Paolo Restani’ s extraordinary piano.


Restani is a true piano genius and a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. The audience was awestruck by his performance.


Restani enchants Carnegie Hall.


Restani enchants New York.
… Rachmaninoff and Chopin, a standing ovation was already given at the end of the first half. An emotion that was repeatedly experienced throughout the entire  programme  with as many as five encores. At Carnegie Hall Restani touched the audience’s hearts with the intensity of his performance and by putting his heart into every single note.


Paolo Restani makes his New York debut. Riccardo Muti’s favourite  brings Italian excellence to Carnegie Hall.


During his third recital in Istanbul, Paolo Restani exhibited a charismatic and formidable stage presence and a really aristocratic stance, his elegant performing style is reminiscent of a certain type of piano performing style belonging to bygone times.
His interpretation of Brahms is calm and contemplative, dreamy even. What is particularly striking is his ability to evoke Schumann through Brahms, an ideal consequentiality of the fervent German Romantic period. The meticulousness, the vibrancy and the brightness with which Restani approaches and interprets Brahms are representative of his extremely high calibre. As the repertoire takes shape, the pianist keeps everything under control without the slightest hesitation. He avoids any extreme dynamic  in a cohesive whole that is truly Brahmsian: just like Brahms himself had envisaged.


In the recital, Liszt is portrayed in his many artistic paths. A complex character whose depth of musical research, which here can be experienced first hand, is hidden under the guise of technicality and virtuosity. Especially when, for the purpose of defining complexity, a version of the Transcendental Études is performed by one of the greatest contemporary pianists, Paolo Restani, who seems to have moved beyond all the virtuoso tricks in order to bring to light every melodic and harmonic detail of Liszt’s masterpiece.


At La Scala, Restani performed Brahms’Quintet op. 34  with the Scaligero Quartet, giving then a taste of his brilliance as a soloist in Liszt’s Rhapsodie Espagnole, folies de Espagna et jota aragonesa.


As soon as they start performing, Restani and the La Scala String Quartet light up with a thousand colours. The five musicians deliver a really bright, well orchestrated and artistically charged interpretation of Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor: a flawless performance developed around a core idea that is clearly presented and totally defensible. Perfect balance, precision, spot on equilibrium and an overall sonority that is very charming.


Restani exhibited a remarkable depth as a chamber music pianist, both in the sound quality and in the unexceptionable caution with the pedal, in the balance with the bows and in the overall rhythmic brilliance, throughout a programme that included the ultimate pieces as far as string quartet and piano are concerned, Cesar Franck’s Quintet in F minor and Brahms’ Quintet op. 34.


The impeccable  mastery of the keyboard possesses an exquisite significance. This is enhanced not so much by the variety of the scales, but rather by the spontaneity and the incisiveness of his spectacular technique, with contrasts between lightness and roughness.


In his Istanbul debut Restani accomplished the deepest and most powerful sonorities evoking Liszt’s vivid greatness and highly sensitive melancholy. We encountered the real Liszt on the stage.


In the transposition of melodies from Parsifal, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde  as well as from Mozart’s Requiem  and from Trovatore,  it  was impossibile not to hear Liszt’s very own voice and, along with it, the sound of a piano competing with itself, where the technique was intended to evoke something beyond, and where virtuosity fell outside the mere display of skill.


In Berlioz’s Lèlio, conducted by Riccardo Muti, emphasis should be given to the art of Paolo Restani’s piano and to his ability to create with it iridescent atmospheres, made up of some never–before-heard orchestral colours.


Whoever thought they would  get a taste of Restani as the romantic artist we all know  was disappointed. But his Mozart and his Mozart-Liszt were a subtle combination of sounds and harmonies that touched your heart and cleansed your soul. This feeling could definitely be experienced, in a seesaw pattern where Chiara Muti was the narrator of the life of this great composer.
Restani, a meticulous performer, gifted us with a clarity that highlights his inner wealth as well as the sensitivity that shaped his artistic path.


