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Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 2 / Francesco Caramiello

Sgambati / Caramiello
Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Tactus   Catalog #: 841902   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco CaramielloFilippo Siano
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SGAMBATI 3 Morceaux. Etude Triomphale. Suite. Gavotte . 3 Notturni. Benedizione nuziale. Marcia-Inno. Canzone lituana. Sérénade valsée. Il Faut Aimer! Francesco Caramiello (pn) TACTUS TC 841902 (74:46)


“Everybody loves Sgambati sometime.” Isn’t that how the old Dean Martin standard used to go? Well, no matter—I found much to love about Giovanni Sgambati during my audition of Volume 2 of his complete piano music. In the LP Read more era, Sgambati (1841–1914) was not well represented on recordings. Certain of his works, most notably his Serenata Napoletana , received a few recordings back then, and his piano concerto, issued both on the Genesis and Colosseum labels, received a fine performance by Jorge Bolet. In the CD era, however, a number of discs have been devoted exclusively to his work, his Piano Quintet receiving a very positive review by Robert McColley in Fanfare 22:2. As far as I can determine, Volume 1 in this series has not yet been reviewed in these pages.


Volume 2 presents us with a nice selection of his piano writing, which is characterized by unexpected (albeit convincing) shifts in tonal areas, and a generally rather gentle approach to the keyboard—little thundering à la Liszt will be heard in these works. The opening Trois Morceaux are exquisite morsels indeed, painted in pastels and perfumed with whiffs of rather Russian-sounding chromaticism. The Etude Triomphale features a vigorous melodic line underpinned by a running triplet line in the left hand. More of these triplet lines also show up in the Suite, op. 21, although this time in the right hand. The Gavotte is more homophonic and rhythmically focused, while the Tre Notturni are miniatures of simplicity and direct appeal. The Marcia-Inno is a cousin to Verdi’s “Grand March” from Aida, if a touch less grand.


Sgambati’s piano music may not plumb the depths of profundity, but it probes far more deeply than the superficial exercises of a second-rate 19th-century composer, and I believe will reward anyone who is tuned to the romantic aesthetic. He has his own voice, and it is one that deserves to be heard. It is easy to see why Sgambati received tributes during his lifetime from Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein, Busoni, and Brahms, among others. All of the music herein is superbly presented by Italian pianist Francesco Caramiello, who plays with utmost sensitivity and skill. His phrasing in the delicate passages of the music will be savored in my memory for some time. Recorded sound is exemplary, too. Warmly recommended to anyone looking for undiscovered gems from the Romantic era.


FANFARE: David DeBoor Canfield
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Works on This Recording

1. Morceaux (3) for Piano, Op. 42 by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 10 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2. Etude triomphale for piano in A major by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3. Suite for Piano in B minor, Op. 21 by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1888; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 19 Minutes 15 Secs. 
4. Gavotta for Piano in A flat minor, Op. 14 by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5. Nocturnes (3), for piano, Op. 20 by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 14 Minutes 11 Secs. 
6. Benedizione nuziale, Op. 30 by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
7. Marcia-Inno, for piano, 4 hands by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Filippo Siano (Piano), Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
8. Canzone lituana by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
9. Sérénade valsée for Piano by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
10. Il faut aimer!, gavotte for piano by Giovanni Sgambati
Performer:  Francesco Caramiello (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890 
Date of Recording: 07/2000 
Venue:  Villa Campolieto Ercolano, Napoli, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 

Sound Samples

3 Morceaux: No. 1. Preludio
3 Morceaux: No. 2. Berceuse - Reverie
3 Morceaux: No. 3. Melodia campestre (Impromptu)
Etude Triomphale in A major
Suite, Op. 21: I. Prelude
Suite, Op. 21: II. Valse
Suite, Op. 21: III. Air
Suite, Op. 21: IV. Intermezzo
Suite, Op. 21: V. Etude melodique
Gavotte, Op. 14
Nocturne in B minor, Op. 3, No. 1
Nocturne in G major, Op. 20, No. 2
Nocturne in C minor, Op. 20, No. 3
Benedizione nuziale, Op. 30 (version for piano)
Marcia-Inno (version for piano 4 hands)
Canzone Lituana in F major
Serenata valsee in A flat major
Il faut aimer!

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