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Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, September 2013

LaVecchia’s conducting is up to its usual high standard, with the singing to match. The orchestra plays beautifully, with excellent dynamic control. In the Chorus of the Dead the final pianissimo, with its snare drum decrescendo, as George Bernard would have said, “embraces perfect silence”. The whole album is a tribute to one of the masters of Italian art. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Ivan Moody
International Record Review, July 2013

The rehabilitation of Italian twentieth-century music by the Naxos label continues unabated: the latest release is this remarkable collection of works in diverse genres by Petrassi, covering the period from 1930 to 1941…

It is…an ideal way to end an impressive collection that any genuine Petrassian will rush to purchase. © 2013 International Record Review

Chris Hathaway
Classical 91.7 KUHA, April 2013

It’s not every day that a work as ingratiating as Goffredo Petrassi’s Divertimento, a real treat…comes along; one wonders why this piece, completed nearly 83 years ago, is just now receiving its first recording. It is certainly well played and well-recorded. The second movement…and third movement (Pavana) are products of a dream-world, and very imaginatively scored. The concluding Allegro, like its first-movement counterpart, is something that a modern Haydn might have written. This is music that’s full of sunshine and full of ideas, and Maestro La Vecchia his orchestra more than do it justice. © 2013 Classical 91.7 KUHA Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2013

With periods of academic rectitude mixed with some self-tuition, Goffredo Petrassi became one of the most important Italian composers of the 20th century. Having been born in 1904, he was, like many other Italian composers, to vanish from international view in the Second World War. When he re-emerge in the 1950’s his style of composing had moved to the avant garde of the earlier part of the century, though by then music had moved on in many different directions. The present disc is devoted to works from his younger years beginning with the Divertimento in C major written while studying composition at the Conservatoire in Rome. Its opening shows the influences of Stravinsky, and if he seems to be running short of thematic material in the third movement, we return to Stravinsky’s neo-classical sounds in an energetic finale. Written two years later, and still much in the same style, with possibly a little Hindemith added, the Partita was to be Petrassi’s coming of age work that brought him international recognition. Though the central Ciaccona is a powerful statement, it is again the outer movements I find the most immediately attractive with a prominent part for piano in the finale. Originally drawn to choral music, he returned to that form in the Quattro inni sacri and the highly charged and dramatic Coro di morti, both dating from the 1940’s. I wish the tenor and baritone soloists in the Four Sacred Hymns had been placed more forward of the orchestra and with less reverberation. Other than that the Rome orchestra and their conductor, Francesco La Vacchia, continue as unfailing champions of their national composers. © David’s Review Corner

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