WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Busoni: Clarinet Concertino, Flute Divertimento, Rondo Arlecchinesco / La Vecchia, Orchestra Sinfonica Di Roma

Busoni / Terranova / Orch Sinfonica Di Roma
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572922   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Gianluca TerranovaLauara MinguzziGiammarco Casani
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A wonderful raft of discoveries from Busoni’s lighter side. Maybe my favorite album so far in the Naxos Italian Classics series.

Here’s an album to correct misconceptions. I always thought of Ferruccio Busoni as a very serious, somewhat dour composer, maybe because he lavished so much time on transcriptions and arrangements of Bach, and maybe because on top of that his most performed original works are the Berceuse elégiaque, the Fantasia contrappuntistica, and the massive hour-long Piano Concerto. My mistake! This is the lighter, wittier side of Busoni, and it is a truly delightful CD.
 
Proceedings begin with the Lustspielouvertüre, a seven-minute
Read more piece that’s as effective and fizzy a show-opener as the pop of a champagne cork. The tunes are memorable, the sudden turn to minor key in the middle is a stroke of dexterity, and the concluding reprise is a delight. It’s a simply fantastic little piece, which in style pays homage to the Mozartian era but in orchestration is very much a high-romantic showcase. It might be the highlight of the CD.
 
Next up is the Gesang vom Reigen der Geister (Song of the Dance of the Spirits), a rather spooky Native-American-inspired piece with an especially enigmatic beginning. The Rondò arlecchinesco which follows can be described with no other word but “mad”: there are zany twists and turns of spirit, odd martial elements, and then everything’s capped off by a wacky vocalise from a tenor. I have absolutely no idea what Busoni was thinking when he wrote it, but it must be one of the all-time masterpieces of attention-deficit looniness.
 
The next two pieces are for solo winds and orchestra: a clarinet concertino and a flute divertimento. The clarinet soloist enters immediately with a pastoral theme which occupies the players for four well-developed minutes. Then a horn solo kicks off a slower episode which gradually builds in action and liveliness until the ending, which reminds us of Busoni’s love for the classical era. The flute divertimento has a deceptive orchestral introduction which features significant orchestral solos for all the other winds plus trumpet, until the flautist finally enters at 1:32. From then on it’s a charmer with vigor and a mostly quick pulse, the flute dancing about the orchestral accompaniment. Both Giammarco Casani on clarinet and Laura Minguzzi on flute do the music full justice, although the incredibly close miking gives us an ear to all their instruments’ clicks and makes Casani’s tone sound a little more shrill than it probably is.
 
The CD ends with the Tanzwalzer, for which I can think of no better description than “Ravel’s La valse without the irony.” The glitz, glamour, orchestral heft, and high spirits are all there, but not the undercurrent of savagery, nor the shock ending. Busoni’s homage is obviously more loyal; indeed the work is dedicated “to the memory of Johann Strauss.” That said, it still encapsulates the wit, free spirit, and orchestral brilliance that runs through this whole disc.
 
To sum up: all immensely attractive music, running from an overture that deserves to be a pops and radio megahit through a truly nonsensical rondo to two wonderful mini-concertos. Nothing here is very serious at heart, but it’s all astonishingly well-done. Aside from Martucci’s Tarantella and a few bits of Casella, this is my favorite discovery so far in Naxos’ Italian Classics series; the woodwind soloists are closely spotlit and the sound is a bit crude but suits the music’s vivaciousness. The Rome Symphony and Francesco La Vecchia give high-spirited performances which are very confident indeed, and a booklet note is highly informative, although the descriptions of the music leave little to the imagination. An early-1990s CPO album is more or less the only competition. In summary: wonderful.
 
-- Brian Reinhart , MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Tanzwalzer, Op. 53/K 288 by Ferruccio Busoni
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Berlin, Germany 
2.
Rondo arlecchinesco, Op. 46/K 266 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Gianluca Terranova (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Berlin, Germany 
3.
Lustspiel Overture, Op. 38/K 245 by Ferruccio Busoni
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; Berlin, Germany 
4.
Indianisches Tagebuch: Book 2, Op. 47 "Gesang vom Regen der Geister" by Ferruccio Busoni
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Zurich, Switzerland 
5.
Divertimento for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 52/K 285 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Lauara Minguzzi (Flute)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Berlin, Germany 
6.
Concertino for Clarinet, Op. 48/K 247 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Giammarco Casani (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Italy 

Sound Samples

Lustspielouverture, Op. 38
Indianisches Tagebuch, Book 2: Gesang vom Reigen der Geister, Op. 47, "Elegie No. 4"
Rondo arlecchinesco, Op. 46, "Elegie No. 3"
Clarinet Concertino, Op. 48
Divertimento, Op. 52
Tanzwalzer, Op. 53

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In