Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Bruno MADERNA (1920-1973)
Piano Concertos
Piano Concerto (1942) [11:40]
Piano Concerto - version for two pianos (1942) [11:46]
Concerto for Two Pianos and Instruments (1948) [11:25]
Quadrivium (1969) [31:41]
Aldo Orvieto (piano); Fausto Bongelli (piano II); Gruppo 40.6; Orchestra della Fondazione Arena di Verona/Carlo Miotto
rec. 10 October 2009, Teatro Filarmonico, Verona (Piano Concerto; Quadrivium), Auditorium Fazioli, Sacile, Italy, 19 April 2010. DDD world premiere recordings of 1942 piano concerto
NAXOS 8.572642 [66:32]

Experience Classicsonline

However prominent as conductor, advocate and theorist the Italian Bruno Maderna was, his position as a composer remains somewhat enigmatic. He was born in 1920 and died far too young at the age of 53. Maderna tirelessly promoted the works of his younger contemporaries - especially Nono and Berio - in particular and more generally the very idea of an avant-garde. Yet Maderna's own music remains at times confounding for its marriage of an apparent appeal to rebelliousness and a somewhat conventional sound-world.

That is certainly the case with the four works and arrangements on this excellent new CD. The quality of the music-making, of the sound and of the informative - if brief - notes that come with it make this a CD to be sought out. There are two other discs currently available which contain Quadrivium; only one with the concerto for two pianos. Maderna's earlier piano concerto from 1942 and its arrangement for two pianos are receiving their first recordings here. They receive exceptionally compelling, sensitive and sympathetic performances. This recording is taken from the first performance after the 'rediscovery' of the 1942 concerto at an event in Verona on 10 October 2009.

The defining characteristic of all four works is without doubt a gentle, tuneful and purposeful percussiveness. This is not the same as beat. Still less is it merely an interest in percussion instruments for their own sake on Maderna's part. That said, there are long and frequent passages in Quadrivium which almost dwell on the beauty of such pitched and unpitched sounds. Rather, Maderna translates the almost always latent energy represented by rhythm and momentum into a fully-controlled and never over-exploited 'pull' between unfolding and at times almost serendipitous or indeterminate melody. The inevitability of the strike to attain sound.

Each of the piano soloists and the orchestra in Quadrivium clearly understand exactly why and how such balance, blend, and poise are necessary, what they mean, and how to achieve them. The performances are lively and spirited and hold the attention from first to last.

Quadrivium is almost as long as the three piano pieces together. It dates from 1969 and is built - not surprisingly, given its title - on the number four: four percussionists and four orchestral groups. As with the piano pieces, the writing is symphonic and brilliant in character. The brilliance is the preserve of both soloists and the great presence which the orchestra has. 'Presence' because Maderna's music often exposes its substance obliquely as well as deliberately and defiantly. In this case there's an overt external - though again, oblique - reference to the four liberal arts: arithmetic, algebra, music and astronomy.

More transparently, four is seen as a magic number in wider terms - four points of the compass, four seasons. But neither the music as composed nor the playing, which is of a very high standard, needs any 'excuse'. Maderna's great achievement in Quadrivium is to suggest realities, to offer ways in which they can interact and in which intuition and compositional imagination inform and are informed by technical rigour. Again, the way in which the Orchestra della Fondazione 'Arena di Verona' translates this potentially elusive balance into a plausible and convincing performance is very pleasing. Similarly the balance and active interaction between dynamics has been accomplished very well - even to the extent of translating Maderna's counter-posing of silence and sound. Credit must also go to conductor Carlo Miotto for this - and the other successful accounts on the CD.

It's all the more remarkable that Maderna is known to have reworked and revised particularly the Concerto for two pianos and instruments to the extent he did. This dates from the immediate post-war period. It still receives minimal exposure despite being a beautiful work. It's just as remarkable that the result is as seamless as it is. It is honoured as such, as wholly and successfully integrated by Gruppo 40.6. This group is so named because 40.6 is the number of kilometres between Mantua and Verona, from which the relatively recently-formed five person group comes and in which they perform new music.

All in all this CD is something of a small fillip for twentieth century music in general and that of Maderna in particular. The standard of playing can only serve to give impetus to the reinstatement of Maderna's reputation, and appreciation of his unusual but significant music.

Mark Sealey

see also review by Rob Barnett




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.