Pizzini studied with Respighi, so that immediately will give you
some clue as to the kind of music on this disk. It is highly coloured,
well orchestrated, full of melody and very overtly spectacular.
starts with the kind of rampant brass music which you’ll recognize
from many a Hollywood film; it’s loud and extrovert. The ensuing
slow movement has too much going on to be a true nocturne,
you’d be awake all night with this going on. The last movement
of the triptych is an homage to cars: Fiat!. It’s not as noisy
as Mossolov’s Iron Foundry but it does its best.
in stile classico is a student composition and I’m not
sure if it’s an homage to the classical style or if it’s meant
to be a pastiche. It certainly tries to capture the charm
of Schubert and Haydn.
Il poema delle
Dolomiti is a symphonic poem in four movements. The first
movement depicts the sunrise and creates a big climax – Pizzini
loves his full orchestral sound – which is complemented by
The Flower-filled meadows where, “Peace is over everything
… amid the calls of the shepherds, the ardent song of life
arises …” This is quite delightful – Delian with more modern
harmonies. The third part depicts the lake of Carezza and
is a scherzo, full of delicate writing. This leads into a
loud movement, where “warlike trumpet blasts and volleys of
bullets as the combat rages.” A joyous, and again loud, ending,
is had by all.
Sarabanda per archi,
Omaggio a Corelli is a nice little piece, if somewhat square.
Grotte di postumia was inspired by a trip the composer
took to the caves of Postumia, north of the Istrian peninsula.
It’s a set of eleven variations on an original theme. We start
back in Hollywood, then come Respighi’s marching men in Rome,
which is followed by more travelogue music, with a slight hint
of Rimsky’s Scheherazade, ending with some more Delius.
Then it gets loud, with a reminiscence of the Polovtsian Dances of Borodin. Scheherazade
re-appears on solo violin then a saxophone takes us into a nightclub,
aided by more Hollywood string writing. Am I boring you? I’m bored.
This music really
seems quite faceless to me. There are, as I see it, two problems.
First of all Pizzini is far too overly reminiscent of other
composers - Delius, Miklós Rózsa, Respighi, Rimsky, Borodin
and others. Secondly, his style is limited: the music never
goes anywhere, it never takes flight. The climaxes are all
the same, the orchestration is always the same, there is no
real personality behind the compositions. It’s obvious that
Pizzini owes a lot to Respighi and like a lot of lesser composers
- the same could be said of some of Hindemith’s pupils - he
seems to have found it almost impossible to get away from
his teacher’s influence.
The sound is a bit
hard on the ear, which doesn’t help the big climaxes which are
somewhat strident. I am sure that the performances are as authoritative
as one could hope for. However, even at the price, I cannot find
it in my heart to tell you that this music is worth the outlay.
Buy some real Delius, Rózsa or Respighi; you’ll enjoy them much