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David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2016

Camillo Togni seemed to spend his life torn between an obvious affection for the yesteryear, and a desire to take Italian music into the late twentieth century. This third disc in a complete recording of his piano music is essentially in the latter mode, the three Serenatas embracing the style of the Second Viennese School in the world of atonality. Dating from the early 1940’s they are certainly not easy to digest, the shape and form largely intangible on first acquaintance. They become a little easier in the three movement Sonatina, where fragments of melody do provide something of an anchor for our accessibility. So as we move around this rather bewildering composer, we have his three movement homage to Bach scored for two pianos, and where Bach flits in and out in the company of Webern. That is followed by the first movement of Berg’s Lyric Suite that Togni transcribes as the Allegretto gioviale, a work that must have greatly influenced his own scores. Finally the Tre fantasie scherzose from 1967, three highly engaging pieces written in the style of a cabaret pianist enjoying some late-night doodling on popular tunes after the audience has departed. So what to make of it all? Well for a start, Aldo Orvieto makes good sense of even the most complex and disjointed music, playing the mercurial passages with fluency, while in the seductive scherzose, he shows he is a man for all musical seasons. Good sound quality. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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