Salvatore Di VITTORIO (b. 1967)
Overtura Respighiana (2008) [5:38]
Sinfonia No. 2 Lost Innocence (2000) [14:20]
Ave Maria for female chorus (1998) [7:46]
Sinfonia No. 1 Isolation (1999) [20:24]
Clarinet Sonata No. 1 (1998) [8:44]
Benjamin Baron (clarinet), Respighi Choir, Chamber Orchestra of New York 'Ottorino Respighi'/Salvatore di Vittorio
rec. Concert Hall, Adelphi University Performing Arts Centre, Long Island, NY, 15-16 Feb, 24-25 May 2010. DDD
NAXOS 8.572333 [56:52]

You might almost guess the title of the light and sparklingly playful Overtura Respighiana from the first few bars - the Roman trilogy is much in evidence. Later on the older composer's dreaminess and Rossinian tarantella tendencies are referenced. All uproarious fun.

Contrast that piece of jollity with the four movement Symphony No. 2 which is a more downbeat and even chastened beast and not averse to caustic harmonies. This is far from surprising when one is told that it marks the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

After two sharply contrasted orchestral pieces comes the Ave Maria for female choir. This is a complex yet tonal piece, devotional and aiming also to voice the varied facets of femininity. It may be thought of as a modern echo of the Monteverdian madrigal. Exalted stuff.

The First Symphony is for string orchestra. Its four movements range from a dazzlingly concentrated Barber-like Preludio to an at times shudderingly emotional and then reserved Passacaglia. The little Fuga skims along towards the almost equally short and gleamingly moonlit Finale. This is music that it is not difficult to like.

The disc ends with a querulous solo clarinet sonata. It would have been better placed somewhere earlier in the disc.

The notes provide helpful context for this varied slice of brilliant music. The disc can be set beside di Vittorio's Respighi-recovered violin and orchestra disc (8.572332).

Rob Barnett

A varied slice of di Vittorio's brilliant music.