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David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2017

Four Twentieth century works for chamber orchestra from very differing Italian composers who were writing on both sides of the Second Viennese School divide. It opens in fun with music drawn from a Casella ballet score and dedicated to his twelve year old daughter Fulvia. It is the story of a thief who steals a book from a child, each of the characters in the pictures then coming to life to torment him. In direct line with the style of Jacques Ibert, its neglect in the concert hall is really beyond comprehension. Completed fifteen years later in 1955, Musica, is a four-movement symphony stripped down to its basic components and composed in a pseudo Webern style of atonality. Franco Donatoni was wise in disowning it later in life, and it felt good to move to Giorgio Ghedini’s pseudo-baroque Concerto Grosso scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn and strings. Written in 1927 it’s five movements create the most extensive work on the disc, the composer finding likeable melodic invention which he bedecks in an 18th century mode, the work suddenly moving up a gear for the highly enjoyable finale, though how did Richard Strauss’s horn concerto become involved? The disc keeps the best to the end with Malipiero’s Imaginary Orient, a series of three colourful pictures for small orchestra. Here, and throughout the disc, the Swiss-Italilan Radio Orchestra perform admirably for the much travelled English conductor, Damian Iorio, the sound engineers obtaining an admirable balance through the many diverse permutations of instruments. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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