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SILVIA CHIESA, Nino Rota: Cello Concertos nos 1& 2

Silvia Chiesa‘s CD dedicated to Nino Rota‘s cello concerts No. 1 & 2 deserves to be presented to our readers because it represents a precious sound document of little-known masterpieces by a composer certainly better known for his film-related production. It is also interesting to note that this CD inaugurated, in 2011, an ambitious record path that the famous cellist dedicated to the repertoire for cello and orchestra of the Italian twentieth century, contributing decisively to the revitalization of this rich musical heritage. It was followed by two other important recordings, with music by Alfredo Casella, Ottorino Respighi, Ildebrando Pizzetti, and then by Riccardo Malipiero (first world recording), Gian Francesco Malipiero and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (first Italian recording) always with the Rai National Symphony Orchestra and always for the Sony Classical label.

Cellist Silvia Chiesa is one of the most prominent Italian performers on the international scene, with a dense agenda of concerts and recordings. During an intense career, he has developed a very personal stylistic code that, with the refined passion of the interpretations, combines marked originality in the repertoire choices.
Azio Corghi and Matteo D’Amico dedicated to her solo compositions with orchestra, and she was chosen by composers such as Gil Shohat, Nicola Campogrande, Aldo Clementi, Michele Dall’Ongaro, Peter Maxwell Davies, Giovanni Sollima, Gianluca Cascioli and Ivan Fedele for first performances of their works.
As a soloist, she performed with groups such as the RAI National Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestra of Tuscany, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Soloists of St. Petersburg, the Rouen Orchestra, the Staatsorchester Kassel and the Symphony of Krakow. She has collaborated with directors such as Luciano Acocella, Francesco Angelico, Marco Angius, Paolo Arrivabeni, Gürer Aykal, Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli, Giampaolo Bisanti, Roland Böer, Massimiliano Caldi, Tito Ceccherini, Daniele Gatti, Cristian Orosanu, Corrado Rovaris, Daniele Rustioni, Howard Shelley and Brian Wright. She has also recorded live concerts for radio and television broadcasters such as RAI Radio3, RAI Sat, France Musique, and France3.
With the pianist Maurizio Baglini, she has more than two hundred and fifty concerts worldwide, with a vast repertoire for the duo, and has recorded for Decca the Sonatas of Schubert, Brahms, and Rachmaninov. In the CD series Live at Amiata Piano Festival he plays the String Quintet op. 163 by Schubert with the Quartetto della Scala and the Haydn Concerts with the Camerata Ducale. She also recorded the world premiere of “…tra la carne e il Cielo”  by Azio Corghi, dedicated to her, with the Turin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Tito Ceccherini, with Maurizio Baglini, Valentina Coladonato and Omero Antonutti (also for Decca).
Silvia Chiesa is a resident artist of the Amiata Piano Festival and teacher at the “Monteverdi” Conservatory of Cremona.
He plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1697.

The RAI National Symphony Orchestra is an Italian symphony orchestra linked to the RAI, born in 1993 from the combination of the previous four RAI symphony orchestras, which were based in Turin, Rome, Naples, and Milan.

Corrado Rovaris has been Music-Director of Opera Philadelphia since 2004, and regularly collaborates with the major Italian and foreign musical institutions.

Nino Rota was an Italian composer born in Milan on December 3, 1911, and died in Rome on April 10, 1979. Born into a family of musicians, he approached music from an early age, stimulated by his mother pianist, entering the Milan Conservatory at the age of 11. Here he was a pupil of G. Orefice (composition), G. Bas, Pizzetti, and then Casella, in Rome, where he graduated from the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia. So he was a pupil of Scaliero, J.B. Beck, and Reiner (conducting). He then began to teach, first at the Liceo Musicale of Taranto, and then at Liceo of Bari, of which he was also Director. He was a pupil of Pizzetti and Casella, influenced by Malipiero’s music. He was a profound connoisseur of the compositions of the 1900s. He met and frequented Stravinsky, but his compositions followed an absolutely unique and personal direction. Without any relationship with the aesthetics of the century, almost paradoxically in its “non-relevance”, it directed its inventive ease towards an almost nineteenth-century compositional style, devoted to melody and tonal fidelity with symmetrical, harmonious and immediately enjoyable forms. These characteristics also characterized him in the composition of films, sacred, and chamber music.

On this CD, Nino Rota’s two concerts for cello and orchestra offer a very significant essay on his compositional language: a language that does not disdain virtuosity at all but directs it towards a poem of neoclassical memory, even if devoted to real modernity. The solo cello faces a challenging score from a technical point of view, where however the technique is not an end in itself but has the function of giving substance to emotional antitheses, to bring them back to paradigms of aesthetic docility and tonal coherence.

The interpretation is excellent: the soloist Silvia Chiesa and the director Romaris certainly do not lack the courage in choosing the program and the interpretative maturity necessary to face it. Really enjoyable listening, and at the same time intense in its surprising peculiarity.

The CD is also nice: as always Sony Classical offers important covers (a beautiful photo of the Silvia Chiesa on the cover) and valuable indications for more conscious listening.


NINO ROTA, Cello Concertos nos. 1 & 2
Concerto Nr. 1: Allegro – Larghetto – Allegro
Concerto Nr. 2: Allegro moderato – Tema con variazioni. Andantino cantabile con grazia – Finale. Allegro vivo

Silvia Chiesa (cello)
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI
Corrado Rovaris

Publication date: June 23, 2011
Label: Sony Classical
ASIN: B00595Q5I2

The CD is for sale on Amazon e Discogs