ALESSANDRO APPIGNANI (b.197?): Piano Quintet, The Last Bard, Scuatù and Hvareno for String Quartet, L'Aleph for Piano, Mediterranean Song for Viola and Piano, A Window in the Wood for Viola, La Coscienza D'Orfeo for Piano Trio, The Green Island - Canzona II for Cello and Piano, Das Schloss for Cello.

Catalogue Number: 01N086

Label: Brilliant Classics

Reference: 9235

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: Appignani's pieces are very accessible, basically tonal and drawn toward reassuring consonance, whatever disruptive dissonant special effects may be thrown into their path along the way. The Quintet consists of an hypnotic first movement followed by a lively toccata. The Last Bard has a folk-like quality, and one can easily imagine it as an accompaniment to a pastoral scene from some popular mythology (a sunny day in Hobbiton, perhaps). Several of the works evoke natural scenes in picturesque snapshots, the viola suite combining this idea with a postmodern take on the Baroque suite. Elements of minimalism contribute rippling motion to La Coscienza d'Orfeo and Scuatù, and a gentler, rocking motion elsewhere, and a pleasing melodic sense is apparent throughout - with the exception of the angular, fragmented beginning of Das Schloss, which sounds like the composer deliberately trying to step outside his comfort zone (it's not his natural habitat, and he retreats into Shostakovich-like brooding well before the piece is half over). Quaetetto d'archi di Torino, Alessandro Appignani (piano), Yoko Hanamaru (viola), Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello).

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