music by LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN, CLAUDE DEBUSSY, TERESA PROCACCINI, JULES SEMLER-COLLERY, ROBERT SCHUMANN, GIROLAMO SALIERI
CD PAN 3088 -
price 15.00 Euro
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Sieben Variationen - 9’57”
(uber das Thema “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” aus Mozarts Oper “Die Zauberflote”)
for basset horn and piano
Petite Pièce - 1’52”
for clarinet and piano
Suggestions - 6’16”
for bass clarinet and piano op. 113
Légend et Divertissement
for bass clarinet and piano
Fantasiestücke op. 73
for clarinet and piano
Introduzione, Tema con Variazioni - 11’17”
for basset horn and piano
Adagio e Allegro op. 70 - 8’39”
for bass clarinet and piano
for bass clarinet and piano op. 125
Note al disco
EDI-PAN presents a captivating CD which fills a significant discographic gap: there is generally a scarce availability for bass clarinet and basset horn in the catalogues of a record label, which makes the musical itinerary conceived by the Duo Berti - Fujiya an absolute novelty, both for the specific instruments involved and the selection of pieces ranging from the end of the 1700s to the present day, including five original works and three transcriptions arranged by the Duo themselves.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) SIEBEN VARIATIONEN on the theme “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from “The Magic Flute” by W.A.Mozart opens this CD. The original composition for cello and piano has been transcribed for basset horn and transposed to a key which is better suited to this instrument. These charming variations were composed when Beethoven was thirty-one, and clearly reveal his fascination for the story and the music of “The Magic Flute” which inspired such an expressive composition. The two instruments converse expressing a range of moods: melancholy, yearning, determination. The transcription for basset horn sheds a new light on this piece, which is also characterised by the demanding piano part.
A completely different atmosphere is evoked by Claude Debussy’s (1862-1918) PETITE PIÈCE for clarinet and piano. Originally composed for an exam at the Conservatory of Paris in 1920, it’s a shame that such a pleasant, delicate piece should be so brief!
A piece for bass clarinet and piano follows, SUGGESTIONS op. 113 (1987) by Teresa Procaccini (1934), which is characterised by fragmented play of small rhythmic cells and is preceded by the bass clarinet’s slow, expressive cadenza that opens the piece. These two elements characterize all the piece and are taken on until the end with an ever increasing dynamism.
LÉGEND ET DIVERTISSEMENT for bass clarinet and piano by Jules Semler- Collery (1902-1988) is a virtuoso piece, highly enjoyable, striking and well-written. Semler-Collery was a composer, conductor and teacher living in the 1900s, however his style doesn ‘t bear the signs of the many changes which occurred over the past century. Judging by this piece, composed for an unusual instrument such as the bass clarinet, the composer reveals strong ties to his teachers D’Indy and Vidal.
FANTASIESTÜCKE op. 73 by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) for clarinet and piano is one of the most important chamber works by this author, whose 200th anniversary falls this year. The three pieces are characterised by different moods but form a unified whole, partly by their tonality, which alternates between A minor and A major, but also by the composer’s instructions to play them without any breaks. In the first piece, a song without words, the clarinet unfolds a romantic melody supported by a constant triplet- rhythm on the piano. In the second, an Intermezzo, a joyous melody is shared between the clarinet and piano. A central section follows in F major, which then returns to the first piece, ending with an elegant Coda. In the third piece, fast and with fire - rich with triplet-rhythms - the piano is dominant, but is counterbalanced by an animated melody for the clarinet. After a brief central section, the first part resumes and than ends with an extended Coda.
The piece which follows, INTRODUZIONE, TEMA CON VARIAZIONI for basset horn and piano, is by Girolamo Salieri (1794-1838), a clarinet player and composer famed for being the nephew (and student) of the more renowned Antonio, one of Mozart’s contemporaries. The original score, currently in the library of the Conservatory of Milan, is for basset horn and string on a theme from the opera “I Crociati a Tolemaide” by Giovanni Pacini. This piece undoubtedly aims to highlight the technical and expressive potential of the instrument, and succeeds through an increasingly virtuoso and enjoyable set of variations.
Next is another composition by Robert Schumann, ADAGIO UND ALLEGRO op. 70 for bass clarinet and piano, transcribed from the original for horn. 1849 was Schuman’s productive year both for the number of compositions and the variety of genres, including choral pieces, works for piano, voice, solo instrument and piano, and orchestra. One of Schuman’s aims at the time, was to compose music which could also be played by amateurs who would gather to play in private houses (hence the name “Hausmusik”). ADAGIO UND ALLEGRO was composed specifically for this purpose, originally for horn, then Schumann made two other versions for violin or cello. The adagio develops a line of evocative lyrical phrases alternating between the instruments, while the Allegro, a Rondo, after a vigorous first part alternates romantic episodes with rhythmic melodies derived from the Adagio.
The TRE PEZZI op. 125 (1990) for bass clarinet and piano by Teresa Procaccini which close the CD, are a new version of the same pieces for bassoon and piano. The first international performance was recorded live at the Tokyo Clarinet Festival in 2008, and was thus commented by a critic: ”We note a mature compositional dexterity, which is clear from the opening presto, with its light-hearted geniality. The music is bright, with playful, ironic, mocking tones. The andante is interspersed with calm melodic suspensions which contrast with the flowing allegro finale, constructed upon a sort of perpetuum mobile for piano. Smooth and lively, full of great vitality, the piece expresses a warm irony which plays against the serious tones of the bass clarinet, which are thrown into pirouettes and disjointed melodic movements.”
NAOMI FUJIYA, obtained her pianoforte degree from the Otani University of Sapporo, Japan, in 1999. In 2002 she settled in Italy and started studying with Luigi Mostacci. In 2005 she obtained her first Italian diploma from the “Accademia Musicale Estense” with Oliver Kern and in 2008, her second one, from “Accademia Musicale Pescarese” under the guidance of Bruno Mezzena, whose course on 20th Century music she is currently attending. In 2005, she performed S.Rachmaninoff’s Concerto Number 2 with M° Michele Mariotti conducting, and in 2008 S.Prokofiev’s first piano concerto with M° Yoici Sughiyama. She has won several international competitions, and plays as soloist in a number of chamber ensembles.
SAURO BERTI, bass clarinet in the orchestra of the Teatro dell’Opera of Roma, has collaborated with the most important italian orchestras (Teatro alla Scala of Milan, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and National Symphony Orchestra of the RAI) and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has been conducted by G.Prêtre, R.Chailly, M.W.Chung, W.Sawallisch, V.Gergiev, L.Maazel, R.Muti, P.Boulez and Z.Metha. He has partecipated in Cd, radio and video recordings for Sony, Fonit Cetra, Bongiovanni as well as in television for Rai 3 and Rete 4. He took part in the DVD of the Serenata “Gran Partita” di W.A.Mozart with the Philarmonic Orchestra of the Scala conducted by Riccardo Muti. His extensive didactic activity includes national and international courses and masterclasses and in 2007 he published his book of studies: “Venti Studi per Clarinetto Basso e Corno di Bassetto” (Suvini Zerboni editions). In 2009 he obtained his conducting diploma with Donato Renzetti in Pescara.
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