Paolo Restani, if we may use this expression, made love with the piano, or with the scores… and with a gentle and rich sound, powerful and soft at the same time, the piano keys, from lowest to highest, were touched, felt, caressed or tapped… even scrambled, unleashing tonalities, colours and subject matters that evoked boundless and dark worlds, romantic landscapes and expanses of woodland. The theme of the concert was undoubtedly a contributing factor: Liszt’s virtuosity: the Transcendental Études … However, there was something about his performance that separated the performer from the genius, the executant from the creator, like telling a friend from a lover. These were the feelings that were experienced by the audience. Along with an astounding technical mastery and a profound and distinct ability to philologically interpret Liszt’s virtuosity.


Equipped with an exceptional virtuosity as well as with an extraordinarily fine sound technique, Restani’s interpretation of Liszt and  Rachmaninoff achieved results with a historical value at the highest possible degree. While hearing the incredible performance of Rachmaninoff’s 12 Preludes one can recognize the pianistic talent of young Rachmaninoff.


What strikes the most alert listener during Restani’s performances is not the tremendous  technique – which is beyond dispute – but rather the steady and prolific focus on the soul of the  pages that are being played; his digging deep into the most hidden meanings in order to convey them with genuine participation. It is precisely the utter control over the technical issue that allows Restani to confidently get to the core of the interpretative issue, without any concern whatsoever. Hence a number of  exceedingly incisive performances, which clearly grips the audience… Upon repeated requests for an encore, Restani granted the audience an unscheduled performance of the Transcendental Étude known as Mazeppa, a performance that turned out to be enthralling to say the least.


Paolo Restani enthusiastically praised at the Teatro Olimpico in Rome. His clarity and confidence in handling the keyboard echo back to the greatest names of the Italian pianistic tradition.


The orchestra accompanied an outstanding pianist, Paolo Restani, whose every performance is a star attraction, drawing in an audience of 1,800 people, thus reaching the seating capacity of the hall… In Saint-Saëns’ Concerto no. 2  the subject matter is refined and sophisticated, showing a pianist with a strengthened tactile confidence in his gentle or strong touches… There is a seamless connection between his piano in the foreground of the stage and the orchestra.


We saw Paolo Restani, who has been at the forefront for many years with increasingly challenging programmes, when he made his debut, at just sixteen years old, in the early eighties. He had been invited by Francesco Siciliani on the occasion of the chamber season of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. After that debut, Restani continued his musical training, exploring in depth composition and providing each time challenging programmes, where the technical quality is accompanied by an ever- increasing inwardness.


Restani performed Tchaikovsky’s Concerto no. 1 op. 23  in a brilliant way that highlights his great pianism. He unfolded his virtuosity, when necessary and, in the other passages, he performed in concertante style. This is undoubtedly the best interpretation, breaking away from the general tendency in which a piece is embellished, with the result that its exquisite peculiarities become flat. The great technical skill in the intricate arpeggios and the enlightening use of the pedal were other distinctive features of his impressive performance.


Paolo Restani, who is undeniably a sophisticated artist, performed different Études and Preludes by  Rachmaninoff and Chopin with a harmonious weaving, a substantial tension and a particularly charming phrasing within an engaging twist of dynamic, rhythmic and expressive elements of great scope.


Pianist Paolo Restani  was a tangible proof of perfection and elegance in his interpretation of  Rachmaninoff’s Preludes, the well-known Étude op. 25 no. 7  by Chopin – a tribute to the cantabile style of Bellini, who was greatly admired by the Polish composer – and four studies from Liszt’s Études d’Exécution Transcendante, presented in a controlled manner, graceful and remarkably pleasant, thanks to his ability to look beyond Liszt’s ostentatious virtuosity, praising instead his revolutionary ideas and the musical finesse.


