Orvieto Plays Malipiero


MALIPIERO: Tre danza antiche. Preludi autunnali. Armenia. Risonanze. I minuetti di Ca’ Tiepolo. Cinque studi per domani. 3 Pieces / Aldo Orvieto, pno / Stradivarius STR 37164

Gian Francesco Malipiero, grandson of the opera composer Francisco Malipiero, began his career as a late Romantic composer, as the first and last pieces on this CD bear out, but between 1906 and 1909 he studied music with Max Bruch and, by 1913, moved to Paris where he became acquainted with the modern French school of Debussy, Ravel and Koechlin. He also attended the world premiere of Stravinsky’s Le Scare du Printemps and became acquainted with Alfredo Casella, with whom he and Gabriele d’Annunzio formed the Corporazione delle Nuove Musiche in 1923.

Thus with track 4 on this CD, the Prelude autunnali, one can immediately hear the French modernist influence. and this carries over to Armenia (1917) and Risonanze (1918). One of Malipiero’s quirks as a composer was that he came to reject sonata form and variations as utterly boring, just a head game that amuses the well educated listener without really saying anything original.

Aldo Orvieto, the pianist on this disc, seems to have a tendency to present all of this music in soft, opaque colors, which is appropriate to a point but robs the music of some of its modernist edge. The result is a nice record with some interesting pieces on it, all played in a somewhat bland style. I liked some of the music, then, but couldn’t warm up to Orvieto’s interpretations.

—© 2021 Lynn René Bayley

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