Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Jim Svejda
Fanfare, September 2017

Iorio and the orchestra are clearly taken with all this music, and it’s difficult to imagine a more committed send-off than the one the Donatoni, Ghedini, and Malipiero pieces receive here in their recording premieres. A curate’s egg for sure, but for the adventurous it’s one that might be worth cracking. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, July 2017

…played with both vigor and refinement. Maestro Iorio’s interpretations are just right for this music, with good balances and nuanced shadings of colors. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

John France
MusicWeb International, March 2017

The pieces are played with enthusiasm and great effectiveness. The recording reflects the vibrancy and tang of much of this music. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Richard Bratby
Gramophone, March 2017

This is such an attractive programme that it’s hard to credit that three of the works here are receiving their first recording. Damian Iorio and his Swiss orchestra give lively performances of four bright, broadly neoclassical orchestral suites by mid-20th century Italian composers whom many listeners will know principally by name, if at all. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, February 2017

Minor stuff here, but mostly attractive, with the Casella and Malipiero items unsurprisingly being the most accomplished pieces on the disc. This programme of four complementary works for small orchestra enshrines the lighter side of four twentieth-century Italian composers, concentrating on Alfredo Casella’s Divertimento for Fulvia, composed for his young daughter. Casella’s friend Gian Francesco Malipiero wrote Oriente immaginario (Imaginary Orient) for a Futurist play by Achille Ricciardi (1884–1923). © 2017 Classical CD Choice

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, February 2017

This CD contains four very different works, mostly very entertaining and full of imagination, really well played by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. © 2017 Pizzicato

Elinor Cooper
BBC Music Magazine, February 2017

Colourful and characterful playing by this Lugano-based orchestra makes this exploration of music by 20th-century Italian composers a pleasure. Casella’s quirky and quick Divertimento per fulvia is a particular treat. © 2017 BBC Music Magazine

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, January 2017

The recordings were made four years ago by Radio Svizzera Italiana (RSI) in their Stelio Molo Auditorium in Lugano, Switzerland. They’re stunning, and present an ideally sized, perfectly focused soundstage in warm accommodating surroundings.

These brilliantly scored pieces are full of passages calling for many individual as well as small groups of soloists, which the RSI personnel have magnificently captured, balanced and highlighted. The overall instrumental timbre is totally convincing with sparkling highs, an impeccable midrange, and clean transient bass. This easily joins the ranks of classical orchestral demonstration discs. © 2017 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, January 2017

Here are four varied works for small orchestra by Italian composers. They cover quite a diverse span of styles in performances that are alert and caring. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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

Records International, January 2017

The only other CD recording of Casella’s happy, ten-movement, 15-minute serenade for his 12-year-old daughter and which he cobbled together from a ballet score (itself based on earlier piano pieces) while adding two newly-composed sections, came out on cpo 22 years ago. The rest of the program is of first recordings, Ghedini’s 1927 work the longest here at 20 minutes being both neo-baroque and romantic at different times but entertaining at all times. The three brief pieces making up Malipiero’s 11-minute 1920 “Imaginary Orient” are as exotically sensual as the work’s title implies, which leaves the odd man out: Donatoni’s early (1954–55) dodecaphonic work of 17 minutes in four movements which he wrote after intensive study of Schoenberg’s Op. 31 Variations. Sometimes sounding more like Webern, it was described by its author as “kind of Schoenberg gone a bit neo-classical” which is a perfect characterization. © 2017 Records International

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group