"Alberto Nones embarks on an almost impossible undertaking. Chopin's Mazurkas are the fruit of his most personal research, his intimate diary. The difficulty lies in rendering the rythmic and harmonic liberty of the dances, without overlooking their formal structure, which is perfect. Alberto Nones succeeds marvellously. The journey is thrilling, it allows us to enter into Chopin's workshop". Dino Villatico, ROBINSON, cultural weekly insert of LA REPUBBLICA (26/3/2017, p. 33)
"[...] The great Chopin interpreters are capable of making one hear, with their playing, not just Chopin's music, but Chopin himself... Nones's reading makes us understand that Chopin's Mazurkas embody a suffering that is softened. A revelation." Artistic judgement: EXCEPTIONAL. Andrea Bedetti, AUDIOPHILE SOUND 153 (p. 56, July-August 2016)
"[...] With an interpretation that makes justice to the dance aspects as well as the lightness which is present in these compositions, without ever becoming though superficial, and always displaying a high art of touch, a perfect balance between melody and accompaniment, finely chiseled ornamentations and perfectly crafted 'rubato', Nones is capable of rendering all the refinements of sound, rhythm and harmony [...] masterful". Prof. Dr. Monika Fink (University of Innsbruck)
" [...] a journey of intelligence towards the final grace in which the mind and the heart come together, rational and irrational are reunited to define the boundaries of beauty. Try to distinguish, in these mazurkas interpreted by Alberto Nones, where the intelligence of musical reading ends and where the emotion of discovering a new world begins. They are exactly the same thing." Dino Villatico, DIONYSOS41
"[...] .The pieces and performances here are very good, but make up an unusually short disc. It is the complete genre and stylistically varied, composed from 1835 to 1846. The Fazioli concert grand piano Nones plays was recorded at the Fazioli Concert Hall and is as good it gets these days. Nones also provides a lengthy and informative booklet essay. The playing here is well-shaped and less virtuosic than most. The opening Fantaisie-Impromptu flows nicely in the outer sections and the middle melodic section known to everyone gets a freer interpretation. The Fantaisie is a complex work that get a superb performance here.
The opening and recurring march section is mostly in dotted rhythms and Nones gives just the right snap without overdoing it. The second section, more lyrical with flowing triplets, is quite beautiful. Agitato brings straight eighth note thirds in the right hand against triplets in the left and more technically demanding writing for the piano. The central hymn-like Lento is a wonderful respite before the return of the other sections. Special note of the Adagio cadenza just before the final bars – a more beautifully shaped phrase could not be asked for. The Polonaise-Fantaisie was first referred to by Chopin as “Something I don’t know what to call.” Nones is more stately than declamatory in the opening and offers a less weighty and more dance-like interpretation that
works quite well. Here are the Fantaisies, all in one neat little, well-recorded package that makes you want more from this pianist. [...] FOUR STARS” James Harrington, FANFARE, 9 August 2022
"[...] Nones’ approach here is to somewhat strip away the virtuosic fireworks to reveal the precise detail that sometimes gets lost in more overtly showy performances. [...] there is much to be savoured in Nones’ refreshingly unfussy playing, revealing fresh insights into familiar works.” Nick Boston, CLASSICAL NOTES, 1 August 2022
"This new album by Convivium Records features pianist, professor, lecturer, music historian and philosopher Alberto Nones exploring the forms, emotions and intricacies of Fryderyk Chopin’s three very different, yet similarly named, ‘Fantasies’.
Nones opens the 30 minute recital with the ever-popular Fantasie-Impromptu op. 66, composed in 1835, and, as Nones notes in the album insert, originally titled simply ‘Impromptu’ by Chopin himself. The title here refers to the classical impromptu structure of A-B-A, simple enough to retain an air of the improvisational nature reinforced by the grace and fluidity of the piece, but with all the compositional forethought and mastery Chopin is known for. Nones plays the initial virtuosic section with admirable restraint and decorum, flowing seamlessly into the more relaxed, contemplative middle section, and returning to the Romantic extravaganza and final coda section to conclude.
