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Scott Noriega
Fanfare, May 2012

The first three works on the current recital (of which the two versions of the Piano Concerto are premiere recordings) are all short works—all between 11 and 12 minutes. The Piano Concerto (1942) is an early work. It sounds a bit like a mixture of Bartók, Berg, and perhaps Hindemith, though there is already a unique sound that shines through. The work is contrapuntal, well orchestrated, and highly melodic. It is above all else a pleasure to listen to. The Concerto for Two Pianos (1948)…begins with a mysterious air to it, using few notes and just the pianos to create its mood. It becomes more animato as the composition progresses, adding more and different percussion instruments into the mix, erupting at times, receding at others. It ends with a torrent of timbres. Quadrivium (1969) is a late work. It is the most experimental…works on the disc, featuring strict serial writing, aleatoric moments, and counterpoint, and is infused with a sense of exploration of sonorities. I can’t say that this type of music will be for everyone, but repeated listenings help in the appreciation and understanding of this music. I can only say that I have been rewarded in the process.

The musicians on this recording give the sense that they have studied and love this music—and there is much to be loved, even by the casual listener. The early works, in particular, are delightful in sound and conception, while the later works, though more complex, are also quite engaging…The sound quality is excellent—each instrument literally pops out of the mix when required. The numerous changes in color on the piano are captured vividly here as well. Overall this is a very fine release of music that should be better known, more listened to, and in the end cherished. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, February 2012

“Interesting” is…a good description of this release, which gives much food for thought. Performances are good… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Norman Lebrecht
La Scena Musicale, November 2011

pre-avantgarde and utterly charming. The 1969 Quadrivium gently flutters and meanders.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2011

You tend to read more about Bruno Maderna’s music than you hear performances outside of his native Italy. He was part of his own problem with a lifestyle that was largely devoted to a career as an eminent conductor who devoted much of his time promoting the music of other contemporary composers. Among his composition mentors had been Malipiero, but that connection shows little in his mature scores that pushed forward the boundaries of sound. This is demonstrated in the pure atonality of Quadrivium, a score for four percussionists and four orchestral groups, with the conductor at the centre of the sound stage directing six linked sections that call for improvisation within a fixed framework. It is a concept that appealed to the avant-garde of the 1960’s, though its time probably has yet to arrive. We move back to his post-student days for the other three works composed in the 1940’s and his earliest major score, the Piano Concerto from 1942. Short in length, it is in a totally different mode, with easily memorable thematic material bonding its three linked movements. For reasons that are not wholly clear, he wrote a second version four years later for just two pianos. That I much prefer the earlier one speaks of his gift of colourful orchestration. Two years later came the Concerto for two pianos and instruments with a mix of Bartók and Stravinsky as its parentage. This too went through several changes, the version recorded here being his last thoughts on the score. The performances are dedicated, the technical challenges surmounted, and in Carlo Miotto we have a conductor who obtains a high level of orchestral detail. The sound quality is very good.

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