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Malipiero: Symphonies 5, 6, 8 & 11 / Almeida, Moscow SO


Release Date: 07/28/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570880   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sharp-eyed readers will recognise this as ex-Marco Polo 8.223696. Recorded in Moscow in 1994 and released soon afterwards, this Naxos re-release is part of the symphonic cycle which has been published in single volumes (see review of Volume 1). Volume 3 covers four symphonies: 5, 6, 8 and 11, which were written over a period of twenty-two years.

The most immediately attractive of the quartet is the Sixth, which is possibly why it’s programmed first. It was written in the same year as No.5 - in 1947 - and makes an immediate impact by virtue of its concertante element, its contrapuntal, Tippett-reminiscent lines - clear, bright, tangy. There’s a most expressive slow movement and a sinewy, brisk, almost brusquely neo-classical
Read more Scherzo with plenty of inviting dissonances. Its finale is long, multi-sectional, alternating fast with slow paragraphs, and including a fugal section as well. It ends quietly.

The Fifth represents another side of Malipiero’s muse; argumentative, aggressively orchestrated, and spiced by two pianos in its fabric. This violence is predicated however on arresting writing which, whilst it’s hardly ingratiating, is certainly well conceived and implacably direct. Things grow more pliant in the slow movement where the piano textures summon up reminiscences perhaps of his pre-War writing, but this merely prefigures the militaristic drum tattoos and fife elements that animate the scherzo. Throughout the finale solemn brass make their noble plea - before the re-appearance of the liberating pianos. This is a tough, unstable, rewarding work.

The Symphonia brevis is just as long as the Sixth and considerably longer than the Fifth, so it wears its title with a certain irony. This Eighth Symphony was written in 1964. For all the terse and kinetic moments here - the latter come in the second movement - the schema is more diverting. A normal sized Malipiero opening is followed by that very tense and brisk central one. The long finale is twice as extended as both these opening movements put together. It’s essentially contemplative, despite an agitato section of some vehemence. There is orchestral colour here but it has become rather diffuse. The thematic material itself is not especially distinctive. It’s more the play of texture.

By the time we reach the compact Eleventh Symphony of 1969 we arrive at the aloof late Malipiero: terse, uneasy, full of busy scurrying writing but overall a sense of being directionless. The journey from 6 to 11 is one of spring to winter.

The performances are laudably direct and animated, and Antonio de Almeida had the whole corpus of the symphonies under his control, as he showed throughout the cycle.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5 "concertante, in eco" by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Italy 
Length: 15 Minutes 57 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 8 "Symphoniae brevis" by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; Italy 
Length: 22 Minutes 34 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 11 "della cornamuse" by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 14 Secs. 
4.
Symphony No. 6 "degli archi": Allegro by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
5.
Symphony No. 6 "degli archi": Piuttosto lento by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 32 Secs. 
6.
Symphony No. 6 "degli archi": Allegro vivo by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
7.
Symphony No. 6 "degli archi": Lento ma non troppo - Allegro - Lento - Allegro - Molto triste by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 6: I. Allegro
Symphony No. 6: II. Piuttosto lento
Symphony No. 6: III. Allegro vivo
Symphony No. 6: IV. Lento ma non troppo - Allegro - Lento - Allegro - Molto triste
Symphony No. 5, "concertante, in eco": I. Allegro agitato ma moderatamente
Symphony No. 5, "concertante, in eco": II. Lento
Symphony No. 5, "concertante, in eco": III. Allegro vivace ma ritmato
Symphony No. 5, "concertante, in eco": IV. Lento ma non troppo - Mosso (agitato) - Ritenuto (quasi funebre)
Symphony No. 8, "Symphonia brevis": I. Piuttosto lento - Un poco piu mosso
Symphony No. 8, "Symphonia brevis": II. Allegro
Symphony No. 8, "Symphonia brevis": III. Non troppo lento - Piu mosso - Allegramente - Tranquillo - Mosso - Lento - Meno lento, non trascinar
Symphony No. 11, "delle cornamuse": I. Energico ma mosso, non troppo pero
Symphony No. 11, "delle cornamuse": II. Lento
Symphony No. 11, "delle cornamuse": III. Gaio
Symphony No. 11, "delle cornamuse": IV. Molto mosso ma marcando il tempo - Quasi lento - Molto mosso

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