The following piece, Fantasie op. 49 is significant in this trio as being the first piece specifically titled ‘Fantasie’ by Chopin, though not conforming as much to the virtuosic or improvisational guidelines that categorised a ‘Fantasie’ at the time. Indeed, what strikes the listener most after hearing the previous piece is Chopin’s deliberate and decisive movement away from the triadic A-B-A structure of the 'Fantasie Impromptu', and instead venturing into a freer structure exploring and combining different styles: from the opening march figure to the religious chorale inspired Lento sostenuto section. Nones conveys the new sense of exploration superbly, handling each section with equal measures of musical sensitivity and confidence that make for the sort of performance in which the listener can close their eyes and be truly immersed.
Finally for this CD, and finally for any piece titled ‘Fantasie’ by Chopin, is op. 61, Polonaise-Fantasie, composed between 1845-46. Intriguingly, in this instance the title ‘Fantasie’ appears to have been chosen due to the fact that Chopin simply didn’t know what else to call the piece, so uncategorisable was the form/structure. This is hinted at by a letter to his parents in which he described op. 61 as “Something I don’t know what to call”. Again blurring, or rather developing, elements of various compositional structures, Chopin takes the listener on a journey that explores the traditional Polish stately dance from which the piece takes the other half of its title, with a more complex and periodically idiomatic loose sonata form that gave him the freedom to express the sense of homelessness and estrangement among Polish citizens during the complicated political situation in Poland and Russia in the 19th century. Dynamic contrast and textural variety, particularly through pedalling and masterfully placed moments of silence, form key elements of this piece, and Nones executes Chopin’s intentions with clear respect, yet with feeling, subtlety, and the natural intonation that is the reason music is played by humans and not robots.
A highly virtuosic and deeply engaging performance, combining all the the melodic elegance, rhythmic complexities and emotional sympathies befitting of a great Chopin recital. Where this performance really stands out, and where the maturity and experience of an accomplished pianist shines through however, is the manner in which Nones remains in control at all times, never letting the colourful Romantic flourishes run away from him, and avoiding the excessive dramatisation and self-indulgent flamboyance that so often leads less experienced performers to burlesque the intentions of the composer. [...].” Corin Nelson-Smith, EXPRESSIVE AUDIO, 27 July 2022
"Italian pianist Alberto Nones plays Chopin’s three fantasies with good technique, a lot of cantabile and a rhythmic and dynamic mastery that serve as his support for a lively interpretation, revealing those characteristics that Chopin’s genius kept reinventing with each new composition. Even when the melody dominates, the accompaniment knows how to support it and give it relief. This technique is combined with a great deal of interpretative intelligence, so that the emotional expression is brought to immediate effect with spontaneity. In the difficult-to-interpret Polonaise-Fantaisie, one of the composer’s last works, Nones succeeds in allowing the complex music to become rhetorical in a very natural way.
