Malipiero: Preludi autunnali; Barlumi; Maschere che passano; Poemi asolani; Omaggi; A Claudio Debussy

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COMPOSERS: Malipiero
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: Preludi autunnali; Barlumi; Maschere che passano; Poemi asolani; Omaggi; A Claudio Debussy
PERFORMER: Sandro Ivo Bartoli (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 929 DDD
Malipiero is one of the most striking among non-French composers influenced early on by Debussy and Ravel. A fine Marco Polo set has already put a case for his symphonies. Now ASV, which won an award for its recording of his string quartets, has come up with an equally desirable disc of his piano music.

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Sandro Ivo Bartoli turns in some highly attractive performances of this music, through which peers not just the Debussy of Cloches à travers les feuilles, but that of the Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk too. A wide range of moods and contrasts colours these mainly First World War pieces – often sombre, with more than a hint of the dance of death – but also optimistic and wittily ironic.

There’s a well-voiced rival Nuova Era disc by Victoria Terekiev, who sometimes manages greater clarity. Her capable efforts conclude with the exploratory, early Poemetti lunari.

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But few will be less than delighted with Bartoli’s warm-sounding, slightly mellower, more laid-back ASV set, which has the bonus of the evocative La notte dei morti and a disconsolate final homage to Debussy dating from 1920. Roderic Dunnett