“Angelo Villani is an artist with original, creative and compelling vision” Nikolai Demidenko, pianist
“Angelo plays with stunning conviction and intensity” Benjamin Grosvenor, pianist
“I have heard many of the greatest pianists, live, such as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Moiseiwitsch, Backhaus, Hess, Kapell and Rubinstein. I now feel grateful and privileged to have heard the young Villani. He is a musical phenomenon”
Joyce Greer de Hollesch, pianist
“If one wished to discover a great artist whose poetic gifts remain untainted by the competitive, prodigy-driven ethos that routinely crushes the musical spirit of so many performers, one need look no further than Angelo Villani. In his virtual absence from the concert stage, Villani has continued to develop his artistic vision and sound world to pitch intensity. It is for us to keep up with him.” Benjamin Martin, pianist and composer
“Villani’s performances always reveal a profound artistry which one comes across rather rarely – one that is reminiscent of the great pianists of yesteryear. He communicates a true poetic sensitivity and imagination. One moment a melody will sing and seem to float in mid-air, the next, a volatile, volcanic outburst. Villani plays his music as if he owns it, leaving nothing in the dressing room; he will tell you a story which is quite special.” Clemens Leske, pianist
“Encountering a really distinctive, idiosyncratic ‘new voice’ is perhaps rarer than ever. Such a genuine article, appearing as if out of the blue – mercifully without the depressingly standardised credentials – is Angelo Villani who, in spite of his absence from the stage, sounds like a seasoned artist – someone with the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to truly command attention.” Daniel-Ben Pienaar, pianist
“Angelo Villani is a rarity: a true Romantic. His playing is deeply personal, full of passion and nuance, and he is fearless about exploring the limits of expression, tone, and virtuosity, yet his interpretations always seem grounded and convincing.” Kevin Bazzana, musicologist and critic, author of biographies of Glenn Gould and Ervin Nyiregyházi
“His exceptional and microscopic sensitivity, the way he immerses us in sonority, allows us to soak up the edges of vibration as if letting subtle-coloured dye infiltrate and diffuse through our inner worlds.” Jessica Duchen, music journalist
“Villani’s subtle approach, with nothing forced, is certainly a godsend, and he seems to commune with the piano as the most expressive of instruments; like Radu Lupu, Villani does not do percussive. The first-played of the Debussy Préludes was fully mysterious, visionary even, the piano’s keys barely touched. I was reminded of the great and extraordinary conductor Sergiu Celibidache (1912-96) whose slower-than-normal tempos were controversial albeit, to those understanding why, transfixing and revelatory, and always determined from inside the music combined with rationales derived from the Cosmos and science”
Colin Anderson, critic, editor of The Classical Source
“In Villani’s playing, the contrast in dynamics and timbre as well as his kaleidoscopic narrative and extraordinary way of expression were all impressive. Through Villani’s dense and dramatic account with the heavy, rich, powerful sound, not only did I sense composers’ presence, but I also heard Villani’s inner voice.”
Akemi Yokohori, reviewer of The Chopin Magazine (Japan)
“Audiences lucky enough to hear him play will remember the music and its recreation long after the artist’s name has escaped them.” – Matthew Boyden, musicologist, author, barrister
Further Blogs and Interviews.
“…An extraordinary record of great daring and imaginative scope..
..An all stops-out performance….A tremendous achievement!”
5* Reviews for Villani’s Debut CD: ‘Angelo Villani plays Dante’s Inferno’ released in 2016.
Tokusen-ban (Specially recommended album) “Played as if the music gushes out of a fountain… It is rare to encounter this level of performance“—- Tsutomu Nasuda, (The Record Geijutsu 2016)
“The story of Angelo Villani, his return to the concert stage after two decades of a seemingly incurable condition, has been well publicised. And here, in his first recording entitled ‘Dante’s Inferno,’ he takes nothing for granted as he recreates Liszt’s glory as very possibly the greatest of all pianists as well as one of the supreme geniuses of the nineteenth century. True, his strong-arm tactics will send timid souls(unlikely to be tuned into infernos) running for cover, but his element’s rage virtuosity(inspired by the pianist Erwin Nyiregyhazi) is motivated by a deeply personal sense that too many of today’s pianists have lost the art of vivid communication, retreating all too easily into academic blankness and convention. Nadia Boulanger’s claim, as grand-mere of the Leeds Piano Competition, that she was looking for ‘character’ and ‘personality’ was surely a thin veil for rigid classical notions of propriety and ‘correctness.’ From Villani the very o[pening of the ‘Dante’ Sonata is heavily inflected in grand, quasi-operatic style and, throughout, he lifts Liszt’s already searing rhetoric to another level, bearing down with a ferocious intensiy so that like Miranda in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ you felel like crying out, ‘If by your art, my dearest father, you have /Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.’ Villani’s arrangements of Purcell and Hans von Bulow are movingly declaimed, and his way with Liszt’s Sunt Lacrimae Rerum from the Annees de Pelerinage, Book 3, has an outsize sense of tortured Catholicism.His concluing Tristan fantasy sets the keyboard ablaze with coloour and excitement, witness to a pianist who, by his own admission, prefers a ‘hell-for’leather approach’ to caution. Finely recorded, this is glorious thrown-back playing with a vengeance”. Bryce Morrison (International Piano Quarterly, 2016)
“The young Angelo Villani’s potential career as a concert pianist was derailed before it began, thanks to a crippling nerve complaint in his hand that kept him away from public performance for two decades. Thankfully, he seems fully recovered now, judging by this album of solo pieces themed around Dante, which draws together works bysuch as Liszt , Wagner and Purcell. The opening “Dante Sonata” may well be the most overwrought tumult of roiling emotions, though it’s in the quieter passages that Villani works his magic most effectively, allowing the subtler shades of his innately Romantic sensibility to glimmer through the darkness. He then brings a delicateabjection to Purcell’s ”Dido’s Lament”, interpreting it as a kind of ‘liebestod’ before again diving into the turmoil of Liszt’s “Sunt Lacrimae Rerum”. Andy Gill (The Independent, 2016)