The Fazioli grand sounds spacious and clear.”Remy Franck, PIZZICATO (Luxembourg), 12 July 2022
"Since antiquity, at least from the reflections by Plato, it has been realized that the fascination that music manages to release depends on its ability to give rise both to a logical aspect given by its construct, and an eminently emotional one, both generated in the listener [...] This premise is necessary in order to better understand the hermeneutic sense first and then the performing rationale that the Trentino pianist Alberto Nones presents in this CD of the English label Convivium Records. [...] the Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, op. 66 [...] obliges one to work on the rubato with the precision of a Cellinian graver, since only in this way one can fix, even within a few seconds, the florilegiium of images that overlap, like a photo album whose pages are turned with the frame speed of a film. In short, needed are balance and wisdom in knowing how to regulate the speed of this magmatic fluid that unfolds before our eyes / ears. All prerogatives that Alberto Nones brings to the surface impeccably [...]. with the next track [...] Fantaisie, i.e. op. 49, in our interpreter the idea is very clear of a "sobbing" continuity with which to give life to the three thematic blocks that constitute it [...] a dream that turns out to be made with open eyes, in full wakefulness, as if you were looking out on the balcony of life, which flows before our eyes, looking at something that appears real, even if the images that overlap seem to draw from the realm of unreality. [...] And the daydream continues and ends with the Polonaise-Fantaisie that Alberto Nones refuses, rightly in my view, to ride any vaporous cloud [...] without being, as others do, affected by a romantic wretching for its own sake, and creating instead an exploratory stage through which to experiment with sound, aggregate it, producing sound sets and subsets that contribute to forming the verticality of this piece (if I think of how, for example, Pollini performed it in the past, we are on two different galaxies, not just two different worlds, even if the starting point, for the Milanese and Trentino pianists, is the same). [...] ARTISTIC JUDGMENT: 5/5” Andrea Bedetti, MUSIC VOICE, 25 June 2022
"The recent album by pianist Alberto Nones makes us reconsider the concept of "Fantasy" in Chopin. And it does so by extracting from the catalog of the Polish composer those works that iconically carry this term in their title: Fantaisie-Impromptu Op.66, Fantaisie Op.49 and Polonaise-Fantaisie Op.61. Although Chopin falls, at least biographically, in the Romantic era – despite the fact that he is not a "romantic model" par excellence, regardless of the common view and the words most often used in relation to him – the question of the musical form has never constituted an accidental, secondary thing for him [...]. In Nones's CD, published by Convivium Records, it is interesting to note how the fantastic aspect of these three compositions – even if the whole arc of Chopin's works is permeated with "fantastic" aspects, after all – is lived and conducted with sobriety, with perceptible clarity of conduct of the musical discourse; perhaps with little "letting go" – and therefore a lesser feeling of the self-generation of the form – but with remarkable care of the sound, of the phrasing, and with meticulous respect for the score. This can tell us a lot about the essential meaning that the pianist attributes to the word "fantasy", undressed from predictable concessions to the most disparate mannerisms, and solely associated with what it meant, hypothetically but plausibly, to the composer.” Andrea Rocchi, LE SALON MUSICAL
"Nones, besides a pianist of rank, is also a philosopher, therefore accustomed to thinking and designing in an "organic" way, to use an adjective loved by the so-called engagées). Now, in the name of this "organicity", there is no doubt that the operation carried out by the Trentino artist takes on an exquisitely "intellectual" connotation. [...] instead of using the palette of the painter, Nones prefers to handle the camera, in the sense that the clear, circumstantial, "objective" sound given by the Förster, allows to vivisect the sound, highlighting the musculature, the interweaving of nerves, the arterial branches of these compositions (to better understand, borrow that pictorial masterpiece by Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp), transposing them (I am obviously referring to Rachmaninov) and inserting them forcefully into a more twentieth-century project. [...] Nones never forgets the redemptive action of reason, the action of a lucidity that allows us to bring sentiments to the surface, to perform the miracle of a reunion, at least at the level of sound, between object and subject [...]. as if to say that feeling cannot be fulfilled without the implementation of reason. Only in this way, the apparent banality of such music ceases to be such, since the Trentino pianist forces us to look down, among the glimpses of muscles and nerves, making us discover, to our great amazement, that life, and not the sheer memory of it, still flows in there. ARTISTIC JUDGMENT: 4,5/5". Andrea Bedetti, MUSIC VOICE, 25 June 2022)
"An ode to peace, through musical notes." Lucia Gentili, QUOTIDIANO NAZIONALE (June 7, 2022)
"The evocative cover, featuring the beautiful photograph by Unsal Koslu of the flight of two birds as a metaphor of freedom, can be symbolically considered the guiding theme of the new excellent recording by pianist Alberto Nones titled 'Rachmaninov -Preludes, Silvestrov – Kitsch-Musik' [...] this music goes straight to the heart, touching the deepest chords of our soul. Nones holds it all together, offering us clear, profound, thoughtful executions. The precision in the use of the pedal that Silvestrov himself indicates in the scores, is made "visible to the ear" in the performance of Nones, who skillfully manages to create those nuances that emerge from the overlapping of the harmonics of the notes due precisely to the peculiar use of the resonance pedal. Sound verticality in melodic linearity. In the same way, the expertise and technical control that emerge by listening to Rachmaninov's Preludes are truly noteworthy. [...] The beautiful recording presents the kind of sound that is sometimes clearer and harsher, sometimes more enveloping and comforting, always well-finished and beautiful. A truly remarkable work, that one could listen to again and again, whose download and streaming rights will be donated 100% by the author to the young Italian-Moroccan activist Nawal Soufi". Luciano Feliciani, KHATHODIK, 2 June 2022.
