliburn Competition 2009


The following group consists of bits and pieces of great works which contribute to the greater understanding and appreciation of Mariangela Vacatello's playing.

Liszt Piano in b minor (conclusion)
recorded live in 2010


Liszt Piano Concerto 1 in E flat Major, S.124 (selection)
unidentified conductor and orchestra

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 in b flat minor, Op 23
i Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
Alessandro Pinzauti conducting the Camerata Strumentale di Prato; Orchestra da camera Pistoiese
recorded live in 2012

Part I


Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 3 in C Major Op 26
iii Allegro ma non troppo
Final Round Van Cliburn Competition 2009

Liszt Parafrase on "Miserere" from Verdi's Il Trovatore
recorded live in 2012

Debussy "l'Isle Joyeuse"
recorded live 2011

Debussy Octave Study
recorded live 2011

Busoni Ten Variations on a Prelude by Chopin
Recorded in 2008

Scriabin Nocturne Op 9 No 2 for the left hand
Semi-Final Round Van Cliburn Competition 2009

Scriabin Piano Sonata 3

Part I

Part II

Rachmaninov Piano Sonata 2 in b flat minor, Op 36
i Allegro agitato
recorded live in 2012

Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit

Le Gibet



Stravinsky from Trois Movements de Petrouchka
Preliminary Round Van Cliburn Competition 2009

Gershwin "The Man I Love"
Recorded in 2008

Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue Op 87 No 15

recorded in 2008

recorded in 2011

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 3 in d minor Op 30
Piero Romano conducting the orchestra of the Teatro Politeama Greco, Lecce
recorded live in 2012

Salvatore Sciarrino Notturno Crudele n2 from "Due Notturni Crudeli"
recorded live in 2013

Kris Defoort Dedicatio VI to Keith Jarrett
recorded live in 2007

Joseph Jongen Etude de concert Op 65 n1
recorded live in 2007

Here is the ten year old Mariangela (1992) playing Schubert's Impromptu Op 90 n4.

and the twelve year old Mariangela (1994) playing from Chopin Etudes Op 10 n4 - 02:09 n5 - 03:49 n6 - 06:52 n7 - 08:18 n12 - 10:46 n1

Here is my new book, Murder in the House of the Muse, a murder mystery with a musical polemic

and the audiobook version

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