Notes and Editorial Reviews
Capriccios Nos. 4–6. 6 Preludes.
Prima Partita Chorale.
Aldo Orvieto (pn)
NAXOS 8.572991 (55:21)
Camillo Togni, along with Luigi Dallapiccola and Bruno Maderna, represented the Italian wing of the post World War II serialists. He was introduced to the methodology by his teacher, Alfredo Casella, but especially by his friend and mentor, the great pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, who introduced the 16-year-old Togni to the
music of Schoenberg in 1938, when it must have been a highly politically incorrect thing to do in Fascist Italy.
On the basis of this recording, it is clear that Togni, who died in 1993, was no doctrinaire serialist. Even his first venture, the serenade of 1940, comes across as gentle, and even lush. The length of the piece, nearly half an hour in this recording, adds a certain dreaminess to the work. Like Dallapicolla, Togni presents serialism in a charmingly Italianate manner, with lyricism and color, and a noticeable lack of sharp corners. The six preludes owe as much to the charm of Chopin as they do to the Modernism of Webern. Another similarity between the two colleagues is an interest in the re-use of older music (Dallapicolla reworked Tartini). Togni, highly influenced by the Bach transcriptions of Busoni, gives us a beautifully constructed set of five of Bach’s organ chorales transcribed for solo piano. The three capriccios contain the wildest music of this recital, but even here, the brilliant color and excitement of the music offset the somewhat difficult harmonic language.
I find the music of Togni, at least as heard on this selection of piano music, to be compelling and even beautiful. Orvieto plays it with gusto and dedication, as well as delicacy when called for. Who knows why his music is not better known; I will certainly keep an ear open for more of it.
FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
Works on This Recording
Serenata no 1, Op. 10 by Camillo Togni
Aldo Orvieto (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Capriccio No. 4, "Ottave"
Capriccio No. 5, "Omaggio a Bellini"
Capriccio No. 6, "Aforisma sul nome di Sylvano Bussotti"
Preludes, Op. 21: No. 1. Calmo
Preludes, Op. 21: No. 2. Allegro moderato
Preludes, Op. 21: No. 3. Lento desolato
Preludes, Op. 21: No. 4. Vivace
Preludes, Op. 21: No. 5. Mosso e marcato
Preludes, Op. 21: No. 6. Con impeto
Prima partita corale, Op. 29 (after J.S. Bach): I. Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes Sohn (after BWV 601)
Prima partita corale, Op. 29 (after J.S. Bach): II. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren (after BWV 648)
Prima partita corale, Op. 29 (after J.S. Bach): III. Vater unser im Himmelreich (after BWV 683)
Prima partita corale, Op. 29 (after J.S. Bach): IV. In dulci jubilo (after BWV 608)
Prima partita corale, Op. 29 (after J.S. Bach): V. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (after BWV 706)
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