Serenata Italiana (2009)

Bossi, Respighi, Rota, Puccini

I Musici

Could a serenade of the 1900s possibly exist? Could two, apparently contradictory terms, be compatible? (They were accepted as such for a long period). How does one reconcile the expression of a selected poetic and musical form which was the favourite vehicle of an amorous relationship (that we often see as cloying), with the longing for renewal, for technology, with the magnificent and progressive destiny of the beginning of the 20th century? This is the riddle that I Musici tried to answer with the Serenata italiana (Italian serenade). The work takes us on a listening course covering a temporal arc from the end of the 1800s to the 1960s. Arturo Toscanini was the mentor who shaded the protagonists’ lives in various ways. First and foremost was his enthusiastic approval of the group I Musici, which in 1952, had just got started. The great conductor’s presence frequently hovered between the biographical and the artistic vicissitudes of the composers chosen to represent the Italian instrumental background. Toscanini conducted three movements of the Intermezzi goldoniani (1901-1905) by Marco Enrico Bossi (Salo’, 1861 - during the crossing from New York to Le Havre, 1925) on 8th April 1905 in the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, while the first performance in its entirety was heard only in 1910. These Intermezzi dedicated to Wilhelm Weber by the composer, also refer to literary influences in the texts, not so much by Carlo Goldoni, but by 18th century Venetian culture itself. The work consists of a suite of dances in six movements which follow the baroque tradition, revised and yet effective and, because of their difficulty, rarely heard. The composition is a jewel that refers to the 18th century nachtmusik tradition. It is in suite form with marches at the opening and at the end of the Prelude and Minuetto but it freely interprets the characteristics of antique dances, the courtly tidiness (Gagliarda and Coprifuoco), going on to yearn for the orderly precision of the 19th century salon (Serenatina) or the severe contrapuntal structure (Burlesca). The connection to the title is rather transient since the intermezzo form is probably only a leftover of the 1700s theatre tradition (connection to Pergolesi is obvius) that saw the overbearing emergence and affirmation of the comic forms, not dissimilar to what happened particularly to the tools Goldoni uses in comic theatre. Almost all of the composers represented on the CD (except Puccini) refer to dances, which characterises and unites them. This doesn’t seem strange to us since, from the point of view of the traditional instrumental development, they had a fundamental role and were an important predecessor for the birth of the musical tradition that freed itself from the heaviness and conditioning of vocal music. Even in Respighi’s case (Bologna, 1879 – Roma, 1936), the past relives through the connection to the court dances of the 16th century tradition and also in this case we are looking at an assent that is not by chance. His interest in Gregorian chant and his love for Monteverdi was known. The interest in antique arias was part of a rather complex project, seeing that the third suite on the CD, composed in 1931, follows the first from 1917 and the second from 1923.

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I Musici

In 1951, twelve young and promising italian musicians, mainly roman and mostly graduates of the at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, got together "inter pares" to create a unique chamber orchestra comprising six violins, two violas, two cellos, one double bass and one harpsichord.
They chose the simple, yet nice, name I MUSICI and they deliberately decided to shape the ensemble without conductor. They did so in order to create an egalitarian relationship among the twelve colleagues and friends, which would bring to their music-making a unanimity on technical and interpretative questions. It was a very unconventional but unexpectedly suitable procedure. Notably, maestro Arturo Toscanini, on hearing them rehearsing in April 1952 at the Italian Radio studios, enthused over the young orchestra in front of journalists and musical personalities, and dedicated his photograph to the group with the words “bravi, bravissimi …no! la musica non muore”, (bravo, the music will not die).
A few weeks earlier, on the 30th of March 1952, their public debut was an enormous success at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Roma; it was the starting point of an astonishing career, which in a schort time catapulted them among the ranks of the great international performers.
During the course of the years, the musicians have changed, the original members of the group retired but, together with the younger talent that has taken their place, there has always been a generation of “historic” members present who guarantee the tradition and continuity of the orchestra.
At present I Musici are regular guests at the most important international festivals and they carry out an intense concert activity in prestigious theatres and concert halls such as: “G Enescu” International Festival in Bucharest, Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre in New York, the “Spring Festival” in Budapest, Sunthory Hall and Opera City in Tokyo, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Berlin, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Seoul Arts Centre, Boston Symphony Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Beijing National centre for the Performing Arts and numerous others.

 

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Serenata Italiana (2009)

Bossi, Respighi, Rota, Puccini

I Musici

Cables: Signoricci
Digital Converters: DCS AD/DA
Microphones: Neumann U47,U48, M49
Producer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Recording Engineer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Recording location: Teatro Comunale Francesco Paolo Tosti
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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Album Download duration price
SACD063: Serenata Italiana
01:04:08   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Marco Enrico Bossi - Intermezzi Goldoniani op. 127 1. Preludio e Minuetto
Bossi
00:05:59   Select quality & channels above
2.
Marco Enrico Bossi - Intermezzi Goldoniani op. 127 2. Gagliarda
Bossi
00:04:01   Select quality & channels above
3.
Marco Enrico Bossi - Intermezzi Goldoniani op. 127 3 .Coprifuoco
Bossi
00:05:08   Select quality & channels above
4.
Marco Enrico Bossi - Intermezzi Goldoniani op. 127 4. Minuetto e musetta
Bossi
00:03:37   Select quality & channels above
5.
Marco Enrico Bossi - Intermezzi Goldoniani op. 127 5. Serenatina
Bossi
00:03:10   Select quality & channels above
6.
Marco Enrico Bossi - Intermezzi Goldoniani op. 127 6. Burlesca
Bossi
00:02:58   Select quality & channels above
7.
Ottorino Respighi - Antiche Danze ed Arie per liuto, Terza Suite per archi 1. Ignoto
Respighi
00:02:58   Select quality & channels above
8.
Ottorino Respighi - Antiche Danze ed Arie per liuto, Terza Suite per archi 2. Giov. Batt. Besardo
Respighi
00:07:50   Select quality & channels above
9.
Ottorino Respighi - Antiche Danze ed Arie per liuto, Terza Suite per archi 3. Ignoto
Respighi
00:02:57   Select quality & channels above
10.
Ottorino Respighi - Antiche Danze ed Arie per liuto, Terza Suite per archi 4. Lodovico Roncalli
Respighi
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11.
Nino Rota - Concerto per archi 1. Preludio
Rota
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12.
Nino Rota - Concerto per archi 2. Scherzo
Rota
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13.
Nino Rota - Concerto per archi 3. Aria
Rota
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14.
Nino Rota - Concerto per archi 4. Finale
Rota
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15.
Giacomo Puccini - Crisantemi
Puccini
00:06:33   Select quality & channels above

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