Music: Whirlwind on the Piano

A brilliant new pianist appeared in the U.S. last week. He is Florence's Pietro Scarpini, 43, so far known in the U.S. only through one recording of Stravinsky and Bartok (Colosseum) and the praise of his American pupils. Last week, in Carnegie Hall, he performed with the New York Philharmonic-Symphony under Dimitri Mitropoulos. His selection: Prokofiev's rarely played, difficult Concerto No. 2.

The music was, to many listeners, acrobatic, unyielding and overdissonant, hardly the kind of thing to herald a new performer. But the New York Times's Olin Downes published a rave. "The pianist who adequately performs the part needs endless strength,...

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