Silvia Chiesa, Italian cellist, born in Milan, is dedicating, with great courage, much of her artistic commitment to the discovery of a musical heritage of extraordinary value: that of the Italian compositions of the 20th century. To this repertoire, which is mostly still to be discovered, she has dedicated a new CD, presented to the press in Milan, in “The Arte Povera Hall of the Museo del ‘900” as well as in “ the Gabinetto di Viesseux” in Florence and in “Villa Taormina”, in Rome. The CD follows the two previous ones of the Milanese cellist: the first was dedicated to the compositions of Nino Rota and the second to Alfredo Casella, Ottorino Respighi and Ildebrando Pizzetti.
In the recent recording, for the first time, the three Concerti for cello and orchestra of three great composers of the 20th century are put togheter: Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco (first Italian recording) Gian Francesco Malipiero and Riccardo Malipiero (first world recording).
The cellist is accompanied by the Rai Symphony Orchestra, whereas Massimilano Caldi conducts and coordinate the solo voice of the cello with the chorus of the other instruments.
The CD offers the listener a fresco of a century that had a checkered beginnings. The fluctuation of sounds, with alternating rhythms and movements, sometimes harsh, complex, painful and sometimes with wide openings of neoclassical serenity, reconstructs a world that seems to regret moments of peace and contemplation now lost. A difficult world, which hardly reconciles the desire of serenity with the advent of modernity, technology, progress, not only intellectual, which opens up new hopes, but also new unexplored conflicts, especially the inner ones.
Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco (1895-1968) wrote his Concerto for cello and orchestra for Gregorij Pjatigorskij, who performed it for the first time conducted by A. Toscanini, in New York, on 31st January 1935. It is a concert that requires the interpreter to have great purity of sound, excellent technical mastery, but above all the ability to transmit emotions of every kind, in a warm and intense way.
The composition of the Concerto by Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882-1973) was concluded in Asolo (Treviso) on April 28, 1937. The protagonist of the world premiere of the Concerto was the great cellist Enrico Mainardi, in Belgrade, on January 31, 1939. The most important biographer of Malipiero, John CG Waterhouse wrote about it: “it is a compact page that enhances the dialogue between soloist and orchestra, an emblematic manifestation of an expressive happiness of neoclassical coinage”.
Riccardo Malipiero (1914-2003), son of Gian Francesco Malipiero’s brother, dedicated his Concerto to his father, great cellist, composer and teacher. The Concert, clearly marked by a “serial” writing, was performed for the first time, at “La Scala”, on October 30, 1957, by the Catalan cellist Gaspar Cassadò.
A CD, therefore, full of suggestions poised between past and future, between impressionistic and neoclassical nostalgia and openings on the new avant-gardes of the culture of the time.
Sony Classical made a courageous choise and, by reaping the fruits of Silvia Chiesa’s musicological research, it accepted to produce this CD, as a logical completion of the one dedicated to Rota and the other dedicated to Casella, Respighi and Pizzetti, and also to offer the public the opportunity to deepen the knowledge of a repertoire that is still not often proposed, but of extraordinary musicological and artistic interest.
The CD booklet is enriched by beautiful photos and the notes (in Italian and English) about the interpreters, the authors and the recording are very good.