Franco Ferrara: Fantasia Tragica; Notte di Tempesta

Franco Ferrara: Fantasia Tragica; Notte di Tempesta

4.5 2
by Francesco La Vecchia
     
 

If you haven't heard of Franco Ferrara, you should. A 20th century conductor and composer, Ferrara's sensibility draws on Russians like Shostakovich, while still capturing a dramatic, operatic, Italian feel. His "Preludio" is initially melancholy and beautifully moody. Textures and shapes emerge from the music, with sweetness in theSee more details below

Overview

If you haven't heard of Franco Ferrara, you should. A 20th century conductor and composer, Ferrara's sensibility draws on Russians like Shostakovich, while still capturing a dramatic, operatic, Italian feel. His "Preludio" is initially melancholy and beautifully moody. Textures and shapes emerge from the music, with sweetness in the violins. The music grows loud, but never loses its sense of phrasing and shape, thanks to the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma under the baton of Francesco La Vecchia. Ferrara's "Fantasia tragica" is barely audible in the beginning, as it is so quiet, eerie, and tragic as it evolves. The entry of brass is exciting. Very foreboding, it reminds the listener a bit of Sibelius or Shostakovich (Ferrara's source of inspiration). In fact, it might leave the listener with a clear answer of what sort of music one would get if heavy Verdi and Italian drama were crossed with the style of Northern European and Russian composers. The tonally fascinating "Notte di tempesta" features great colors in the orchestra: high string tremolos, the flute paired with the bass clarinet, and rolling timpani. The menacing passages that move up and down the scale in the low strings are like waves, played with excellent precision by the Orchestra Sinfonica. One is swept away by the waves, the roar, the swells, the thunder. A tightly knit, chorale-like passage is an interesting contrast to the stormy music. The lushness of the strings recalls string orchestra music such as that of Vaughan Williams. The ending is rich, with the strings paired with the warm brass. The last piece on the album, "Burlesca," is warm and inviting, very accessible like a film score. One might conjure a Harry Potter film or 1950s films when hearing the music. The beginning is whimsical, with string pizzicato, flute leaps and jumps, and a tinkling triangle. Engaging dialogues between the instruments are complemented by sweeping strings. There is a strong contrast between the warmer passages and a dark, menacing theme, proof that Ferrara knew how to keep dramatic tension in the music. Ferrara should become a household name, especially when played beautifully by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma. ~ V. Vasan

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/26/2011
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313241071
catalogNumber:
8572410
Rank:
155252

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