RENATO DE GRANDIS (1927-2008): 48 Preludes (Notebooks 1-4), 6 Poemi friulani, 6 ultimi preludi.
Catalogue Number: 01P070
Reference: WER 6787 2
Description: A compatriot and contemporary of Maderna, Berio and Nono, De Grandis was a darling of Darmstadt in the 1960s, well acquainted with Boulez and Stockhausen, and a highly regarded figure in the avant garde for the next several decades. Very little of this is remotely evident in this huge autobiographical document in forty-eight concise chapters, except in the form of brief affectionate or ironic reminiscences, and the reason is that in 1987, the composer gave up composition to devote himself to other cultural pursuits, philosophical and religious study, and travel, especially in the East. This ultimately seems to have led him back to composition, and in the last few years of his life, he produced this huge set of pieces, all bearing evocative titles that reveal their significance as reminiscences of a lifetime of musical, philosophical and artistic influences and enthusiasms. Largely based in tonality, often with a modal flavor redolent of the East and middle East, the pieces are superbly crafted for the piano - de Grandis' instrument - and run the gamut from impressionistic, sonorous soundscapes via allusions to Baroque, classical and romantic exponents of the prelude genre (including some fascinating, ingenious almost-but-not-quite quotations and allusions - the variations in various styles on La folia in No.20, one of the longer pieces, are simply priceless - to sly tweaks of modernist and avant garde fashions, including dodecaphony and minimalism. An extremely varied, accessible and rewarding cycle, movingly personal richly expressive and technically superb. 2 CDs. Antonio Tarallo (piano).