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Rolla: Chamber Music For Flute / Mario Carbotta

Release Date: 10/28/2008 
Label:  Dynamic   Catalog #: 594   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alessandro Rolla
Performer:  Marcello ScandelliCarlo de MartiniEnrico CasazzaMario Carbotta,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

ROLLA Divertimentos: Bl 433; Bl 427a. Flute Quartets: in e, BI 418; in C, BI 415 Mario Carbotta (fl); Enrico Casazza (vn); Carlo de Martini (va); Alice Bisanti (va); Marcello Scandelli (vc); Carlo Balzaretti (pn) DYNAMIC 594 (63:24)

A while ago I reviewed quite positively a recording of works from the pen of Italian composer Colla, featuring the same flutist, Read more Mario Carbotta, violist, Alice Bisanti, and pianist, Carlo Balzaretti (for Tactus 78031). The almost-namesake Rolla was not unknown to me, as I had reviewed a CD of viola and cello duets with Besa and Mosca, for Supraphon (3616 131). Being rather absent-minded, I was at first a bit puzzled when I got the package from Fanfare ’s publisher: hadn’t I already written about this disc? A quick consultation of the Archives helped unmuddle my mind. Nope, this is indeed a recent release, but it has much in common with the two aforementioned recordings.

The three carry delightful, albeit superficial music, written by little-known Italian composers, played with care and charm, helping us fill out the gap of musical history, which tends to focus on a few geniuses while leaving many noteworthy composers in the shadows. Rolla is better known than Colla, for sure, but he is certainly no household name. And while Mozart quartets are played to exhaustion, you will have a hard time running into Rolla`s name in most major concert hall programs. And you know what? That is a pity. Dynamic is doing its part to change this state of affairs: as far as I know, this is their third CD dedicated to this Italian composer. Kudos to them!

If I had any misgivings about Carbotta’s tone, here they are entirely dispelled. His playing in the present CD is truly excellent, with enjoyable tone, creative phrasing, lovely inflections, generous contrasts in character, good dynamics, and solid technique all around. He is helped by the partners that share the limelight with him: an inspired pianist with the lightest of touches, and strings that never sound harsh (even when they are very high in their register). Intonation is invariably firm, ensemble is tight and natural, and the quality of the recorded sound is very fine. In a word, everything conspires to turn this CD into a real gem.

Such engaged playing is usually reserved for the likes of Beethoven and Haydn. To hear it lavished on less-impressive figures is a blessing. In fact, it is a real pleasure to hear music played with such abandon, alertness, and a willingness completely to match the spirit that guides these compositions: elegance, freedom, cheerfulness, and insouciance. The liner text is written, with the usual aplomb, by Mariateresa Dellaborra. Granted, the music is not sublime, but I guarantee that any listener looking for feel-good music will find reasons to be filled with unprepossessing contentment that will last longer than the hour spent in such good company, especially if he/she manages to ignore the hideous cover (what are the three tall buildings doing there? I fail to grasp the symbolism), lame photos of the artists, and generally incompetent visual presentation of the disc.

FANFARE: Laura Rónai
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Works on This Recording

Quartet for Flute and Strings no 4 in E minor by Alessandro Rolla
Performer:  Marcello Scandelli (Cello), Carlo de Martini (Violin), Enrico Casazza (Violin),
Mario Carbotta (Flute), Alice Bisanti (Viola)
Period: Classical 
Quartet for Flute and Strings no 1 in C major by Alessandro Rolla
Performer:  Carlo de Martini (Violin), Enrico Casazza (Violin), Mario Carbotta (Flute),
Alice Bisanti (Viola), Marcello Scandelli (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Divertimento for Flute, 2 Violas, Cello and Piano by Alessandro Rolla
Performer:  Alice Bisanti (Viola), Mario Carbotta (Flute), Carlo de Martini (Violin),
Marcello Scandelli (Cello), Carlo Balzaretti (Piano), Enrico Casazza (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Divertimento for Flute, Violin, 2 Violas and Cello by Alessandro Rolla
Performer:  Marcello Scandelli (Cello), Enrico Casazza (Violin), Carlo de Martini (Violin),
Alice Bisanti (Viola), Mario Carbotta (Flute)
Period: Classical 

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