Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Concerto No. 3 for Violin and Piano, String Trio, Sonata for Violin and Cello

Perhaps at this point the remarkable thing about Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was not so much that he existed (1895-1968) and managed not to go under, despite Mussolini and CT's forced migration to the USA in those terrible days. That was remarkable enough. The thing for us sitting in the world as it is today, with Naxos producing a seemingly endless wealth of Castelnuevo-Tedesco works we might otherwise not have a chance to hear, is perhaps just how GOOD it all is, what I've heard anyway.

That most certainly includes the music on this latest, which is the Violin Concerto No. 3, String Trio, and Sonata for Violin and Cello (Naxos 8.574003). They constitute World Premiere Recordings all as I understand it. The performances are very much on par, unpretentious but ravishing, with violinist Davide Alogna playing his way idiomatically and beautifully throughout the program, joined as needed by Fiorenzo Pascalucci on piano, Roberto Trainini on cello, and Federico Stassi on viola.

The infectious grace of the Castelnuovo-Tedesco melodic gifts are all the way to the forefront thoughout. His Italian-tinged Impressionism-Post-Romanticism is remarkable here, even in the 30 minute Sonata for Violin and Cello, which is a chamber co-mingling rather unusual but here very idiomatic and beautiful. There is not even a single note of insignificance to be heard in the all of it, not when taken altogether.

Any lovers of the violin and the various chamber blends possible with it will be taken by this. But then it is just plain old good music, regardless of whatever else one might say of it! Molto bravo!

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