Dallapiccola: Symphonic Fragment from Marsia; Variations for Orchestra; Tartiniana; Due pezzi; Piccola musica notturna

Composer(s):
Dallapiccola
Works:
Symphonic Fragment from Marsia; Variations for Orchestra; Tartiniana; Due pezzi; Piccola musica notturna
Performer:
ames Ehnes (violin); BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda
Label:
Chandos
Catalogue Number:
CHAN 10258
Performance:
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Sound:
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Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
Perhaps the most immediately attractive of these works is the Piccola musica notturna – a highly atmospheric evocation of a nocturnal landscape, inspired by a poem of Antonio Machado. Also brilliantly effective are the symphonic fragments from the ballet Marsia of 1942-43, on the mythological subject of the dance-contest between Apollo and Marsyas. Two of the remaining pieces here are actually transcriptions of music originally written for much smaller forces. The Due Pezzi – an expressive Sarabande and a rigorous fugue – began life as studies for violin and piano (themselves based on the music for an aborted film about Piero della Francesca); and the Variations for Orchestra are an arrangement of a masterly cycle of miniature piano pieces designed to illustrate to the composer’s 8-year-old daughter such basic elements of music as melody, rhythm, counterpoint and colour. It’s good to have these rare items played by a first-class orchestra, and finely recorded. James Ehnes is an eloquent soloist in Tartiniana (a somewhat lugubrious contrapuntal reworking of themes by the great Istrian violinist), and Gianandrea Noseda’s affection for the music is evident throughout. It has to be said, however, that the expressive intensity of Dallapiccola’s writing occasionally leads Noseda to adopt tempos that are considerably too slow for its melodic lines to unfold as naturally as they should. Misha Donat