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Velut Luna

Sergej Rachmaninov - Études Tableaux - Edoardo Brotto

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Sergej Rachmaninov - Études Tableaux (CVLD364)

Edoardo Brotto, piano

01 – Op.39 No.1 in C minor, Allegro agitato 3’09”
02 – Op.33 No.3 in C minor, Grave 4’46”
03 – Op.33 No.1 in F minor, Allegro ma non troppo 2’54”

04 – Op.33 No.2 in C major, Allegro 2’31”
05 – Op. 39 No.5 in E minor, Appassionato 5’14”
06 – Op.33 No.5 in E minor, Non Allegro – Presto 1’35”
07 – Op.33 No.7 in G minor, Moderato 3’ 41”
08 – Op.33 No.4 in D minor, Moderato 2’54”
09 – Op.39 No.8 in D minor, Allegro Moderato 3’17”
10 – Op.39 No.2 in A minor, Lento Assai 6’45”
11 – Op.39 No.3 in F# minor, Allegro Molto 2’48”
12 – Op.39 No.6 in A minor, Allegro 2’26”

total time: 42’00”

88kHz / 24bit original digital recording made at M° Edoardo Brotto’s studio, Italy, on the 1st and 20th of May 2023.

Analog mix & mastering made at Velut Luna Studio, Valencia, Spain, on the 26th of August 2023.

M° Edoardo Brotto plays his BECHSTEIN D282 CONCERT GRANDPIANO “ALBUS”, tuned and prepared by Edoardo Brotto.

M° Edoardo Brotto chose Sennheiser MKH 8020, Schoeps CMC6 Mk21, Millennia Media HV 3C and Rupert Neve 5211 Portico Designs mic preamplifiers.

The original master was monitored and personally approved by M° Edoardo Brotto.


The Études Tableaux, miniature-masterpiece of extraordinary harmonic beauty, form, writing, synthesis, images that are able to evoke and...of an extraordinary musical and technical difficulty. I don’t want to add anything else, the music is wonderfully descriptive and it is right that the listener creates his own worlds and perceives the paintings that each piece paints.

Although the repertoire is known to fans, this is a particular record and, contrary to the standard, I’ll tell you in person.

I didn’t have the courage to play the Études even when I was a full-time pianist, despite the fact that I had Rachmaninov’s greatest works on hand, including his formidable third concert. I thought instead of studying and recording them when life became much more complex; engineer by day, pianist by night. I don’t want to lie by saying that reconciling the two is easy, it isn’t. Playing at the recording level is already a big challenge in itself, adding a complex everyday work makes it all exceptionally trying. These lines serve as a context to the fundamental concept that I would like to pass on to those who read these words: it is possible to set oneself and achieve objectives that seem impossible in an already more than full life context. And I say that because it’s worth it, whatever you choose. The challenges, won or lost, give us invaluable lessons first of all on our ego, on our limits that will prove to be wrong, and then give us a magnificent wave of new knowledge, wide spectrum. What is needed is a good dose of stainless will, a predisposition to resist fatigue, sometimes suffering, and never be distracted from the primary objective. And another thing I write, never be content to learn, study, challenge, improve. Because satisfaction is the death of desire.

Now, coming to the particularities of this record, let’s start with the fact that the piano used for the recording is my personal: a wonderful Bechstein D282 that I call Albus. A dream of a lifetime, lasting more than twenty years, come true. Albus was delivered to me directly from Berlin this April (2023) and its opening was the recording of this record. The preparation and tuning of the piano for the recording, I personally edited it.

Another peculiar fact is that I recorded this record. By this I mean that the work of sound and balance engineer (microphone positioning, balancing, acoustic treatment and recording) I did personally. I had in mind a shot that was as faithful as possible to the sound of the instrument, extremely detailed and precise, with particular attention paid to obtaining a perfect sound image. The choice inevitably fell on electronics of absolute excellence and the characteristic of a linear frequency response and neutral tone: microphones Sennheiser and Schoeps, omnidirectional and sub-cardiodes for a great presence and crystal clear, preamplifiers Millennia and Rupert Neve that guaranteed the least possible alteration of the native signal, signal cables at the height of the components mentioned.

This too is the result of years of study, experience and mistakes; a dutiful thanks to the precious teachings of my producer Marco Lincetto to whom I then left the finished traces. In the expert hands of Marco I entrusted the delicate mixing and mastering phase, strictly in analog chain, as I like. The result is a recording with a natural sound and great impact that, with a well built system, makes you enter the piano in the house, in all its glory.

