to know this is 'Volume 1'. Ciro Longobardi - a name new to
me - has good credentials for this repertoire. He participated
in masterclasses with Bernhard Wambach in Darmstadt and Parma,
for one thing. Wambach's Stockhausen interpretation is magnificent.
view of Ives is a balanced one. He is as aware of the Romantic
side as of the modernist, and delicacy is frequently present.
All of this can be heard in the 'Emerson' movement of the Second
Sonata. The fact that not only does he work well towards a climax,
but also that he doesn't bang when he gets there; more tempting
in Ives than in most, I would suspect! Because of all this,
the end of 'Emerson' hangs magically in the air.
parts of 'Hawthorne' sound very close to Nancarrow, enabling
the long chorale around five minutes in to have a huge emotive
effect, simultaneously calming and disconcerting. This movement
is an emotional roller-coaster because of Ives' daring juxtapositions
of material, and it is superbly realised by Longobardi. If there
is a distinct homely feel to 'The Alcotts' - and very lovely
it is - it is the peaceful, hypnotic 'Thoreau' that will surely
linger long in the memory. The enjoyment of the Sonata is enhanced,
as are all the works on this lovely disc, by the superb piano
recording, clear and accurate.
famous Three-Page Sonata emphasises the work's contrasts.
Slow passages can be like cut-crystal; yet the March verges
on the outrageous; as, indeed, is correct. The lovely end is
wonderfully realised. Nice to have the Waltz-Rondo of
1911. If the title implies a certain duality, Ives' writing
positively implies schizophrenia! Similarly, Longobardi revels
in the quirky Varied Air and Variations, with its Webernesque
twists. He clearly enjoys every second – and so should we.
very interesting, and well-presented disc. The booklet notes
are at times a trifle clumsily translated from the Italian,
but that should not be enough to deter anyone. I hope to hear
more from Ciro Longobardi.