A hundred years ago, the First World War was raging in Europe. Italian pianist Marco Rapetti honours this anniversary with a recital of pieces that were written between 1914 and 1917, and are in some way connected to the tragedies of that time. Mr Rapetti presented this program for the first time in public, on February 12th, 2017, in Biel, Switzerland. After a short introduction, mentioning also his own private war with cancer in his family, Mr Rapetti, casually elegant in turtleneck and cardigan, tall and charismatic with a boyish smile, began with Nicolaj Medtner’s sonata n° 9 in A-minor. Although the piece is not well known at all, the magic operated instantly: two bars into the music, we were in Medtner’s world where utter desolation and smiling serenity exist next to each other – children laughing among the ruins... Mr Rapetti then interpreted Alexander Skriabin’s poem op. 72 “Vers la flamme” and Claude Debussy’s “Berceuse Héroique”. He played throughout with offhand virtuosity; his technical skill quite obviously goes without saying, he is there to serve the composer and the public, not his ego. He interprets his composers with a perfect measure of intellect and feeling. Mr Rapetti concluded the recital with a powerful interpretation of Ravel’s “Tombeau de Couperin”, achieving the most desirable effect in a live performance, when the public, entranced, hears the piece as if it were for the first time. Acclaimed and applauded, he had to give two encores, before he was allowed to leave the hall. And we went out into an early spring day, with Ravel’s minuet dancing in our soul, at peace at least for a while.