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Ferrara: Fantasia Tragica; Notte Di Tempesta / La Vecchia, Rome Symphony

Ferrara / Vecchia / Orch Sinfonica Di Roma
Release Date: 07/26/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572410   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franco Ferrara
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 47 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Franco Ferrara (1911-85) probably was the most renowned conducting teacher before Finland's Jorma Panula. His brilliant early career ended due to a nervous condition that made it impossible for him to conduct in public (he developed a disconcerting tendency to pass out in mid-beat), but it didn't stop him from teaching and working in the studio, where he participated in many noteworthy film projects. Hardly any young conductors in the 1960s and '70s failed to list participation in one of his masterclasses on their resumes. He also composed abundantly in a colorful, conservative idiom, and while the music here won't win any awards for originality, it is well worth hearing.

Perhaps the most remarkable piece here is the Fantasia
Read more tragica, a threnody so heavily influenced by the slow movement of Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony that you might be forgiven for believing that it's what you are listening to. The textures, the progress of the music, the extended climax (that goes on a bit too long) are all the same; only the tunes are different. It's amazing. Notte di tempesta is exactly what the title says it is: a nocturne with a storm in the middle, while Burlesca is a glittering scherzo perhaps a bit in the style of Dukas.

Francesco La Vecchia and his orchestra will be familiar to readers from their recent, fine recordings of music by Casella. It's great to see them branching out into the unexplored byways of modern Italian music, a terribly neglected field. The playing, as on those earlier releases, is a touch rough in spots, but excitingly so--never less than good, and in the end quite satisfying. The short playing time (46 minutes) is a bit of a shame. Surely there was room, if not time or money, for more music to be included, but the engineering is suitably vivid. A real curiosity, this, and eminently collectible.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Preludio by Franco Ferrara
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Fantasia Tragica by Franco Ferrara
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
3.
Notte di Tempesta by Franco Ferrara
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
4.
Burlesca by Franco Ferrara
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Italy 

Sound Samples

Preludio
Fantasia Tragica
Notte di Tempesta
Burlesca

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