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.
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.
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