At the end of his eclectic recital, Friday night in Murphy Hall at Loyola Marymount University, Marcantonio Barone finally made a personal statement.
It was Chopin's C-major Mazurka, Opus 24, No. 2, played as Barone's single encore, and it showed the young pianist's ability to spin out a legato line, to communicate from the piano directly to his audience and to integrate his thoughts in a cogent manner. A sense of conversation, unforced and unself-conscious, marked this brief moment.
What had come before had been mostly promising, not completely accomplished, the work of a very gifted and diligent postgraduate pianist still not assured in his own musical personality.
Most impressive, until the Mazurka, were another Chopin piece, the C-sharp-minor Scherzo, given an extrovert and virtuosic reading to open the recital, and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," which closed it--also large-boned, nicely detailed and technically impeccable. But mostly faceless.