André Gertler

Malipiero: Violin Concerto; Casella: Violin Concerto

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Both Gian Francesco Malipiero and Alfredo Casella who struggled to modernize the classical music scene in Italy, no easy task considering the widespread dominance of Italian opera and the Italian Baroque. In some fashion, both of these composers were successful, though not to the degree of Respighi, in creating a lasting name for themselves by incorporating some of the very stylistic components they sought to modernize -- namely, lyricism and formalism. The violin concertos of these two composers are perfect examples of their attempts. Both have strong melodic, lyrical lines for the solo violin and are written in a formally traditional three-movement form. The orchestra plays a much more subservient role than in music of any of their predecessors, with the violin almost always taking center stage. This remastering of performances made in the early 1970s features clear, well-balanced sound from orchestra and soloist alike. Violinist André Gertler, while possessing the abundant technique necessary to pull off these demanding compositions, does not always have the most appealing sound. It is sometimes on the shrill side. Intonation is generally good, but there are some jarring moments where even small shifts don't quite make it. Still, this album is certainly worthwhile for any listener looking to broaden his/her repertoire of violin concertos.

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