Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Malipiero, Gian Francesco. (1883-1973) The Symphonies, Volume 4..

From my collection.
Bought in 2009.
First listen: 9-12-2009.
Second listen: 29-9-2010.
Third listen: 18-4-2017.
Label: Naxos.
Original released on Marco Polo.
Recording dates: May and June 1993.
Recording venue: Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, Russia.
Recording engineer: Vitaly Ivanov.
Running time: 68:41.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 7, "Delle Canzoni".
Sinfonia in un Tempo.
Sinfonia per Antigenida.

Works performed by:
Moscow SO, Antonio de Almeida. 

Pungent harmonies, very complex structures, angular lines, aggressive dissonances, it means business, if you are so bold as to enter Malipiero's world. As a composer he is not an easy task. A highly complex human being, full of contradictions, with some odd ideas about orchestrating. He is most of the time not out to please anyone but himself. The austere character of his music, with occasional moments of rest, is not something which you play for pleasure, at least not when you approach him for the first time. He had many different moments in the way he composed. Some are easy to comprehend, others almost impossible to like, but they are all unique statements of a man that had many things to say, but failed to find pleasure in life and in other human beings. All the works on this CD can be classified as difficult to listen to. For me there are just moments that I can relax and enjoy, before the threatening brass heralds a new wave of extreme dissonances.
I would not like being without his music, but I doubt that I will return soon to this CD.
The performance is a bit raw, and misses the sophistication and motivation Malipiero needs. Almeida is an excellent conductor, and he copes admirably, but the effect is just very loud and unruly.
The recording is quite decent, but not likable. Details and depth are on display, but I would wish for more modern recordings, a better orchestra, and a different conductor. 
Serviceable yes, but not the last answer recording/performance wise.




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