DAVID FONTANESI (b.1969): Cello Sonata, Suite blu for Flute and Cello, Quintetto domestico or Flute, String Trio and Piano, Like a weeping cloud for Female Voice, Violin and Cello, De Profundis for Female Voice, String Trio and Piano.

Catalogue Number: 02R051

Label: Bongiovanni

Reference: GB 5189-2

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: Fontanesi's attractive pieces are composed in traditional style, very much as though the methods of the nineteenth century had never been superseded, but adopted with individual nuance by an original talented composer of their time. The Cello Sonata takes as its models Brahms - particularly apparent in the warm and elegantly crafted theme and variations of the first movement - and French composers of the 19th to early 20th centuries - Fauré, Franck, perhaps as forward-looking as Saint-Saëns - in his harmony. The scherzo is very French, the andante somewhat Beethovenian, and the fugal finale an exercise in neo-baroque formal elegance. The setting of Keats' Ode to Melancholy is rather more modern, with strongly contrasting textures and frequent changes of meter, but it remains very tonal, as does the dramatic, quasi-operatic, neo-romantic de Profundis. (Texts provided, but no translation of the Latin psalm.) Suite blu is a neo-baroque suite of five short movements in forms that would be found in its eighteenth-century equivalent, with some small bluesy harmonic inflections and modern technical devices to cast doubt on its authenticity. The Quintet is similar in style to the Cello Sonata, with French-sounding harmonies and a classical-romantic four-movement form and key structure. As suggested by the title, the music has an appealing atmosphere of gentle intimacy. English and Latin texts. Ensemble Sherazade.

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