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Petrassi: Partita, Divertimento, Quattro Inni Sacri / La Vecchia


Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572411  
Composer:  Goffredo Petrassi
Performer:  Carlo PutelliDavide Malvestio
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony OrchestraCoro Lirico Sinfonico Romano
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

First the bad news: the sound quality on this release is highly variable. In the Divertimento and Partita the engineering is rich and full but raw, with the brass in your face and edgy. It’s exciting, to be sure, but also a bit crude. The two vocal soloists in the Four Sacred Hymns sing well enough, but they seem to be placed well back in a huge, empty room with loads of reverberation. The Coro di morti, dubbed a “dramatic madrigal” for chorus and orchestra comes off best, with good balances and a warm ambience.

Now for the music. Petrassi is best known for his later, avant-garde works, and especially for his series of eight concertos for orchestra, which actually begin here, in his neoclassical period of the 30s, and go on
Read more to cover the balance of his long career (he lived from 1904 to 2003). The Italian neoclassicists, including Casella and Malipiero, wrote in a winning style that was notable for its rhythmic élan and sunny lyricism–sort of a warmer Stravinsky, or Hindemith with better tunes. Petrassi was, briefly, one of the crew, but you can plainly hear in bits of the Divertimento, and especially in the concluding Giga of the Partita (sound clip), that a new musical language was about to emerge.

The Four Sacred Hymns represent Petrassi’s attempt to write church music that was listenable and serious but not sappy and anodyne. There is no question that he succeeded, and also no question that the result sounds a bit grey and perhaps not worth the effort. The Coro di morti, on the other hand, is a wartime piece, full of gloom, doom, and angst. In other words, it’s terrific, and it’s well sung and played here. Francesco La Vecchia has quite a series going for Naxos, with many important discoveries. Despite the iffy sonics and sometimes rough edges to the playing, this disc is certainly worth a listen.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Divertimento in C major by Goffredo Petrassi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930 
2.
Partita for Orchestra by Goffredo Petrassi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932 
3.
Sacred Hymns (4) for Tenor, Baritone and Organ by Goffredo Petrassi
Performer:  Carlo Putelli (Tenor), Davide Malvestio (Bass)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; Italy 
4.
Coro di Morti by Goffredo Petrassi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra,  Coro Lirico Sinfonico Romano
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Italy 

Sound Samples

Divertimento in C major: I. Allegro
Divertimento in C major: II. Caccia: Andante
Divertimento in C major: III. Pavana
Divertimento in C major: IV. Allegro
Partita: I. Gagliarda
Partita: II. Ciaccona
Partita: III. Giga
4 inni sacri (version for tenor, baritone and orchestra): No. 1. Jesus dulcis memoria
4 inni sacri (version for tenor, baritone and orchestra): No. 2. Te lucis ante terminum
4 inni sacri (version for tenor, baritone and orchestra): No. 3. Lucis creator optime
4 inni sacri (version for tenor, baritone and orchestra): No. 4. Salvete Christi vulnera
Coro di morti

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