Pezzi (3), for chamber orchestra (after G. Frescobaldi)
- La Basadonna, for chamber orchestra (after G. Legrenzi) (03:20)
- Chemins V on Sequenza XI, for guitar & chamber orchestra (20:42)
- Canzone a tre cori, for chamber orchestra (after G. Gabrieli) (05:20)
Le Sinfonie, for chamber orchestra (after T.L. Viadana)
Palestrina-Konzert, for chamber orchestra (after U.W. van Wassenaer)
It is not only today that there are affinities between contemporary music and early music; Stravinsky famously cultivated the connection, and conductor and 12-tone composer Bruno Maderna was a student of Gian Francesco Malipiero, who pioneered the early music movement in Italy. It is quite novel today to hear early music through the ears of someone aware of the musical past but unacquainted with the idea of historical performance. Most of Now, and Then consists of transcriptions of early works by Maderna, and they are unusual, both in the selection and in the procedure. Maderna includes works not only by Girolamo Frescobaldi and Giovanni Gabrieli, but also by the lesser-known Giovanni Legrenzi and Ludovico Viadana, and even the totally unknown Dutch official/composer Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, some of whose music was once attributed to Pergolesi (and was recycled in Stravinsky's "Pulcinella"). As will be seen, these works, all nominally from the Baroque, range over 150 years and include polyphony, dances, and concerted pieces from the later Baroque. Maderna is not concerned in the least with authenticity and embroiders the music freely, but neither is his stance Romantic: he uses a variety of techniques to delineate the structures of the pieces in unexpected ways. The overall effect is that you hear something ineffably modern even though it's rooted in the past; although Maderna does not depart from his models as Stravinsky does, the experience of hearing these pieces is similar. The switch to Berio's completely modernist "Chemins V," a transcription of "Sequenza XI for guitar," is jarring although the presenters justify it by saying that it, like the Maderna works, is a transcription. This release, beautifully played by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana under Dennis Russell Davies, offers something of a byway of 20th century music, but it's of considerable interest to those concerned with the first stages of the early music movement.