"Small but engaging, this book is different from any other publication on the Californian band because of the rigorous perspective of the author: Nones is not only a dedicated musician, but also a lecturer of political philosophy. Therefore, he provides a picture of the socio-cultural context which nourished the Doors, and takes on the theme of the ethical and aesthetical dimension of their art", Eugenio Tassitano on CLASSIC ROCK
"[...] art songs partly published, but doomed to marginality and oblivion, were it not for the Trentino pianist Alberto Nones, who has now opened that drawer, freeing remembrances and poetic fragrances worthy of being presented in this Da Vinci CD. An album that not only has the editorial merit of the rarities brought to light with clarity of recording: it also has the merit of having involved an important and generous voice like that of Nunzia Santodirocco [...] a trait of Cimara's lyrics seems to be this: the regenerating fineness that the piano moves into the voice. When it does not even come to exercising the function of a stylistic signature, as Nones appropriately points out in the essay accompanying the album, which is the result of passionate research and originates from a criterion that is not simply suggestive but aesthetic. This original anthology bears a title that is not just occasional - L'Infinito, from the song on the verses of Leopardi (a very bold idea, and we understand why, to put them to music) - in the two hundredth anniversary of Leopardi's symbol-poem: it is that suspended time, motionless in a languor of sweet shipwreck that Cimara's music seems to evoke with light hand in the small form [...] the bouquet is pleasant and the last pages of the collection are especially valuable: from "Le campane di Malines" to the liquid flow (yet again Nones's pianism stands out in sparkling evidence) of "Presso una fontana"." Gianni Gori, MUSICA 313, Feb. 2020, pp. 81-2
"After the Titanic endeavour of recording the entire body of Chopin's Mazurkas with lucid mindfulness, Alberto Nones, together with violinist Franco Mezzena, faces the equally difficult and problematic Sonatas by Brahms. His liberty at phrasing and variety of touch is all there, as is the elegance of the violin" Dino Villatico, ROBINSON, cultural weekly insert of LA REPUBBLICA
"a book with a fitting syntethical style. [...] Alberto Nones gives us a tale of Zandonai's life in a few essential steps, insisting with a thoroughness never seen elsewhere on the historical and political context that is its problematic background [...]. With sharp sensitivity Alberto Nones captures these various sensations, these sudden moves of the spirit", Diego Cescotti, from the PREFACE
"Following his Verdi success, Alberto Nones is back with a new biography – this time on the life and work of the Italian composer Riccardo Zandonai (1883-1944). In writing this new volume, titled Zandonai: Un musicista nel vento del Novecento (Zandonai: A Musician in the Crosswinds of the Twentieth Century), the author has taken his customary-yet-unique approach to biography and applied it to this composer as well", Phillip Nones, FLORENT SCHMITT, 23 April 2015
"In 2013, the bicentennial anniversary of Verdi’s birth, an important new work was published in Italy about Giuseppe Verdi. The book’s full title is Ascoltando Verdi: Scrigni di Musica, filosofia politica e vita (Listening to Verdi: Shrines of Music, Political Philosophy and Life), and its author is Alberto Nones. The book approaches the topic differently than the usual biographical and musicological volumes that are published about composers. Instead, the book reveals the composer and the man through the 26 operas that Verdi created over his lengthy career. The story behind each opera — incorporating the musical, artistic, philosophical, social and political aspects — is presented. In doing so, we come to know the persona of Verdi in a surprisingly different and revealing way. And since the trajectory of Verdi’s life paralleled the struggle for Italian unification and independence, the musical and the socio-political were inextricably combined. It makes for a highly interesting adventure", Phillip Nones, su FLORENT SCHMITT, 9 August 2014
"Stemming from a stimulating conference, this volume provides well-researched new contributions to performance studies. It will be especially valuable to researchers of J.S. Bach's reception history and of new compositions and their performances. Importantly, the book fills a significant gap in our Anglo-centric world of knowledge as it largely focuses on events and artistic creativity in Italy and South America (esp. Colombia). Added value is the audio material that illuminates the discussions."
