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Italy's Generation of 1880 and Their Disciples / Kaleidos Duo

Rota / Pizzeti / Respighi / Kaleidos Duo
Release Date: 07/08/2014 
Label:  Roméo Records   Catalog #: 7304   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Luigi DallapiccolaOttorino RespighiGiorgio Federico GhediniNino Rota,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


DALLAPICCOLA Tartiniana Seconda. RESPIGHI Violin Sonata in b. GHEDINI Bizzaria. ROTA Improvviso in d for Violin and Piano, “Un diavolo sentimentale.” Read more class="COMPOSER12">PIZZETTI Tre Canti for Violin and Piano. MALIPIERO Il canto della Lontananza. Il canto nell’Infinito

To a certain extent, the title of this disc is a bit of a gimmick, since the “Generation of 1880” only applies, in a general sort of way, to three of these composers: Respighi (b. 1879), Pizzetti (1880), and Malipiero (1882). The others were born in 1892 (Ghedini), which is a bit awkward in assigning him to that generation, 1904 (Dallapiccola, who studied with none of the earlier composers but with Pizzetti’s disciple Vito Frazzi), and 1911 (Rota, who did in fact study with Pizzetti), but by and large the music on this disc is very well written, creative even when based on earlier forms, and extremely well played by violinist Miroslav Hristov and pianist Vladimir Valjarevi?, the members of the Kaleidos Duo.

Dallapiccola’s wonderfully creative reimagining of Tartini’s Violin Sonata “juxtaposes Baroque idioms with modern expressions,” and is as good in its own way as Stravinsky’s Pulcinella or Le baiser de la fée, though on a smaller scale. Having come to this disc directly from a compendium of chamber works by modern American college professor composers, which were arid and uninteresting, I was brought up short by Dallapiccola’s brilliant juxtaposition of this old violin sonata with modern variants and harmonic techniques. You see, dear reader, this is how you allow an earlier work to “play in your mind” and rework it creatively.

Those who are only familiar with Respighi’s three splashy, Technicolor orchestral tone poems ( Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome, and Roman Festivals ) may be brought up short by this wonderfully creative sonata. Despite its being a late Romantic work, it is clearly an interesting and creative piece, following the composer’s own way of musical thinking. In a certain sense I found it to be a sort of “Italian York Bowen” piece, which I consider a very high compliment indeed. The liner notes emphasize its structural debt to the music of Brahms and Franck (both of whom were major influences on Giuseppe Martucci and many of these older composers here), but Respighi is never formulaic in this work. He constantly pushes the envelope, in fact, bringing out dark moments and startling shifts of mood when the listener least expects them, not “on cue” as if by formula. I was also consistently struck by the passionate style and gorgeous tone of Hristov’s violin. As good as Valjarevi? is as a pianist (and he is), it is Hristov who “leads” the voicing in nearly every work as well as setting the tone for the emotional expression. This is a young musician who knows what he is about, knows what he wants, and gets it. The final movement of this sonata is practically angst-ridden in its emotional expression, and Hristov gets the most out of it without resorting to showboating.

Readers of my reviews will know how fond I’ve been of the recently recorded music (mostly on Naxos) of Giorgio Ghedini. He was a Modernist who followed his own unique path, combining the Baroque style of composition with ultra-modern, almost Stravinskian shapes and harmonies. In the case of Bizzaria, Ghedini even indulged in Impressionism. On the other hand Nino Rota, widely known as a film score composer, shows here in his Improvviso that he was a really fine composer, with greater technical skills and creative imagination than his Austrian contemporary, Korngold.

Pizzetti’s Three Songs, originally written for cello and piano and dedicated to his daughter, were arranged by the composer for violin and piano the same year (1924). This is the lightest music on this disc in terms of construction and content, yet once again it is a much better-written piece than many a university-produced composition of today. And even here, Hristov finds a means of playing this music with great feeling, which elevates the level of the music for this listener. Like the Respighi, Malipiero’s late-Romantic pieces end the program with moody emotion, well constructed and well played.

This is an excellent disc that will introduce you not only to some interesting Italian chamber music of the 20th century, but also to the excellent Kaleidos Duo.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Tartiniana seconda by Luigi Dallapiccola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; Italy 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 11 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Piano in B minor by Ottorino Respighi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Rome, Italy 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 28 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Bizzarria by Giorgio Federico Ghedini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Improvviso by Nino Rota
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; Italy 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 5 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Canti (3) for Violin/Cello and Piano by Ildebrando Pizzetti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Italy 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 13 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Il Canto della lontananza, for violin & piano by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1919 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Canto nell'infinito by Gian-Francesco Malipiero
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaleidos Duo (Composer)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Italy 
Venue:  Louisiana State University Recital Hall, 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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