Albertina Dalla Chiara’s musical art on the piano by Quirino Principe
Travelling, wandering, hurried stops hopping from one town to the other make you inattentive, prevent a seamless flow of thought and reduce concentration, divert your attention from primary objects. However, what is bound to attract naturally your attention will, sooner or later, but rather later than sooner, leap out at you. This does not stop us, in any case, from looking back at the time that has been wasted.
A few years ago I met a Veronese pianist, Albertina Dalla Chiara, and I gradually learned to appreciate her interpretational art, or rather to admire and, above all, to listen to her and experience her through the emotions this musician can generate as well as through the meanings that are conveyed through those emotions. What’s the nature of these meanings? As a matter of principle, I use two individuation criteria; the prevalence, in the performance, of intellectual abstraction (which analyses, decodes and reconstructs the linguistic system of the musical work as if it "transliterated" it, for instance, from an ideogram to an alphabetic writing) or the primacy of a sensory intelligence based on the use of senses and of body motions as organs of intelligence and of gauging reality; secondly, the drive to come to terms with a piano piece from the outside (in the mould of Benedetti-Michelangeli, Pollini or Serkin, who are typical cases, by the way, of mainly intellectualist reading) or from the inside, in the style of Gould, Rubinstein or Firkusny, who, in their turn, are themselves model examples of a brilliantly sensory performance.
Albertina Dalla Chiara is an ultra-sensitive and introverted pianist who, precisely because of her way of entering the musical text in a complete surrender, as suggested by the predominance of intelligent senses and with all the concentration generated by her interiority which, at the outset, compresses and condenses her single concept of the composition to be performed. She finds the proper energy to develop a perfectly shaped eloquence which, on the one hand, expresses itself in the accuracy of the weight, of the phrasing and of the mechanics that is sublimated into an ars poetica, and, on the other, is freed from any intellectualistic conditioning and from any mediation. A greatly refined and learned pianist whose excessive culture could even become a burden for her if she didn’t manage, thanks to her overwhelming sensitive intelligence, to make the screen that is created by her background introversion transparent, not as a defence but rather as a background in order to read, reflect back as if it were projecting, the meanings of music. It is for precisely this reason, that her piano repertoire, by nature symbolistic and impressionistic, is especially congenial to her as it poses a challenge to create sound clarity and refinement which she always manages to overcome.
MITO SettembreMusica 2010, Guido Salvetti
At the concert in Milan, Chopin was illustrated in all his depth: where melody is one with harmonic and formal paths that always prove to be at the same time technically brilliant and amazing. The selection from the Scherzos, the Ballades and the Mazurkas, was, in fact, well chosen, and the pianist never fell into the trap of showing off her bravura as in a type of easy sentimentalism. An impeccable style and a perfect touch on the keyboard have become such a rare thing these days when pianists succumb so often to the temptation to push themselves into the foreground. Albertina Dalla Chiara, who possesses both these gifts at the highest level, seemed to be completely focused on the reasons for the music; and these musical texts, we thought we had known so well and for so long, were shown to us in a completely new light.
From a letter from Franco Agostini
Her interpretative approach is so immediate and involving as well as characterised by disarming innocence. Her sense of form is extremely rigorous and her logic and coherence seem to be absolute. A thin melancholic vein – almost an undefined Sehnsucht – permeates her performances, as if to make an inner, distant and vague emotional Erlebnis survive… This is probably the reason why in ‘Des Abends’, in the ‘Der Dichter spricht’ as well as in the central ‘Christmas Kalenda of the Scherzo in B minor, she definitely reached an apex of moving truth.