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Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895 - 1968)
Ciprssi, Op. 17 (1920) [8.23]
Il raggio verde, Op. 9 (1916) [6.03]
Alghe, Op. 12 (1919) [4.33]
I naviganti, Op. 13 (1919) [6.10]
Lucertolina (1916) [1.20]
la Sirenetta e il pesce turchino, Op. 18 (1920) [8.20]
Passatempi, Op. 54 (1928) [7.06]
Vitalba e Biancospino, Op. 21, (1921) [6.18]
Questo fu il carro della Morte, Op. 2 (1913) [5.17]
Epigrafe, Op. 25 (1922) [5.40]
Cantico, Op. 19 (1920) [6.54]
Jordi Masó, piano
Recorded 27 June 2002 at the "Auditorium," Jafre, Spain.
NAXOS 8.555856 [66.52]


While listening to this disk the image of Ravel is inescapable. Unfortunately the comparison is not kind. One eventually feels that one is listening to Ravel sort of rambling around at the piano, but nothing he played turned out to be worth working up into a publishable composition—for Ravel. But if you’re a fan of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s you will want this disk to show you a side of his music you would never guess at if you knew only his better known works. Much of this music is very interesting, intriguing. Jordi Masó is a superb pianist and I look forward to hearing him play Liszt. If you had spent the price of this disk to hear this music in a live piano concert, at the end of the evening you would have felt that this was money very well spent indeed, yet none of these pieces has enough rhetorical integrity or individual personality to be remembered in its own right. This disk is a pleasant musical experience much drawn out.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s name means roughly "The German from New Castile." He was descended from Sephardic Jews forced out of Spain by Isabella in the 15th century, and it was his sad destiny to be forced out of Italy by Mussolini in the 20th Century to take asylum and citizenship in the USA. He joined the Hollywood émigré community, wrote hundreds of film scores, and was a notable teacher with many famous students including André Previn, Henry Mancini and Jerry Goldsmith.

Paul Shoemaker


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