The Berliner Symphoniker  play alongside a soloist who immediately struck us when we first saw him, and whom we have been following ever since. That’s pianist Paolo Restani. A thirty-six-year-old artist driven by the desire to enter the league of those who have something relevant to say. We met him at the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna. A soloist at the Ravenna Festival in 2004. He was surrounded by the Filarmonica della Scala. Riccardo Muti was on the podium. An exceptional  former pupil of the maestro (Vincenzo Vitale) who succeeded in giving an imprint, even an ideal one, to a teenager Restani. On that occasion, we were impressed by the perfect, almost spontaneous, harmony between conductor and pianist. The expertness of the soloist and his ability to grasp the emotional and psychological nuances. This is particularly evident in Liszt’s Concerto no.2, which celebrates the twofold nature of human beings, alternating almost undetectable low keys and exasperated high keys, silences loaded with suspense and abrupt outbursts, unguarded impulses and tense circumspection.


The miracle occurs once again  when Paolo Restani’s piano starts interacting with the  Philharmonische Camerata Berlin with a precision that requires technical skill and conceptual rigorousness, revealing all the preciousness that the executant is expected to unveil. The precision and the in-depth interpretation are put forth again in the much praised encore.


Restani conquers the audience with an exasperated lyricism that is never complacent and with a vehemence of sonority in perfect balance with Riccardo Muti and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala… It’s the world’s most heartrending music, as highlighted by the Ravenna experience.


Supported by Muti’s enthusiastic accompaniment, Restani’s rendition of Liszt’s Concerto no. 2  features an intense virtuosity and piercing sonorities that further highlight the intermittent visionary nature.


Pupils Muti and Restani pay homage to Vitale.
Tonight, at the Ravenna Festival, conductor and pianist, by performing together on stage, fulfilled the dream of this musician, who passed away twenty years ago.


Restani learnt how to be a virtuoso, being gifted with a superb technical skill and a keen sense of phrasing (and a magnificent left hand). I’m thinking of the wonderful passages from Totentanz performed in the style of Michelangeli!


The “Imperatore” Concerto was convincing, especially when the pianist indulged in a clear headed and infallible virtuosity that justified the title as well as the actual content of the page. Those trills and octaves, the arpeggios and the fireworks of chords created by Restani’s hands found their raison d’être and triumphed, igniting the audience’s enthusiasm, and rewarding the public with two glorious pages by Rachmaninoff, which highlighted the pianist’s sensitivity.


How many places have ever granted the audience the complete (really and truly) Études by Chopin and Transcendental Études by Liszt, and furthermore, a pianist, Paolo Restani, who was  gifted by a generous Mother Nature with intellectual and musical skills to a supreme extent?


Restani proved to be downright one of the most vigorous and enlightening pianists of his time… Two qualities stand out while listening to his repertoire: an utter and unassailable mastery of the digital piano, and an absolute interpretative clarity that aims at making every last detail of the composition as clear and perceptible as possible… Restani is a charismatic artist, endowed with stage presence  and with an ability to instantly connect with the audience, thanks to a full immersion into the musical experience.


The Italian pianist is currently considered one of the most compelling and enjoyable performers of Liszt’s works so much so that the connoisseurs recognize him as the worthy successor to the famous virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz… He masterfully succeeded in bringing the audience and Liszt’s music much closer, considering the fact that Liszt’s music is not easily accessible as well as being a   complex listening experience, and he was able to magnificently recapture the musical elements from the three Études “Paysage”, “Feux Follets” and “Chasse-neige”.


Paolo Restani, alongside the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, gave a commendable, extraordinary performance of Tchaikowsky’s great romantic production, thrilling the audience.


Restani is an impeccable performer of Liszt’s works.
In the two Liszt’s concertos conducted by Claus Peter Flor he gave proof of this flawlessness with his mastery of language and perfect instrumental “aplomb”, as well as with his rare gift of being able to unravel  the major works of that era with a modern sensitivity.


