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Ghedini: Architetture, Contrappunti, Marinesca e Baccanale / La Vecchia

Release Date: 06/25/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573006  
Composer:  Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Performer:  Riccardo SavinelliPaolo ChiavacciGiuseppe Scaglione
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GHEDINI Architetture, Concerto for Orchestra. Contrappunti. 1 Marinaresca e baccanale Francesco La Vecchia, cond; 1 Paolo Chiavacci (vn); 1 Riccardo Savinelli (va); 1 Giuseppe Scaglione (vc); Rome SO NAXOS 8.573006 (66:26)

Read more Here we have the music of an Italian composer, Giorgio Federico Ghedini (1892-1965), who definitely marched to the beat of a different drummer. The excellent liner notes by David Gallagher tell us that Ghedini only achieved his first success in 1941, with the premiere of Archietture, and that his music “sounds like nothing else ever composed, in Italy or beyond.” He is entirely correct. How strange is it? Rhythmically, it owes something to Stravinsky but only when Stravinsky recomposed Italian music, as in Pulcinella. Harmonically, it owes something to Janá?ek or Bartók, but follows its own harmonic laws and directions. Texturally, it sounds as if someone from another planet had suddenly discovered Berlioz’s treatise on orchestration. As the notes indicate, Ghedini is rarely “directional” in his music: it does not “progress” from point A to point B with development or cohesive connecting tissue, but rather by the development of motifs that are then shifted up and down, juxtaposed, layered and combined in odd ways. In a nutshell this music, with its “proto-minimalist” qualities, is the aural equivalent of Hans Richter’s or Oskar Fischinger’s short abstract films—particularly Fischinger, since he came to use color as a component of his creations, or Richter when he used tinted cells.

The almost strict abstract quality of Architetture is greatly expanded in the 1960-61 Contrappunti, composed for orchestra with three soloists whose music almost always plays “against” the orchestra (rhythmically as well as in tonality) rather than with it. And here, oddly enough, one finds actual snippets of melody. I say “oddly enough” because, in a work such as this, one might naturally expect the music to be just as abstract as in Architetture if not more so. In terms of Ghedini’s manipulation of musical materials, it is indeed so; but in terms of its emotional effect on the listener, it is not—at least, not until the second movement, the slow movement, where you would expect exactly the opposite, yet it is here that Ghedini becomes more abstract, less lyrical, and even a bit foreboding in atmosphere. I found that this movement put me in mind of some of the strange, otherworldly music of Leif Segerstam. The last movement, rhythmically busier, somewhat combines the moods of the first two.

Marinaresca e baccanale , as John C. G. Waterhouse pointed out, is “one of the very few twentieth-century musical seascapes that owes virtually nothing to Debussy.” Though composed in 1933, six years earlier than Architetture, this piece shares the same feeling of Bauhaus-type abstraction. These are not pretty sea waters, but something darker, perhaps an oil slick tainted with the blood of dead animals. A short passage for winds is slightly reminiscent of the overture to Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, but by and large this is entirely new and creative music that owes little or nothing to its predecessors.

The last two works on this disc are presented here in their first studio, and stereo, recordings. Architetture was apparently previously recorded, but I could not find out when or by whom. Judging not only by the present disc but also by other recordings I’ve heard by Francesco La Vecchia (the music of Alfredo Casella, for one), I can attest that he does a splendid job. A great recording.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley Read less

Works on This Recording

Architetture by Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939-1940 
Contrappunti by Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Performer:  Riccardo Savinelli (Viola), Paolo Chiavacci (Violin), Giuseppe Scaglione (Cello)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960-1961 
Marinaresca e baccanale by Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 If you like a challenge, you will love this. January 13, 2016 By Lisa Ragsdale (Minneapolis, MN) See All My Reviews "When I read a review of Ghedini's music as being "not like anybody else's of his time," I knew I had to purchase this CD. And I have to agree. The three works on this CD will require you to listen carefully and attentively and you will like the music. It is NOT harsh or dissonant or atonal (or if it is you won't be able to tell!). It is like the fabric of a complex work of Bach mixed with orchestration that keeps you glued to the sounds he spins. This is NOT like Casella or Petrassi. But it is good solid, well constructed and superbly orchestrated music." Report Abuse
 Fascinating Modern Sound World January 4, 2015 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "If this recording is any indication, Giorgio Ghedini's compositions present a real challenge to the casual listener, because the various techniques he uses result in a sound that is, if nothing else, chaotically 'modern'. Architettura is a 7-section orchestral concerto lasting only 18 minutes. Loosely structured, it shifts between ominous brass chords, sveltly introspective pianissimo passages, and contrasting tonal/dissonant counterpoint statements. At nearly 30 minutes, Contrappunti continues this modernistic vision with 3 riveting sections that will definitely make you sit up and take notice, especially its rather austere, gloomy atmospherics in the second section, followed immediately by the extroverted finale. The third work,'Marinaresca e baccanale', written in 1933, is a highly atmospheric work with spectacular orchestral colors and sound effects. It almost suggests a brewing storm at sea, ominous and explosively chaotic throughout. Conductor Francesco La Vecchia and his Rome Symphony Orchestra play this difficult but rewarding music authoritatively, with readily apparent understanding and empathy. In short, this recording absolutely merits multiple hearings, as it has sufficient quality to steadily grow on the listener. Here is a case where initial impressions might not serve the listener very well, as I discovered after several hearings. In my estimation, Ghedini's musical challenge is well worth meeting head on, despite its intensely modern musical language and structure. I can and do recommend this new Naxos recording, especially to those who fancy themselves connoisseurs of the exotic in the arts." Report Abuse
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