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Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s two Piano Concertos form a contrasting pair. Concerto No. 1, written in 1927, is a vivid and witty example of his romantic spirit, exquisite melodies and rich yet transparent orchestration. Concerto No. 2, composed a decade later, is a darker, more dramatic and virtuosic work. The deeply-felt and dreamlike slow movement and passionate finale are tinged with bleak moments of somber agitation, suggestive of unfolding tragic events with the imminent introduction of the Fascist Racial Laws that led Castelnuovo-Tedesco to seek exile in the USA in 1939. The Four Dances from ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’, part of the composer’s recurring fascination for the art of Shakespeare, are atmospheric, richly characterised and hugely enjoyable. This is their first performance and recording.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 46
I. Allegro giusto
II. Andantino alla romanza
III. Vivo e festoso
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 92
I. Vivace e brillante
II. Romanza, tranquillo e meditativo
III. Vivo e impetuoso
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: 4 Dances for Love's Labour's Lost, Op. 167
No. 1. Sarabande (for the King of Navarre)
No. 2. Gavotte (for the Princess of France)
No. 3. Spanish Dance (for Don Adriano de Armado)
No. 4. Russian Dance (Masque)
“played by the hyperactive pianist and orchestra with such scintillating abandon, the composer's charm and brio could, just possibly, bring a smile to even the most crusty and conservative listener...Excellently recorded, this is very much a record for those with a sweet tooth who like the lighter things of life.”
“Alessandro Marangoni must be considered the foremost expert in this music...He certainly plays well throughout, and one admires his honesty in not making this music out to be more dramatic or emotionally vital than it really is.”
5th May 2012
“Tuneful, lushly scored, unpretentious and superbly crafted, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s two piano concertos (1927, 1936) deserve their stylish resuscitation by the young Italian pianist Alessandro Marangoni, who had to dig in dusty libraries to find the scores.”
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