The music brilliantly performed by Paolo Restani arises from sentimentality and musicality, and from an unassailable technical virtuosity. Restani’s piano is beautiful, solid and it bestows happiness.


In memory of Michelangeli at the Festival Internazionale of Brescia and Bergamo: Restani mesmerises the Teatro Grande with Liszt’s Concerto no. 2 and Franck’s Symphonic Variations.


His rendition of Liszt’s Totentanz was a sparkly one, in the solo passages as well as in the orchestral ones, those timbres enabled us to recognize a  personal “Dies Irae”. It was a world that was freed from darkness through music.


Paolo Restani showed impressive technical skill and precision, in Chopin’s Variations  he conveyed a vibrant touch and, in the most virtuoso moments, he was absolutely infallible.


Paolo Restani  played excellent music in a majestic way, offering the listeners an unforgettable performance. The audience rewarded him with a standing ovation.


In the rendition of Chopin, the similarities between Restani and Vladimir Horowits in terms of timbre, variety of colour and charm of the melody are stunning.


Paolo Restani is a young pianist, not yet in his thirties, who has undertaken a sound career path since a long time; the great mastery of the keyboard that stood out during his first public appearances is still intact today, and there is an awareness about it that leads the artist to even more compelling outcomes. The melting pot featured in the programme is indicative of this contemplative quality… His command proved to be precious in enveloping the five movements of Ravel’s Miroirs with an arcane light, a distinctive feature of the mysteriousness of the artist, that permeates these pieces, and that draws its lifeblood from Liszt’s great humus. Schoenberg’s aphorisms came alive as well, and distinctly so, in a Kandinsky-like way, and Restani’s vibrant arsenals of keys swung into action in the dizzying revival of Stravinsky’s Trois Mouvements de Petrouchka.


In a succession of magnificent solos and orchestra passages, the Italian pianist conquered the audience with his brilliant and confident technique which extraordinarily matches his exceptional emotions.


Everything culminated in the enhancement of the musical invention, in the timbrical research. A unique Liszt  (we literally cannot call to mind a concert performance of Liszt’s music like this one).


Restani, equipped with a magnificent spontaneity in the piano performance that allows him to serenely overcome major technical difficulties, has also shown a very personal interpretation, especially in phrasing and pedalling, like in the final section of Rhapsodie espagnole, with a clever use of the middle pedal, or in  Rachmaninoff’s Prelude op. 32 no. 5, which he played as an encore, creating a beautiful colour by blending the harmonies of the left hand.


Twenty-four years old and a career spanning ten years. Restani plays with utter and disarming sincerity and, faced with Brahms and Beethoven, he discloses endless affectionate attempts at  stylistic revival.


Equipped with an inquisitive attitude towards the immense territory he is about to explore. We spotted the very first manifestation of this attitude… during the break between the Variations and the Kreisleriana. The young pianist, after the first piece had ended, didn’t stand up and wasn’t interested in the applause, it was as though he wanted to emphasize the connection between the two compositions, the fact that Brahms’ piece is, somehow, the vestibule of the temple.  At other moments, certain nuances highlighted a musician who pays attention to the importance of specific details: for instance, the breaks placed after every Étude are, at a micrometric level, calibrated in order to suggest splits and links, like trying to draw up a map to locate the twelve gemstones.
His journey through the Romantic era of pianism began with an absolute, austere attention to the texts, which is kept alive throughout the whole performance, with the few aporias that, on their own, are enough to draw in an increasing number of listeners every time. Restani is committed to the details and adopts the necessary measures: it suffices to look at the supple swaying of the wrist, the well-though-out choices of pedals, half pedalling for splitting, a phrasing that is not trivialised, and that is also alien to that kind of extreme and tricky unconventionality that we sometimes must bear with. All this brings his piano playing to a transcendental level of accuracy, in which a low key slightly higher than normal and an unfinished arch form can be detected because everything else is so neat and logical that it leaves no room for even the slightest digression. The interpretative project is already clear and defined: he pursues the route of classical performers, choosing to rely on the author rather than acting as the translator or subverter, focusing on an interpretation aimed at underlining the structure of the composition itself, and at enriching it with colours and dynamics, as inspired by this same structure. These are aims of the highest level, which will be employed by Restani when, eventually, his command of the sound event becomes unmitigated: it being understood that artists who notoriously lack control such as, just to name one, Martha Argerich, do not care in the least about it and “hop” around. But that is another kind of poetry.