Professor Dorottya Fabian (The University of New South Wales, Sydney)
"In this volume, the reader will find a rich diversity of scholarship all somehow linked to J. S. Bach and musical tradition. From Michael Maul's fascinating consideration of the text-painting craftsmanship in Bach's cantatas, to Alberto Nones's spell-binding discussion of the marriage of harmony and text in different settings of Leopardi's magical L'Infinito, we arrive full-circle with the demonstrated influence of Bach in Marco Alunno's challenging and exciting recently composed piano études."
Dr. Ann DuHamel (University of Minnesota, Morris)
"I warmly endorse any book that deals with music of any kind, especially the present one. With great interest I enjoyed the variety of articles contained therein. The world’s new reality caused by the coronavirus pandemic is highlighting over and over that music has the power to uplift and console, not to mention to heal. The publication’s CD illustrates in sound how many genres thrive during these troublesome times. Music is an essential part of our souls and thus also of the fabric of human society."
Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris (The University of the Arts, Helsinki)
"[...] in addition to bringing to light a protagonist of the musical Baroque, Francesco Antonio Bonporti, composer of great interest, and besides enticing to listen his refined work, Nones's book, despite its brevity, also has the advantage of stimulating reflections and parallels that are at times truly surprising. They are made possible by the "impossible dialogue" form chosen by the author, and by his sharpness. Nones indeed is able to touch with "Bonportian" levity issues of paramount importance and gravity, which I cannot fully detail here (I mean, for example, the debate between philological and modern interpretation). I leave it to the reader to discover such - and possibly imagine other - possible triangulations."
Dr. Filippo Focosi, DE MUSICA, 2020 - XXIV (2), pp. 164-168)
Review of a concert. Castiglione del Lago, August 24, 2021:
"a charming pianist from Trentino entered the platform who, in his features, enclosed the image of a young Cimbrian prince and an aristocrat of the Hohenstaufen house. Alberto Nones, pianist graduated in philosophy in Bologna, master in London, PhD at the University of Trento is undoubtedly a character of singular caliber. When he sat at the Petrov of the ducal palace, a very impervious instrument, he immediately showed that he knew how to tame the difficult keyboard. Having arranged the timbre perspective, the young trentino master allowed us into his particular vision of Chopin's repertoire, an elegant and formally impeccable game of Mazurkas of op. 30 and Op. 50 and Fantasies, in particular of the Polonaise-fantasia, a small ethical path in Chopin's aesthetics. With transparent clarity Nones has traveled across the quivers of the Polish national dance, drawing historical resonances and deep cultural presences. But above all what emerged was a sense of elegance that probably the musician inherited from some of his masters, Ciccolini in particular and Franco Scala, recognized creator of talents. Those who, following Nones's reading, agreed to be dragged into the often enigmatic vortex of Chopin's music could perhaps make themselves aware of an arcane phrase by a famous novel by Pavese: "the forest was dancing Chopin", emblematic of a dramatic tension that always emerges when an intelligent pianist reads the music of the great Polish beyond his parlor's lacquer. Nones has recently completed his recording of Chopin's Mazurkas, a monumental diary of emotions and memories with which the Polish master has been able to recount his life. But the complete dances in their complexity are a Borges puzzle, a tiny aleph from which the complexity stems of a whole world. When we will hear this discographic undertaking by Nones, we might be enriched."