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Cat. No. CHAN 9832 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9832 - Rota: Chamber Music
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Available From: 15 June 2000
One must be on one’s guard in speaking about the art of Nino Rota. To say that his music appeals to the listener’s heart without requiring any particular effort in understanding is not to imply that his is a simple, much less an elementary, technique. Close study of any of his scores reveals an idiom so direct that it communicates immediately but without giving everything away on a first hearing. Those engaging, heart-warming tunes hide supreme craftsmanship and a deep emotional awareness – despite appearances – of the problems of the contemporary world.

The opening movement of the Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano is charged with a restless irony expressed in shifting colours and dreamy spaces suspended in a time defined only by Rota’s imagination. The middle movement is a melancholy dialogue for clarinet and cello. The finale is a festive carousel for the three participants in a series of spellbinding sound-images. The 1935 Sonata for Viola and Piano has popular style, rediscovered Renaissance songs and Rota’s gift for ecstatic transparent tunefulness written all over it.

The Sonata for Violin and Piano (1937) is seamlessly eloquent from the first bars of its opening Allegro cantabile. The violin is charged with one of the most melancholy and touching passages in music: an inexhaustible melody that changes colour in each of the three movements and reaches its culminating point in the central Largo, where – after an austere, even violent opening – it plucks at the heartstrings.

The Trio for Flute, Violin and Piano, written in 1958, is among the last of Rota’s works and uses techniques akin to those of contemporary serialism. Colours and shapes, objectives and means shift constantly while, in an atmosphere of torment suggested by sudden piercing shrieks, the echo of distant melodies is heard.
Reviews

‘Massimo Palumbo copes easliy with Rota’s rich, splashy writing…’
Fanfare on CHAN 9681 (Piano Concertos)

‘Palumbo is a characterful exponent… the whole is well recorded.’
The Daily telegraph on CHAN 9681 (Piano Concertos)

‘These are sensitive chamber music players, and the sound of the recording is beautiful’.
American Record Guide

 

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