Sometimes the most significant revelations come from the details: the way Restani performed the  opening page of Schumann’s Kinderszenen sounds like the vow of an extraordinary artist. It is just a short page. It is titled Von Fremden Laendern und Menschen. It has the potential for being transformed into a heartfelt and nostalgic ritual, a hesitant memory, a childlike charm. Restani  achieves this. Just as he renders a worn page such as Traumerei with marvelous poetry.


He outlined with almost no signs of fading Schumann’s monumental Symphonic Etudes, he rendered Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann with a profound internalisation, he entirely centred Liszt’s Rhapsodie espagnole on the colour rather than on the virtuoso prowess. He is a young Italian talent who is deservingly at the forefront.


In terms of technical efficiency Restani is worthy of praise, he is not merely “grinding” the notes, far from it. He is characterised by an almost obsessive attention to the sound, which is intended to give prominence to the singing and to the timbral effects of the romantic piano.


Paolo Restani gave proof of a balanced interpretation of Mozart’s sublime work: a poised and accurate manner of playing and a refined stylistic conscience.


The triumph of a twenty-year-old pianist: Paolo Restani replaced an unwell Weissenberg at the “Serate Musicali” in Milan.


A triumphant Restani performed the integral set of Chopin’s Études.
… It was not just a technical choice, but also a strongly expressive choice that led to the artist’s victory in this kind of challenge: it could be said that the attention to the quality, which is either dramatic or melancholic, either impetuous or intimate, defines every single line.


Small, big pianist. Restani’s endeavour.
… In Italy, in our century, such an endeavour was carried out three or four times, but never by pianists as young as Restani. Nowadays the greek artist Sgouros might succeed in this, but without Restani’s confidence and power.


Liszt’s Concerto no. 2 turned out to be perfection: a confident and smooth attack, a beautiful solid sound, sharp and fluid arpeggios and musical scales; powerful, soft and blaring chords, a sharp staccato, a moderate use of the pedal.


Pianist Restani between lyricism and passionate nature.
There are not many pianists who, even though they are not in the early stages of their career anymore and have therefore been dealing with the psychological aspect of public performances for many years, can afford to play an encore of the ultimate example of virtuosity, namely Liszt’s Mazeppa.
… A performance that, with its expressive thoroughness, gave an idea of the exceptional nature of this artist.


At the Teatro di S. Carlo in Naples, Paolo Restani played a recital that, as far as I’m concerned, left one breathless… In Ravel, the alchemies of colours have an inextricable intellectualistic significance… The performance was conceived by Restani in such a way that, at times, it seemed to evoke some of Michelangeli’s iconic works.


He is set to enter the great piano tradition of our country.


A star was born in Santa Cecilia.
Great understanding of the musical scores. An utter rhythmic command, which manifests itself right from the first lines of Brahms’ extremely demanding Variations in A minor, and a wondrously clear sound.
… The sharp staccatos are reminiscent (why not?) of some of Michelangeli’s feline blows.
… A star was born and maybe it is an antidote to the overpowering success of Pogorelich, a pianist who is renowned for his flagrant stylistic liberty.


You wouldn’t believe he is only sixteen. Last night, Paolo Restani’s performance at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, was nothing less than shocking… Brahms’ 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini were glowingly sublimated by the performer.