52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

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
Normal service resumed


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

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Gloriæ Dei Cantores


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880-1968)
Hanna Hipp (mezzo soprano)
Emma Abbate (piano)
rec. 2017, St John the Evangelist, Oxford, UK
Full texts and English translations
RESONUS RES10209 [55:20]

Pizzetti died in 1968 so this aptly serves as a 50th anniversary reminder of his under-valued songs. It forms part of a series on Resonus anchored by pianist Emma Abbate who has recorded Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Ashley Riches and a compilation album – Respighi, Casella, Alfano and Malipiero – with Julian Perkins.

There are 17 songs in this selection, out of the 31 he composed, and they chart a progress of half a century from the very earliest years of the twentieth-century until a decade or so before his death. Pizzetti favoured contemporary poets – D’Annunzio and Ungaretti were prominent – though he ranged widely to include little-known names such as Parma-born (as was Pizzetti himself) Mario Silvani, whose Sera d’inverno gives its name to the disc title. This calm and measured setting offers a reflective Pizzetti, as does the succeeding L’annuncio. Contrasts, meanwhile, permeate Cinque Liriche. Here the incisively flowing first song, I pastori (1916) reveals a debt to impressionism, both pianistically and in the vocal line, though the powerful drama of the following song, La madre al figlio lontano, shows Pizzetti’s more abrasive, intense qualities as a song composer. Then, too, he could mine elements of the antique, as in San Basilio without sounding pastiche-flecked or could throw himself into erotic efflorescence in the final setting, Passeggiata.

For all the elements of measured reserve sometimes to be encountered here, Pizzetti is more than capable of moments of melismatic rapture – try the sublimely brief Antifona amatoria di Basiliola – or the ode to dejection that constitutes E il mio dolore io canto. The melisma is something of a favoured device, in fact, appearing in the first of the Due Canti d’amore, along with echo effects; his settings, frequently syllabic do vary when it comes to the use – here quite extravagant – of melismas. He can also be crabby. Mezzo Hanna Hipp and Abbate perform one of the three settings from another love cycle Tre Canti d’amore – it’s a modern translation of a poem by Sappho - and it turns out to be a slightly sullen affair, brief, taut and fast. Pizzetti’s air of remoteness permeates Tre Canti Greci in which the Greek folk texts, translated by Pio Bondioli, are for the most part elusive even when at their most strenuous and extrovert – though it’s true that there’s a welcoming theatricality to the end of the final setting.

Hipp sings with tonal richness and real textual sensitivity – a vital matter in so text-conscious a composer as Pizzetti - and Abbatte is supremely alert whether the piano writing is spare and allusive or more generously forthcoming. This latest Resonus disc has certainly fulfilled its brief and its excellent notes prove suitably superior.

Jonathan Woolf

Sera d’inverno [3:42]
L’annuncio [2:06]
Cinque Liriche (1908): I. I pastori [5:15]: II. La madre al figlio lontano [4:13]: III. San Basilio [1:59]: IV. Il clefta prigione [2:42]: V. Passeggiata [6:16]
Épitaphe [1:48]
Antifona amatoria di Basiliola [1:19]
E il mio dolore io canto [2:34]
Incontro di Marzo [6:00]
Due Canti d’amore: I. Adjuro vos, filiae Jerusalem [2:42]: II. Oscuro è il ciel [2:28]
Scuote amore il mio cuore [1:45]
Tre Canti Greci: I. Augurio [2:58]: II. Mirologio per un bambino [3:17]: III. Canzone per ballo [4:04]


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