Idebrando Pizzetti: Canti della stagione alta; Prelude to Fedra; Sinfonia del fuoco

Idebrando Pizzetti: Canti della stagione alta; Prelude to Fedra; Sinfonia del fuoco

by Oleg Caetani
     
 

Ildebrando Pizzetti was among the triad of first-generation modernist Italian composers, although he was nowhere near as daring as his colleagues in that circle, Alfredo Casella and Gian Francesco Malipiero. Indeed, much of his music is even less forward looking than that of his slightly olderSee more details below

Overview

Ildebrando Pizzetti was among the triad of first-generation modernist Italian composers, although he was nowhere near as daring as his colleagues in that circle, Alfredo Casella and Gian Francesco Malipiero. Indeed, much of his music is even less forward looking than that of his slightly older contemporary Ottorino Respighi. The keynote work on this Marco Polo release -- "Canti dell stagione alta" (Songs of the High Season) is a piano concerto dating from 1930; however, if it weren't for its thick scoring and slightly tart harmonic language, one could easily situate it within the realm of Rachmaninov, although it has a melodic profile that is distinctly Italian. The Preludio from the three-act musical tragedy "Fedra" (composed in 1909, but not performed until 1915) is more challenging and colorfully heart wrenching than the concerto, being based on a libretto by Gabriele d'Annunzio, the major literary figure in Italy at the time. D'Annunzio was also involved in the making of Giovanni Pastrone's epic film Cabiria (1914), and perhaps this was what connected Pizzetti to the project. The "Sinfonia del fuoco" he composed for a particularly dramatic scene in the film -- the sacrifice of 100 pure children to the god Moloch -- is one of Pizzetti's greatest achievements, perhaps the earliest film score that sounds a little like what dramatic film music would eventually become many years later. This important work rounds off the program. Pianist Susanna Stefani Caetani puts her heart and soul into the "Canti dell stagione alta," and it's a pity that the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie led by her husband, conductor Oleg Caetani, pales somewhat in comparison; it is a bit loose and underpowered both in the concerto and in the Preludio to "Fedra." Caetani and company redeem themselves in the Cabiria music, though the Städtischer Opernchor, Chemnitz, sounds a little unfamiliar with this idiom and is inconsistent in bringing off the volume and harrowing force of Pizzetti's music. Baritone Boris Statsenko, however, does a superb job of singing the role of The Priest, and overall anyone with an interest in modern Italian music, a taste for romantic piano concertos, or concerned with the early history of music for film would not want to be without this. Originally released in 1999, this disc was reissued in 2009 on the regular Naxos label.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/1999
Label:
Marco Polo
UPC:
0636943505823
catalogNumber:
8225058
Rank:
303448

Tracks

  1. Fedra, opera: Preludio atto 1  - Ildebrando Pizzetti  - Oleg Caetani  - Robert Schumann Philharmonie
  2. Concerto for piano & orchestra ("Canti della stagione alta")  - Ildebrando Pizzetti  - Oleg Caetani  - Robert Schumann Philharmonie
  3. Cabiria (1914), film score: Sinfonia del fuoco  - Ildebrando Pizzetti  - Oleg Caetani  - Robert Schumann Philharmonie  -  Opernchor Chemnitz  - Boris Statsenko

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