GOFFREDO PETRASSI (1904-2003): Toccata, Partita, Piccola Invenzione, 8 Invenzioni, Petite Piece, Oh Les Beaux Jours!, LUIGI DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975): Sonatina Canonica su “Capricci” di Niccolò Paganini, 3 episodi dal balletto “Maria”, Quaderno musicale di Annalibera.

Catalogue Number: 05W056

Label: Piano Classics

Reference: PCL10222

Format: CD

Price: $22.98

Description: The strident conviction of Petrassi’s seven postwar Concertos for Orchestra could hardly be anticipated from the fluent pastiche of his piano Partita, composed in 1926. The Baroque titles of the four movements introduce a disarming simplicity of expression, whose dominant strains are the Classicism of Mozart and Beethoven. Even the more exploratory harmonies of the Toccata (1933) are couched in an idiom of gentle introspection – a far cry from the contemporary toccatas of Bartok and Prokofiev, for example – and an escapist, playful spirit courses through the seven Inventions of 1944. Dallapiccola was, if anything, an even keener student of Baroque music than Petrassi, and blessed with a more subversive wit: in one of his most famous works, the Quaderno Musicale di Annalibera (1951-2) he fashions a dodecaphonic sequence on Bach’s name. Twelve-tone counterpoint should be a contradiction in terms, but that would underestimate Dallapiccola’s powers of technique and invention, which create a genuine homage in the spirit of his own time. Before that, pianist Molteni presents two further works in a haunting neoclassical vein: a ‘Canonic Sonata’ based on Paganini’s Capricci for solo violin, and a set of three ‘Episodes’ drawn from his ballet Marsia, by turns anguished and serene in mood. 2 CDs. Andrea Molteni (piano).

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