Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere

Special Offer
Complete Chopin
17 discs
Pre-order for £100


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Symphony for solo piano

Chopin Piano Concerto No.1

Schubert Piano sonata

Schubert symphony No. 9

Katherine Watson (Sop)

From Severn to Somme

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,619 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Manuel DE SICA (b. 1949)
In Memoriam for strings [8.18]
Kojiki for harp and strings (2013) [14.11]
Concerto for violin and strings [18.22]
Una breve vacanza for viola and strings (1973) [3.49]
Filmusic for piano and strings [15.04]
Il giardino dei Finzi Contini * (1970) [18.48]
Floraleda Sacchi (harp); Maristella Patuzzi (violin); Anna Serova (viola); Michelangelo Carbonara (piano); Marco Attura * (orchestral piano)
Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini/Flavio Emilio Scogna
rec. Centro di Produzione Musicale della Filarmonica Toscanini, Parma, Italy, 27-28 May 2013

Manuel De Sica, son of the famous Italian film director and actor, Vittorio De Sica, has been responsible for some eighty film scores, composed between 1968 and 2012. He describes his early influences as “Bruno Maderna and Henry Mancini” but also “two other outstanding figures of 20th century music: Alban Berg and Béla Bartók.” Bernard Herrmann’s ‘hand’ is felt too in a number of places on this album.
In Memoriam is a brief piece dedicated to the victims of the Abruzzo and Emilia earthquakes in 2009 and 2012. This ‘ode of remembrance’ chorale, as De Sica describes it, is a minimalist composition supposedly inspired by the compositions of Bernard Herrmann. Echoes of that composer’s Psycho and Vertigo scores are apparent.
Kojiki is a most attractive, accessible concerto for harp and strings, sentimentally romantic and atmospheric, nodding slightly towards Japanese ethnicity. It has some gorgeous writing for the soloist. The work’s inspiration was the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941. The narrative of Kojiki tells of the childhood, adolescence and death of a kamikaze pilot who might have participated in the bombing. The opening Prelude possesses an iridescent beauty. The central Epitaph is mournful and darkly tragic while the concluding consoling Dance “describes his ascent to the empyrean world of his ancestors”
The deeply-felt, meditative Violin Concerto’s first Adagio, quasi andante is elegiac and a little reminiscent of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. The Mosso misterioso movement that follows is agitated and mournful and is followed by a Meditavio, con intensità movement that can be said to be emotionally linked to its predecessor. It begins with an extended cadenza which the composer describes as a commemoration dedicated to the victims of war in the Middle East. The work is rounded off with another Adagio very much in the mood of the opening movement.
Manuel De Sica describes his little piece for viola and strings, the theme for his father’s 1973 film, Una breve vacanza, as “probably the most beautiful melody I have ever written for the movies.” Indeed as performed here by Anna Serova it does touch the heart.
On a lighter note, Filmusic for piano and orchestra is delightful. Its sparkling opening movement is Russian-inspired and it finishes with a gleeful whirling tarantella true to the composer’s father’s Neapolitan origins. In between is a brief romantic meditation, delicate and quite lovely, and for me the best thing on this CD. Carbonara and the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini clearly relish this work.
Finally the Oscar-nominated film music for the Il giardino dei Finzi Contini, written when the composer was in his early twenties. It was directed by his father. It tells of a Jewish family living in Ferrara, enjoying tennis in contentment in their secluded garden as the tide of fascism rises around them ultimately to engulf them. All this and a torpid atmosphere pervade this score. The influence of Henry Mancini is strongly felt.
An interesting, lovingly performed programme of film and concert music by a contemporary Italian composer.
Ian Lace