Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Ralph Graves
WTJU, October 2018

The Harp Concerto was completed in 1960. Here the modality is even more pronounced. It presents an Arcadian setting for the harp, casting it the role of a shepherd’s lyre.

Harpist Margherita Bassani gives the concerto a sympathetic reading. This is a work that celebrates beauty, and Bassani brings out the full potential of the music. © 2018 WTJU Read complete review

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, September 2017

Margherita Bassani is a fine harpist. The sound is quite good. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, July 2017

The Italian Radio and Television (RAI) National Symphony Orchestra (RAINSO) under English conductor Damian Iorio gives a magnificent performance of the symphony, and is joined by RAINSO’s principal harpist Margherita Bassani for the concerto. She delivers a superb account of it, which is all the more impressive for the sensitive, totally committed support provided by Maestro Iorio and this outstanding orchestra. © 2017 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

David Hurwitz, June 2017

Certainly soloist Margherita Bassani plays well, and Damian Iorio accompanies like a pro… © 2017 Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2017

Though the Harp Concerto does not reach the same compositional level as the really attractive and eloquent post-romantic Symphony in A, this in an important release underling the significance of Ildebrando Pizzetti. The performances are very good as is the sound recording. © 2017 Pizzicato

Harry van der Wal
Harry’s classical music corner, June 2017

The music is taken very briskly, and has agility and brilliance, and is on an interpretative high standard.

…there is a close watch on all the details and overall the music comes off quite nicely. © 2017 Harry’s classical music corner Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, May 2017

The recording quality, without being overly glamorous, splendidly serves the music and these fine committed performances. This is unusual, provocative and satisfying music owing a debt to Naxos for allowing it to step out into the open air. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

Ildebrando Pizzetti is one of the most highly regarded Twentieth-century Italian composers, though, paradoxically, his name seldom appears in the concert hall. Born in 1880, it was in his lifeblood to compose opera, and from the outset Pizzetti became part of the Italian faction who decried the way music had stagnated in the Puccini era, at the same time rejecting the harsh world of atonality. In that field, he was prolific with fourteen scores that survived his own selective destruction, many premiered at La Scala in Milan. In the years that led up to the Second World War, he was ambivalent in his response to Mussolini’s regime in Italy, to an extent that he and his music was not universally welcomed when the war ended. Since then, it has been largely forgotten on the international scene, though much was done in the 1950’s to re-establish his standing in Italy. Why he was invited to write this Symphony is even more questionable, the work completed in 1940 being for the celebrations to mark the (spurious) 2600th year of the foundation of Japan. You can read all about this at great length in the disc’s accompanying booklet, but, taken at face value, it is a tonal score linked back to the musical world that pre-dates the Second Viennese School. In four conventional movements, its problem is a lack of memorable thematic material and a predilection to meander, though what he does have to offer he then clothes in the most effective and likeable scoring. What the Japanese made of it was not placed in print, for it was neither a celebratory nor a happy score, the one moment of vivacity coming in a busy scherzo. Far more effective is the three-movement Harp Concerto completed in 1960, the solo role being lyrical rather than a brilliant virtuoso showpiece, two slow movements ending with a joyous Allegro. The whole disc has that feel of dedicated advocates, the British conductor, Damian Iorio, directing the Italian Radio and Television orchestra, with Margherita Bassani as the excellent harpist. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Records International, May 2017

A major release of a major forgotten symphony with absolutely top-class notes and at mid-price! This is the best thing Naxos has put out in years. This symphony was one of the commisssioned works for the 2600th anniversary of the founding of the Empire of Japan (Britten’s Sinfonia da requiem was rejected by the Japanese for being anti-war, leaving Richard Strauss’ Japanische Festmusik, Ibert’s Ouverture de fête and Sandor Veress’ Symphony - Hungarian Greetings as the other three performed in Tokyo in December of 1940). The Japanese must have thought they’d get a particulary celebratory work from a composer lauded by the Fascist regime in Italy but this powerful and unsettling work, 43 minutes in four movements, is notable for its ominous mood, its compositional progress between February and June 1940 mirroring the unfolding European conflict and Italy’s own declaration of war. One wonders what they made of it. By the way, the original performance from Dec. 19, 1940 by the “Centenary Celebration Symphony Orchestra” of 170 players, conducted by Gaetano Comelli, can be heard on YouTube. The 21-minute harp concerto is from 1958-60 and is sunny, lyrical and vivacious. © 2017 Records International

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group