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Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2020

The music stands out for its masterful workmanship, its creatively playful, cosmopolitan demeanor, its inventive melodic-harmonic stance. Carl Alexander Vincent in the liners for this album rightly underscores the influence of his teachers Pizzetti and Casella in developing Rota’s sophisticated experiential approach. Indeed there is a genetic affinity to be heard though Rota comes through in the end as his own voice.

Strongly recommended for all who seek to assimilate fully the Modern Italian legacy. I look forward to future volumes! © 2020 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Records International, January 2020

Rota embraced neo-Classical, neo-Romantic and even neo-Baroque affiliations. His Preludes (1964) utilize melodic and harmonic explorations to chart music that is agitated and melancholic, but also joyous and comedic. The earlier Fantasia (1944-45) comprises seven themes—folkloric, droll and ultimately heroic. A late work from 1971, the Pezzi are generous in their emotional directness. © 2020 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2020

If Nino Rota, is remembered only as an Italian film composer, notably for the award-winning film The Godfather, history will have been cruel to his abundance of scores.

Here we find him as the creator of three works for the piano, this being the first disc in the release of his twenty-two works for the instrument. Much of his mature musical education took place in the United States and, as with so many other composers, when ‘selling himself to Hollywood’ the classical music world began to lose interest in him. But please take time time to listen to music that has its roots in traditional tonality while looking for a way to gently move music forward. This is evident in the Fifteen Preludes from 1964, each one of cameo length and an ability to stand alone. Some are undemanding, though as a whole they need an accomplished performer to handle many exposed difficulties, the energised opening Allegro molto setting the scene for nimble fingers. It was in the slower moments that Rota seemed to find difficulty in creating memorable material, though he rounds-off this score with a short and bright Allegro robusto. The Fantasia completed in 1945 is aptly named, its structure loosely constructed so far as the listener is concerned, gestures coming and going in a pleasing way, and interspersed by passages in a more romantic mode. Finally we have the 7 Difficult Pieces for Children, a rather curious title, probably intended as whimsical, its contents far from easy, though they are innocently charming for the adult listener. I did have the feeling Eleanor Hodgkinson has not had the Preludes in her concert repertoire, but it is good to hear them. Reliable sound quality. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

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