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David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2019

Introducing us to the Italian composer, Giovanni Salviucci, who died aged thirty from tuberculosis and before establishing a place in the world of progressive music. With the Nazi party having banned all such music as reactionary, he was, unlike his contemporaries, Dallapiccola and Petrassi, not alive to re-establish his music when the Second World War ended, and it sank into oblivion. He was in a post-Stravinsky world, while at the same time deciding not to follow the Second Viennese School into their atonality, his handful of completed works left in a somewhat no-mans-land. Yet, I hope, at the end of this disc you will join me not only in admiration, but asking the question ‘where was he leading himself?’ What we have here is his complete music for chamber ensemble, mordant in character for much of the three movements that form the Serenata for nine instruments, completed just before his death, and never heard by him. He had set the scene that was to follow in the String Quartet from 1932, tonality still holding sway in an immediately attractive three movement score. You are left wondering why the Italian establishment has failed to promote such a fine score. Go two years prior, and the six short pieces for violin and piano point out his musical education had taken place in the strictures of liturgical surroundings, a scenario that is equally apposite to the short Nostalgic Thoughts for cello and piano. For the final tracks we return to where Salviucci obviously wanted to be, the four movements of the Chamber Symphony for 17 instruments in the mode of Stravinsky in the same era, and should, in every way, be considered as an equal. The Ensemble Uberbretti, founded in 1998, plays in its many guises throughout the disc with its conductor Pierpaolo Maurizzi, who is also the pianist when required. Many are World Premiere Recordings, including the short religious Psalm of David, with the soprano, Sabina von Walther as soloist. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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