NICCOLÒ CASTIGLIONI (1932-1996): Cangianti, 3 pezzi, Come io passo l'estate, Dulce Refrigerium, Sonatina, HE.
Catalogue Number: 11J129
Reference: MSC CD92089
Description: Castiglioni's wide-ranging eclecticism is shown to great advantage in his piano music, which is more extrovert, more varied, and more revealing of his influences than the majority of the ensemble works we have offered before, fine and individual as those were. The familiar gestures are here; the glittering high-register textures, and the extended silences are instantly recognisable. But there is a stronger element of parody, even pastiche; the largely tonal (though with deliberate distortions) travelogue 'How I spend the summer' is a surprise - a very appealing one at that. Elsewhere, gestures suggesting Messiaen, the Second Viennese School and Cowell appear like fragments of 20th-century music history, with a vaguely mocking, disillusioned air. The early Cangianti (changes) is the most avant-garde work, with its explosive clusters and intense virtuosity, the piece is a study in contrasts. This kind of free atonality seems to be Castiglioni's most natural idiom; he returned to it in the Sonatina of 1984, though here a rich vein of chromaticism and obsessively repeated gestures lend the music a somber, quasi-romantic feeling at times. As always, Castiglioni's idiom is a highly individual and fascinating one, and this collection throws the most revealing light yet on his musical personality. Sarah Nicolls (piano).