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<<  -- 2 --  Simon Spencer    DEFIANCE AND STRUGGLE

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The opening work on the disc is Rondò Veneziano of 1929. There are shades of modern techniques: for instance, string glissandi dazzle the ear. And there's the harpsichord used as both a concertante and solo instrument, somewhat in the manner of de Falla's Concerto of only three years earlier [listen - track 1, 4:43-6:13]. Vänskä allows the music - so much of whose vitality is in huge dynamic spans - to unfold naturally. For example, an episode of chamber-like textures for harpsichord and solo violin out of which a soaring tutti emerges before relaxing back into a light piano and atmospheric haze, and then drifts off into a partial recapitulation of the main theme.

Preludio a un altro giorno, a late piece from 1952, has a curious title meaning 'Prelude to another day'. Perhaps Pizzetti's spirituality, for which he was known, played a part in the substance of this work. It has its apocalyptic moments, and is a tripartite structure into which there is more than a touch of defiance and struggle [listen - track 2, 4:10-5:06]. All aspects of this work are symphonic and deeply felt.

As a demonstration of Pizzetti's art and manner of expression this CD is an excellent and polished tribute to an important Italian composer, who now has a better chance of surviving the vicissitudes of musical fashions.

 

Copyright © 26 August 2000 Simon Spencer, Colchester, Essex, UK

 

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