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Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Respighi, Guastavino: Violin Concertos / Lande, Cueto, St. Petersburg PO


Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Marquis   Catalog #: 81407   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Mario Castelnuovo-TedescoOttorino RespighiCarlos Guastavino
Performer:  José Miguel Cueto
Conductor:  Vladimir Lande
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Concerto “I Profeti” and Respighi’s Concerto Gregoriano share a predilection for the religious ethos of the past; Castelnuovo-Tedesco attempted to evoke a Biblical ethos; Respighi, according to Nancy Roldán’s notes (pianist Roldán has performed “extensively” with Cueto), strove to free the Gregorian melodies from the Roman Liturgy (given the hand-in-glove fit of the chant to its texts—which protected it numerous times from attacks within the Church—that might be considered by liturgical experts an explosive task like separating the oxygen and hydrogen in water).

Violinists of the “golden age” didn’t take up Respighi’s Concerto, though Ingolf Turban recorded the composer’s Second
Read more Concerto, “all’Antica” (Claves 50-9017) and Ruggiero Ricci played the Poema Autunnale on Reference 15. Takako Nishizaki’s reading of the work with the Poema Autunnale on Marco Polo 8.220152 made it available on CD, as did Lydia Mordkovich—who also included the Poema Autunnale—on Chandos 9232 (Kurt Stiehler had recorded it on LP, Urania URLP7100, and Paul Richartz made perhaps the earliest recording on Polydor 1511/4S). My first impression of the work more than 40 years ago, when I first heard it and borrowed the sheet music from the library, seemed to be confirmed by relatively more recent reactions to it as somewhat sprawling and lacking in dramatic force (pace Roger Dettmer, who wrote about the Concerto with vivid thoroughness in 8:1, comparing it more than favorably with Goldmark’s, Glazunov’s, and Conus’s), though its violin part seems idiomatically conceived. If it succeeds in incorporating the liturgical melodies it cites in a rich harmonic context, it doesn’t achieve the same hypnotic effect as does the stylized chanting in the Catacombs in I Pini, though it employs on occasion similar melodic and harmonic turns. As he does in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Concerto, Cueto seems to succeed more as a violinist in this work than as a declaimer of sacred texts...If Respighi’s bold and splashy orchestration doesn’t quite fit the essentially contemplative spirit of the chants he’s borrowed, that’s not Cueto’s fault—nor that of Lande and the Orchestra.

Cueto arranged Carlos Guastavino’s haunting song, “La rosa y el sauce,” for violin and orchestra, and its nearly five minutes contain a great deal of the entire program’s poetry and immediately appealing, rich lyricism. Somewhat in the manner of the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto and Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, both of which it resembles in its ardent simplicity, it achieves its effect with seeming effortlessness—and so does Cueto.

Cueto, Lande, and Orchestra recorded their program in the Melodia studio, St. Katherine’s Church in St. Petersburg; but the clear and clean recorded sound doesn’t reveal any swaddling reverberation.

-- Robert Maxham, Fanfare
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin no 2, Op. 66 "The Prophets" by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Performer:  José Miguel Cueto (Violin)
Conductor:  Vladimir Lande
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Florence, Italy 
2. Concerto gregoriano by Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  José Miguel Cueto (Violin)
Conductor:  Vladimir Lande
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; Rome, Italy 
3. La rosa y el sauce by Carlos Guastavino
Performer:  José Miguel Cueto (Violin)
Conductor:  Vladimir Lande
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Argentina 

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