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Ghedini: Concerto Spirituale Due Liriche; Malipiero: Sette Canzonette Veneziane

Ghedini / Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali
Release Date: 05/14/2013 
Label:  Bottega Discantica   Catalog #: 205   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giorgio Federico GhediniGian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Alda CaielloLorna WindsorAntonio Ballista
Conductor:  Antonio Ballista
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



GHEDINI Concerto Spirituale. 1,2,3,4 Due Liriche 1,4. MALIPIERO Sette Canzonette Veneziane. 1,2,4 Composizione. 2 Omaggi 2 Antonio Ballista 1 (pn); 2 cond; Read more class="SUPER12">3 Alda Caiello (sop); 4 Lorna Windsor (sop); O I Pomeriggi Musicali BOTTEGA DISCANTICA 205 (47:48)


Giorgio Federico Ghedini (1892–1965) is one of the four remaining Italian modernists now at last being acknowledged on compact disc. (A recently issued Naxos issue of three of his important orchestral works is especially to be recommended.) Together with the older Malipiero and Casella—now well-represented in the catalog—and the younger Petrassi—now coming into his own on disc—Ghedini made a major contribution to the 20th-century Italian repertoire. This writer has his reservations about Pizzetti, who, despite his strong dramatic-lyric profile, kept one foot stylistically in the 19th century. The over-celebrated Luigi Dallapiccola unfortunately succumbed in his maturity to the dodecaphonic sirens ululating from Vienna, as did the older Petrassi, who, after producing five superb symphony-equivalents in the concerto for orchestra series, perversely went on to write three more in a repellently sterile post-serial idiom. As for the a-modernist Respighi, who can resist him? Of course, there remain a number of interesting little-known secondary figures from this gifted generation, such as (among others) Antonio Veretti (b. 1900), Virgilio Mortari (b. 1902), and Franco Margola (b. 1908).


This new release on the modest Italian label La Bottega Discantica is significant primarily for the first modern recording (an ancient 10-inch vinyl was pathetically inadequate) of one of Ghedini’s outstanding vocal and religious works, which nonetheless stands alone as a piece of concert music, too: a 1943 setting of excerpts from the seminal “Of the Incarnation of the Divine Word” by the legendary Italian mystic Jacopone da Todi. Interestingly dedicated to his younger colleague Petrassi, this 17-minute combination cantata-concerto contains some of Ghedini’s most eloquent writing in his typically austere yet lyrically fluid liturgical manner. It is filled with many distinctive Ghedini-esque traits, including a hypnotic repeated-note motif dominating the accompaniment towards the close of the first section, followed by a middle portion highlighted by some hauntingly expressive blending of the two female voices. The work begins in dramatic agitation but ends in fervent serenity.


The Ghedini is followed by a miniature song cycle of 1960–61, Sette Canzonette (Seven Venetian Songs), emanating from a very different sonic and spiritual universe, that of Gian Francesco Malipiero—a work which is not to be confused with Malipiero’s cycle of mini-operas entitled Sette Canzone, which apparently was once available on a historical recording conducted by Hermann Scherchen. Here we are plunged into a much more profane world of Venetian street life. Several last less than 60 seconds, but they quickly make their vivid and incisive points nonetheless.


Also included here are two earlier Ghedini songs in a much more worldly idiom altogether, along with two evocative 1920s Malipiero piano pieces in an emphatically post-Debussyan manner. But the principal reason for singling out this CD is Ghedini’s powerfully elevated Concerto Spirituale. Both vocal and instrumental participants are displayed at the top of their respective forms, with excellent annotations in English though texts are only in Italian. This is one of those minor but unique and relatively unheralded releases deserving of both notice and praise.


FANFARE: Paul A. Snook
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto spirituale by Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Performer:  Alda Caiello (Soprano), Lorna Windsor (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Ballista
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra
2.
Due liriche by Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Performer:  Alda Caiello (Soprano), Lorna Windsor (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Ballista
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra
3.
Canzonette veneziane (7) by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Alda Caiello (Soprano), Lorna Windsor (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Ballista
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; Italy 
4.
Il tarlo by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Antonio Ballista (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Italy 
5.
Hommage à Claude Debussy by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Antonio Ballista (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; England 
6.
A un elefante by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Antonio Ballista (Piano)
7.
A un idiota by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Antonio Ballista (Piano)
8.
A un pappagallo by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Performer:  Antonio Ballista (Piano)

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