Regarding the choice of songs and their order, I had been intuitively imagining this exact sequence for a long time. It is a path of sounds and images that in my head has developed just like that, which I particularly love and therefore, would not need further illustration. Nevertheless, I add that as a person who naturally perceives and imagines abstract worlds, beyond the images that these scenes evoke, their sequence, to explain it in understandable words, reminds me of a beautiful iteration of sinusoidal functions in three spatial dimensions and a temporal one, translatable into a sheet of pure space that moves sinuously, sometimes wrapping you, interspersed with moments of great impetus to others of deep reflection, sometimes dismayed, but in any case intimate. In the face of the complete recording, having extracted these twelve passages in this exact order, did nothing but confirm that intuition had long ago. I recommend a yarn listening to better understand the above.

Rachmaninoff and I.

You could dedicate the whole libretto just to this theme. Simply, to conclude, his music is my soul mate in music. I’ve spent the last 15 years studying and playing his plays. His language is so much part of me that I recorded a whole record (Within & Without - Homage to Rakhmaninov) that collects a series of my original compositions dedicated to the great master. With this instead, I want to pay tribute to him again playing his music, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Straordinario! Un prezioso gioiello, l'album, e l'interprete!

Ho ascoltato l'album più volte prima di riuscire a razionalizzare l'ondata di fortissime emozioni che ho provato ad ogni ascolto. E, ad ogni ascolto rimanevo sempre più incantata, allibita a volte, dalla straordinaria capacità di Edoardo di far parlare la musica. Pare che abbia un dono straordinario che unisce comprensione profonda del contenuto dei brani e della loro struttura alla capacità di, letteralmente, dispiegarli e spiegarli suonandoli. Edoardo fa ciò che non ho mai sentito prima, ti guida attraverso il suono, illumina ogni elemento, chiarissimo, dove serve. Ti dice: ascolta qui questo bel dettaglio. E poi, le sue mani, straordinarie! Cristalline le note, il suono. Ma più di tutto, io non avevo mai sentito prima tutti questi dettagli così ben presentati e portati all'orecchio dell'ascoltatore attento. La sua interpretazione è a straordinaria, squisita, potentissima. Ti incanta, ti tiene incollata al suono, tanto da non voler più smettere di ascoltarlo. I brani lenti e riflessivi portano alla luce un ragazzo con una profondità d'animo e d'intelletto fuori dal comune. Che dire poi del suono, stupendo! Ha pure registrato lui, il suo pianoforte, e divinamente. Preservate al meglio questo ragazzo, che è prezioso un gioiello per il mondo!

Max Ishiwata


Lily Nightingale
Extraordinary. Love. Passion. This album gives me shivers!

Literally having shivers listening to any piece of this album. This album shows that M° Brotto sings of love with a playing so real, so passionate, yet so composed and never over the top and you know he has been there before. This album places us in a nostalgic state, it is about romance.
I have had the fortune of hearing M° Brotto live in London years ago, he is an unbelievably multifaciated talented man. I have followed his music since then and every time I listen to his works, recordings, he never ceases to surprise me.
In this album, his playing is so detailed and precise, that one questions where and if he finds a limit in his skills. Any note is well placed, well spaced, well timed and it all contributes to the bigger pictures which Edoardo seems to have crystally clear in his mind. His tone is as smooth as chocolate mousse and his forte sections as rich as bells resonating in church towers. Hard to describe, but somehow he is able to get the most rich and deep tone I have ever heard.
M° Brotto is not just an extraordinary pianist, but an extraordinary musician in the broadest sense. He is able to take you and guide you down a musical path in a way that has never been heard before. His soul is a gem.
To summarize: let youself be taken by his hand and let yourself go and meander in his wonderful world of sounds.

Erik Wern
An absolute gem! One of the best piano records out there. Brotto is a genius

Gentlemen, a truly great album, a gem which should not be missing from the collection of any true enthusiast. Brotto's interpretation of the Etudes-Tableaux, technically extremely demanding pieces and adequately mastered by very few pianists is, in short, magnificent! To say the least! Exceptional clarity, sculpturally clear phrasing, extraordinary contrasts and perfectly placed rubatos. It seems that M° Brotto does not feel and does not make us feel the difficulty inherent in each of the pieces, just listen to Op. 39 n.1, n.3, n.5, n.6, Op.33 n.5 and surely you will realize how impressivevely they have been mastered.M° Brotto put virtuosity at the service of Music and this makes him a true, great virtuoso! Having listened to all of his composing works and now this phenomeal recording, the term "genius" comes to mind as most fittable towards M° Brotto's persona. Sound: stupendous! Probably, if not the best, one of the very best piano recordings which is out there. His Bechstein D282, miked, prepared and tuned by Brotto himself, is a stunning surprise of an instrument. The sound is powerful, dynamic, true, sumptuous with an impact that defining it as impressive, is still far away from what you actually perceive.
I repeat myself, it is a must have album!

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