DISC TWO: GIAN FRANCESCO MALIPIERO (1882–1973) : Armenia - Canti armeni tradotti sinfonicamente (transcription for piano 4-hands by the composer), Pause del silenzio - sette espressione sinfoniche (transcription for piano 4-hands by the composer), GIUSEPPE MARTUCCI (1856–1909) : Pensieri dell'opera "Un ballo in maschera" di Giuseppe Verdi , OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879–1936) : Fontani di Roma (transcription for piano 4-hands by the composer), Sei pezzi per bambini. Gilda Buttà, Victoria Terekiev, piano 4-hands.
Catalogue Number: 03Y019
Label: Da Vinci Classics
Description: Buttà and Terekiev's disc presents Respighi's own transcription for four-hand piano duo of his perennial masterpiece, Fountains of Rome. The idea of Respighi's orchestral music without his glorious, Technicolor orchestration might seem curious, but this arrangement is remarkable for the degree to which the composer captures the layered colours and sumptuous textures of the original through judicious use of the contrasts in touch and full harmonic possibilities presented by the four hand medium. The Six Little Pieces for Children have a childlike sense of wonder, but are far from childish. They comprise a musical world tour, with stops in Sicily, Scotland and – interestingly – Armenia. Written in 1926, they represent a delightful collection of miniatures, playing with modality and exoticism in order to transcend the trivial, predictable diatonicism of many pieces for children. Malipiero's two works, originally for orchestra, were both written around the end of the First World War, with the tragic resonances that that implies. His Armenia comprises a series of songs “symphonically transcribed” by the Venetian master. The themes are skillfully combined, and the piece reaches heights of emotional expressiveness, melancholia and nostalgia. Pause del silenzio is explicitly a reflection on the war, which had drowned out all silence, literal and emotional. In the composer’s words, the work’s sections “reflect my agitated state” during wartime. In a single span of just under a quarter-hour, the work is divided into an uneasy pastoral, a scherzo-like dance, a lugubrious serenade, a tumultuous battle scene, a funereal elegy, a fanfare and a “fire of violent rhythms”. The silence to which the pieces pay homage is broken by the opening gesture, which recurs as a leitmotiv between the sections. Martucci's operatic paraphrase, written when the piano virtuoso prodigy was 17 (for Heaven's sake!) takes its inspiration from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, weaving some of its best-loved themes into a characteristic fantasia, full of pianistically ingenious evocations of orchestral textures and voices.