Alessandro Marangoni / Andrew Mogrelia / Malmö Symphony Orchestra

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2

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Both of the piano concertos heard here were written early in the career of Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, before his flight from Nazism (he was of Jewish background) and move to Hollywood, where he became a successful film composer. But there's a cinematic quality to the music, which brings to mind Audrey Hepburn cavorting in a Roman fountain. The Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 92, is heftier and more intricately structured than the early Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 46, which consists largely of strings of attractive melodies. Nobody would claim either work as profound, but they are airy and evocative pieces that would succeed as light interludes in a program of major Romantic concertos. Neither piece is frequently performed, but both are more common than the Four Dances from Love's Labor's Lost, composed in 1953, which were thought to have been lost in the Florence floods of 1966 but have surfaced in a copy owned by the composer's family. These little Spanish-flavored dances reveal some weaknesses in the strings of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Mogrelia, but the performances by pianist Alessandro Marangoni are sprightly and enthusiastic. Frothy but for many listeners probably irresistible.

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