Going inside a sonata through Liszt, who upset its form, moving through Scriabin, who transformed it and so arriving to Berg who destroyed it. This implies that the listener definitively leaves the warmth of the already known structure, represented by other famous examples of sonatas, to climb a more steep and complex trail that returns step surprise and intensity at every step.
Beginning with Liszt and closing with Berg is a musical and existential path, an eternal research for renewal and a rebellion against the “paternal” rules of the history of music although it seems to formerly respect their principal teachings.
So the first step is Liszt, with his sonata in B flat, just the one with which the composer decided to upset the principle of the sonata form, conscious of the fact that in the year of its composition it was already outdated. He condensed the aspect of exposition, development and resuming in a single movement that treats the instrument as a continuously expanding symphonic orchestra. […] (Translation by Fabiana Binarelli)
Alban Berg: ( b Vienna, 9 Feb 1885; d Vienna, 24 Dec 1935). Austrian composer. Along with his teacher Arnold Schoenberg and fellow pupil Anton Webern in the years before and immediately after World War I, he moved away from tonality to write free atonal and then 12-note music. At once a modernist and a Romantic, a formalist and a sensualist, he produced one of the richest bodies of music in the 20th century, and in opera, especially, he had few equals.
Alexander Scriabin: (b Moscow, 25 Dec 1871/6 Jan 1872; d Moscow, 14/27 April 1915). Russian composer and pianist. One of the most extraordinary figures musical culture has ever witnessed, Skryabin has remained for a century a figure of cultish idolatry, reactionary yet modernist disapproval, analytical fascination and, finally, aesthetic re-evaluation and renewal. The transformation of his musical language from one that was affirmatively Romantic to one that was highly singular in its thematism and gesture and had transcended usual tonality – but was not atonal – could perhaps have occurred only in Russia where Western harmonic mores, although respected in most circles, were less fully entrenched than in Europe. While his major orchestral works have fallen out of and subsequently into vogue, his piano compositions inspired the greatest of Russian pianists to give their most noteworthy performances. Skryabin himself was an exceptionally gifted pianist, but as an adult he performed only his own works in public. The cycle of ten sonatas is arguably of the most consistent high quality since that of Beethoven and acquired growing numbers of champions throughout the 20th century.
Franz Liszt: (b Raiding, (Doborján), 22 Oct 1811; d Bayreuth, 31 July 1886). Hungarian composer, pianist and teacher. He was one of the leaders of the Romantic movement in music. In his compositions he developed new methods, both imaginative and technical, which left their mark upon his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and procedures; he also evolved the method of ‘transformation of themes’ as part of his revolution in form, made radical experiments in harmony and invented the symphonic poem for orchestra. As the greatest piano virtuoso of his time, he used his sensational technique and captivating concert personality not only for personal effect but to spread, through his transcriptions, knowledge of other composers’ music. As a conductor and teacher, especially at Weimar, he made himself the most influential figure of the New German School dedicated to progress in music. His unremitting championship of Wagner and Berlioz helped these composers achieve a wider European fame. Equally important was his unrivalled commitment to preserving and promoting the best of the past, including Bach, Handel, Schubert, Weber and above all Beethoven; his performances of such works as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Hammerklavier Sonata created new audiences for music hitherto regarded as incomprehensible. The seeming contradictions in his personal life – a strong religious impulse mingled with a love of worldly sensation – were resolved by him with difficulty. Yet the vast amount of new biographical information makes the unthinking view of him as ‘half gypsy, half priest’ impossible to sustain. He contained in his character more of the ideals and aspirations of the 19th century than any other major musician.
Profile from The New Grove dictionary of Music and Musicians
Motterle, Massimiliano (Pianist) formed under the guidance of Sergio Marengoni and graduated at Milan Conservatoire “Giuseppe Verdi” summa cum laude and with special mention, then completed his artistic formation with internationally renowned teachers and pianists such as Franco Scala, Lazar Berman, Paul Badura-Skoda e Alexis Weissenberg.
He won 21 National and International Competitions, including the International Competition in Parma where he was also received the Jury’s Special Award for the best performance of the Liszt sonata. He was a finalist in the Valencia Josè Iturbi Competition, won 3rd Prize (no 1st price was awarded) in the prestigious Franz Liszt Competition in Buda-pest and in the International Competition in Cincinnati-Ohio.
In 1994 he debuted at Sala Verdi in Milan performing Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto with the Milan RAI Orchestra directed by Daniele Callegari and, in the same prestigious Sala, he was chosen to play the piano belonging to Vladimir Horowitz.
In 2004 he performed Liszt’s 12 Transcendent Studies for the Concert Society, he was also invited to perform both Liszt’s Malediction at the Great Concert Hall in Budapest with the Liszt Chamber Orchestra and Totentanz with the Hungarian Matav Symphony Orchestra in the prestigious Liszt Academy Hall.
He held concerts all over the world: in Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Taiwan, Oman and the United States, performing with prestigious international orchestras such as the Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Hungarian Matav Symphony Orchestra, the Valencia Orchestra, the RAI Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under important conductors such as Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli, Piercarlo Orizio, Andras Ligeti, Riccardo Frizza, Jonathan Webb and Neil Gittleman.
He actively collaborated with various artists such as Andreas Brantelid, Karin Dornbusch, Elisa Citterio, the Scala String Quartet and, since 2007, he has been collaborating with violinist Fulvio Luciani with whom he recorded for Naxos and performed Beethoven’s piano and violin integral sonatas for the international TV channel Classica HD.
He held various seminars and masterclasses in Italy, in Taiwan and in the U.S.
He currently teaches piano at the Conservatory “G.Donizetti” in Bergamo and is the Artistic Director of GIA, the historical music association of Brescia, and of festivals such as “Onde Musicali” and “Iseo Classica”.