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Cilea: Chamber Music / Cusano, Di Tonno, Codispoti

Cilea / Codispoti / Cusano / Di Tonno
Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94443   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Domenico CodispotiIlaria CusanoJacopo di Tonno
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 48 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CILEA Sonata for Cello and Piano in D. Piano Trio in D. Canto for Violin and Piano. Theme and Variations for Violin and Piano Ilaria Cusano (vn); Jacopo di Tonno (vc); Domenico Codispotti (pn) BRILLIANT 94443 (47: 37)


If one knows the name Francesco Cilea, it is undoubtedly because of his operas, particularly Adriana Lecouvreur and L’Arlesiana (the latter mostly known only for one tenor aria, except Read more by opera fanatics like me). This disc performs a valuable service in introducing us to his chamber music, though it could have done a better job by filling out the short duration with some of his solo piano music. The main competition for this recording is Piano Classics 59, which feature the same cello sonata along with a number of solo piano works. Sandro de Palma is the pianist, Ferdinando Calcaviello the cellist. I have not heard that disc, and so cannot make a comparison.


I can say, however, that despite the short duration this disc is lovely. Some critics who like to think of themselves as intellectually above the common herd criticize Adriana Lecouvreur as being a “one-tune opera,” but that is very far from the truth, as can be easily determined by actually listening to it. Cilea did have a fertile musical imagination, and one hears evidence of it in these works. The cello sonata is an early work (the composer was 22) and the highlight is the lovely second movement, a romanza marked Largo doloroso , and played here with great tenderness and sensitivity by Tonno and Codispotti. The piano trio is perhaps the most mature of the three works here in terms of its construction, but it too has the breath of fresh inspiration about it.


Make no mistake, these are not masterpieces that belong in the standard chamber music repertoire. There is nothing by Schubert, Brahms, or Mendelssohn, for example, that I would trade for these. But they are a worthy addition to the repertoire for occasional hearing, and these affectionate, committed performances presented in a well-balanced recording are recommended. The only negatives are the short duration of the disc and the very skimpy accompanying program notes.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D major, Op. 38 by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Domenico Codispoti (Piano), Ilaria Cusano (Violin), Jacopo di Tonno (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1947; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/2013 
Venue:  Studio I Musicanti, Rome 
Length: 17 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Piano trio in D major by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Jacopo di Tonno (Cello), Domenico Codispoti (Piano), Ilaria Cusano (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886 
Date of Recording: 02/2013 
Venue:  Studio I Musicanti, Rome 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
3.
Vocalizzo lento doloroso, for voice & piano by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Jacopo di Tonno (Cello), Ilaria Cusano (Violin), Domenico Codispoti (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 02/2013 
Venue:  Studio I Musicanti, Rome 
Length: 5 Minutes 20 Secs. 
4.
Theme & Variations, for violin & piano by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Jacopo di Tonno (Cello), Domenico Codispoti (Piano), Ilaria Cusano (Violin)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 02/2013 
Venue:  Studio I Musicanti, Rome 
Length: 5 Minutes 56 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Cello Sonata in D Major, Op. 38: I. Allegro moderato
Cello Sonata in D Major, Op. 38: II. Alla romanza
Cello Sonata in D Major, Op. 38: III. Allegro animato
Piano Trio in D Major: I. Allegro sostenuto
Piano Trio in D Major: II. Scherzo: Presto
Piano Trio in D Major: III. Andante molto espressivo
Piano Trio in D Major: IV. Allegro con fuoco
3 Vocalizzi da concerto: No. 2 in D minor (arr. for violin and piano)
Theme and Variations

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