"Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori - Quartetto in Mi Minore" (2009)

Verdi

Quartetto d'Archi della Scala

The panorama of 18th century Italian instrumental music is less arid than one thinks. This is true, at least as far as string quartets are concerned. Cherubini composed six, Donizetti nineteen, Bazzini (Puccini’s teacher at the Milan Conservatory) wrote six and, during the last thirty years of the century, Busoni produced two, Verdi one and even Puccini composed various pieces, including a recently ‘reviewed’ Quartet. However in the majority of cases, there are pieces that can be traced to the composers’ student years and, as such are rather scholastic. At the same time they do show the completeness of preparation that the young composers underwent, imposed by their respective teachers, who encouraged the study of chamber music literature of the classical Viennese period, even though many were attracted to melodrama. The lack of instrumental technique that they are sometimes criticised for even today, seems to be commonplace because the comparison with German contemporary composers is misleading as these came from a completely different tradition. Antonio Melchiori’s (1827-1897) captivating transcription for string quartet from Rigoletto, that we hear on this CD, indirectly but concretely confirms the value of Verdi’s training where, as revealed in the Quartet in E minor, he also uses counterpoint.
The arrangement for a solo instrument, particularly the piano, or for a chamber ensemble, from the most famous operatic scores, was routine procedure in the 19th century. This contributed to the popularity and therefore its extended use. Liszt’s paraphrases for the piano by Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi (including Rigoletto), Wagner etc and Muzio Clementi’s transcriptions for piano, flute, violin and cello of Mozart’s last six symphonies are further evidence. Melchiori was also active in transcribing many of Verdi’s works – Aroldo, Masked Ball, Traviata, Trovatore and especially Rigoletto – for solo flute or violin as well as string quartet, sometimes substituting the second violin with flute. Guided by a fine musical taste and a well developed instrumental technique, Melchiori selected more significant moments from Rigoletto, conferring on these a chamber quality that Verdi would call the most suited, when the scene on stage is aided by the dramatic and psychological quality of the moment.The distribution of the orchestral and vocal parts is always done well, especially where the timbre is concerned. In the Prelude, expertly interpreted by La Scala Quartet, the arrangement of the quartet harmony accentuates the original darkness of the motive of the curse. Another success is the instrumental rendition of “Questa o quella per me pari sono” (I\2), where the Duke’s melody is given, not to the violin as one might have expected, but to the cello. As it unfolds, the ‘lightness’ of the sound seems to accentuate his fatuous character. Melchiori’s choice of the viola to represent Gilda’s heartbreaking expression of the deceitful meeting with that “giovine ..bello e fatale” (handsome and dangerous young man) is a refined one, while the accompaniment of the other three strings accentuates the expression of her suffering (II\10).

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Quartetto d'Archi della Scala

The first formation of the La Scala String Quartet is historical and dates back to 1953 when its lead mambers felt the need to follow the example of the worls’s greatest orchestras and work on developing an important chamber music project. In the course of the following decades, the Scala’s Quartet was the protagonist of important musical events and recordings. After a pause lasting some years, four young musicians, prize-winner of international soloist competitions as well as section’s leaders of the Theatre’s Orchestra, decide to give new life to this prestigious formation. By further developing their musical affinities, already well established within the Orchestra, they elevate these to that maximum expression of chamber music typical of the String Quartet.?The La Scala String Quartet, has been invited in some of the most important chamber music festival in Italy (MusicaInsieme in Bologna, Serate Musicali, Società dei concerti e stagione “Cantelli” in Milan, Associazione Scarlatti in Naple, Sagra Malatestiana a Rimini,Amici della Musica in Palermo, Estate Musicale in Portogruaro, Asolo Musica, Ravenna Festival, festival Galuppi and Teatro Malibran in Venice, Stresa, Teatro alla Scala ecc.) and abroad (Brasil, Perù, Argentina, Uruguay Japan, United States, Croazia, Germany, France ecc.).?In 2008 they had concert at the Salzburg’s Mozarteum.?Maestro Riccardo Muti wrote about them:” the quartet stands out for its technical and musical excellence,…the quartet ensures beauty of sound while its performance of the cantabile parts proves that it is very familiar with opera music, making listening a joy and pleasure indeed”.

 

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"Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori - Quartetto in Mi Minore" (2009)

Verdi

Quartetto d'Archi della Scala

Cables: Signoricci
Digital Converters: DCS AD/DA
Microphones: Neumann U47,U48,M49
Producer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Recording Engineer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Recording location: Pisa, Museo di Icone Russe Bigazzi
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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SACD062: "Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori - Quartetto in Mi Minore"
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 1. PRELUDIO ED INTRODUZ
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 2. DUETTO ""Quel vecchi
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 3. DUETTO ""Figlia! Mio
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 4. ATTO II"
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 5. ARIA ""Caro nome che
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 6. ARIA ""Parmi veder l
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 7. ARIA ""Cortigiani, v
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 8. ARIA ""Tutte le fest
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 9. FINALE ATTO II
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 10. CANZONE ""La donna
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 11. QUARTETTO
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 12. TEMPESTA"
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"G. Verdi - Dal ""Rigoletto"" riduzione per quartetto d'archi di A.Melchiori 13. DUETTO FINALE
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G. Verdi - Quartetto in MI Minore I ALLEGRO
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G. Verdi - Quartetto in MI Minore II ANDANTINO
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G. Verdi - Quartetto in MI Minore III PRESTISSIMO
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G. Verdi - Quartetto in MI Minore IV SCHERZO FUGA
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