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Rota: Concerto for Cello No 2, Concerto for Strings, Clarinet Trio / Bronzi, Carbonare, Miodini, Et Al

Release Date: 06/30/2009 
Label:  Concerto   Catalog #: 2043   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nino Rota
Performer:  Enrico BronziAlessandro CarbonareAlberto Mondini
Conductor:  Enrico Bronzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici Di Parma
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

ROTA Cello Concerto No. 2. Concerto for Strings. Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano Enrico Bronzi (vc, cond); Alessandro Carbonare (cl); Alberto Miodini (pn); I Musici di Parma CONCERTO 2043 (54: 28)

Parma is known for its hams, I do believe, but henceforth it also should be known for its Rota performances. This is a thoroughly enjoyable CD—just the thing for recalcitrant types who say they don’t like modern classical music, or even (gasp!) classical music in general. As I write this, it is July, but when Read more you read it, the end of the year will be approaching. If you need stocking-stuffers, consider this CD.

The Cello Concerto and the Trio date from 1973, and the Concerto for Strings from 1964–65, although it was revised in 1977, so these are fully mature works, unlike the two symphonies whose new recording I review elsewhere. The symphonies are likeable, but neither consistent in their inspiration nor truly characteristic of the composer. The three works presented here, without sounding like film music in search of a film, remind one of Rota’s work with director Federico Fellini. They are by turns ironic, melancholy, and uncomplicatedly sunny, and they are always melodic. Could someone other than an Italian have composed them?

Bronzi’s booklet notes are inadequate, however—at least in their English translation. Nowhere does he mention, for example, that the Cello Concerto opens with a motif taken from Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. Fortunately, his playing and his overall attitude toward Rota’s music pick up the slack. Comparing Bronzi’s recording of the Cello Concerto to one on Chandos 9892 with cellist Dmitry Yablonsky and Daniel Boico conducting I Virtuosi Italiani, one immediately appreciates Bronzi’s lighter touch and more transparent textures. At times Yablonsky’s cello is almost submerged in the orchestra. Bronzi’s is front and center (not unduly so), but it isn’t simply a question of volume and balance. Bronzi is simply more personable than Yablonsky (and Boico), and the difference between the two isn’t even minor.

I Musici’s recording of the Concerto for Strings (Philips 416 356) displays the older ensemble’s more refined sound, and for some, that will be enough to tip the balance in its favor. The I Musici di Parma players are a little raw, particularly when they get excited. Still, there’s a lot of character here, and passion too, and I am willing to accept tonal roughness if it comes with so much personality, even joy.

The Clarinet Trio has been recorded several times, although it was new to me. It is no less worthwhile than the other two works, and indeed, deserves to be a staple of this genre as much as the (surely very different) trios by Mozart and Brahms. Carbonare’s tone is distinctive, and Miodini grounds the ensemble with his own brand of neo-Classical wit.

Chianti might upset your stomach, but this CD, with its similarly warming and uninhibiting effects, is guaranteed not to give you indigestion.

FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Cello no 2 by Nino Rota
Performer:  Enrico Bronzi (Cello)
Conductor:  Enrico Bronzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici Di Parma
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; Italy 
Concerto for Strings by Nino Rota
Performer:  Enrico Bronzi (Cello), Alessandro Carbonare (Clarinet), Alberto Mondini (Piano)
Conductor:  Enrico Bronzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici Di Parma
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964-1965; Italy 
Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano by Nino Rota
Performer:  Enrico Bronzi (Cello), Alessandro Carbonare (Clarinet), Alberto Mondini (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973 

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