Angelic Fingers at Nha Hat Lon

Angelic Fingers at Nha Hat Lon

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Wow the Italians have done it again! Not content with a night of fabulous dance last month they throw a scintillating pianist at us… and all for free.

Watching Gabriele Carcano play at the Opera House on Tuesday night was a fascinating experience. J S Bach’s Prelude and Fugue trilled off so easily that it looked like child’s play and sounded heavenly. Then came Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ and it was like watching a tight rope walker high above. The pianist’s concentration was intense as he stared ahead, his fingers alternately caressing and flying over the keys. And nary a falter in this absorbing and passionate recital.

Liszt, said by his contemporaries to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time, would certainly have approved of Carcano’s playing of ‘La Lugubre Gondola’, a composition by Liszt in honor of his son in law, Richard Wagner’s death in Venice. Then he would have been more than happy with the playing of Ballata, Liszt’s transcription from Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.

Liszt’s ‘Sposalizio’, inspired by his viewing of Raphael’s ‘Marriage of the Virgin’ was interpreted splendidly and then to finish off with Liszt’s paraphrase of Verdi’s famous quartette from act 3 of Rigoletto was, again, heavenly and it is no wonder that Carcano has such an angelic first name.

A couple of lovely encores followed a bravura recital.

Thanks again you wonderful Italians.

Footnote: when oh when is the Opera House management going to stop those demented video cameramen clambering all over the stage during sensitive recitals? One day soon a performer is going to stop in the middle of a performance and yell, ‘Di, di!’ and the audience will clap in approval and agreement.

Not a reviewer, not a critic, “Kiếm Văn Tìm” is an interested, impartial and informed observer and connoisseur of the Hanoi art scene who offers highly opinionated remarks and is part of the long and venerable tradition of anonymous correspondents. Please add your thoughts in the comment field below.


  1. Interesting review :D I truly enjoyed the concert too. Do you by any chance know what the encores are called ?

  2. Dear KVT,
    This review is not quite up to par with the others you have done over the past few weeks. Even so I understand the trouble writing this review when words simply can not describe how beautiful the whole concert was.

    Sitting in A seats, I was blown away by the sounds came off the piano, and blinded by the shiny shoes Gabriele was wearing. Opera House really should shine the piano to match with his shoes prior to the concert.

    I was annoyed by the camera men as well. At the start of the concert, they were talking way too loud in the hallways, made me turn my head from such heavenly music. And then they gone all over the stage. And I was like : WOW!

    I really wish to know the encore as well. My friend said he saved the best for last.

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