Gian Francesco MALIPIERO
Il finto Arlecchino; Vivaldiana; Sette invenzioni; Quattro
Veneto Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Peter Maag
The most significant work on this album is the 28-minute Sette
invenzione which is really film music created originally created
for a film called Acciacio (Steel). Indeed the opening dissonant bars
of the first and last inventions might suggest heavy rollers and hammers
but little else evokes heavy machinery. Instead we have a delightful, timeless
kaleidoscope of evocative imagery very colourfully scored for a large modern
orchestra that weds cheerful wit to classical elegance, warm pastoral nostalgic
dreaming with liturgical majesty. Sometimes the music is heroic and dramatic.
Ancient church modes rub shoulder with a style akin to Vaughan Williams's
'Thomas Tallis' music. Yet this music is unmistakably Italian. Music to set
the imagination aflame, crisply and articulately performed by Maag's forces.
The Quattro invenzioni were part of the same film score and have characteristics
in common with the 7 inventions except that they are scored for a smaller
ensemble and therefore the atmosphere is more intimate, more archaic and
rustic. In fact they were conceived to underscore scenes of village life,
a country fair (this brilliant evocation is especially colourfully orchestrated),
and the inside of an inn. These are attractive simple melodies resembling
Musettes in a late Baroque suite.
Even more overtly 18th century in style is Malipiero's enchanting
light-weight music for his opera Il finto Arlechino. The album
includes four symphonic fragments - delicate and enchanting music with a
gorgeous romantic minuet in the middle of the opening Allegro balanced by
robust buffoonery elsewhere.
Malipiero became president of the Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi and edited
several volumes of the 'Red Priest's' music. Ultimately, he felt the urge
to be more creative and freer with some of the material and thus composed
his Vivaldiana. It is an imaginatively colourful transcription
for classical orchestra (consisting of double woodwind, two horns and strings)
of excerpts from six different Vivaldi concertos gathered together into three
double movements each of them subdivided by a change of mood and tempo.
Colourful atmospheric music for the larger ensemble to set the imagination
soaring contrasted with the elegance and delicacy of smaller forms and older
styles. Music to savour played with wit and style.