LIVIA TEODORESCU-CIOCĂNEA (b.1959): Piano Music - Endeavour Bells, Calypso, Nocturniana for 2 Pianos, Sonatina, Sonatina buffa: Homage to Charlie Chaplin for Piano Duet, Piano Concerto No. 2 “Lebenskraft” (arr. 2 pianos).
Catalogue Number: 08V058
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0488
Description: A composer-pianist with a distinguished career in both fields, Teodorescu-Ciocănea writes strong, accessible music in a very tonal idiom, inflected by Romanian folk music, with plenty of pianistic bravura and an exquisite sense of harmonic color. Endeavour Bells is in the time-honoured 'bell piece' genre, evoking the symbolism and stirring impact of bell sounds across cultures. The composer counts spectralism among the devices in her compositional toolbox, as is apparent from the range of dense but harmonically meaningful chords used in the piece. Nocturniana is 'the apotheosis of the nocturne', so to speak. An extended work ingeniously based on Chopin's D flat major Nocturne, Op. 27, No. 2, it goes beyond transcription to become a nachdichtung in which phrases from the Chopin original are elaborated and enlarged upon, covering a range of nocturnal landscapes and emotions that go far beyond the scope of the original. Calypso is a different kind of fantasia; its aquatic imagery and mythological resonance brings out saturated, Messiaenic harmonies and impressionistic shades of color. The Sonatina buffa depicts various aspects of Charlie Chaplin's on-screen persona, the clumsy, comical walk; the genuine pathos, the dramatic situations in which the little character finds himself out of his depth. In this work the composer reveals a humorous touch in the ragtime first movement, and this, and other jazzy, strongly syncopated rhythms turn up in the muscular, somewhat neoclassical concerto with its sonata form first movement and rondo finale. The title translates as "Life Strength" and the work is accordingly energetic and rhythmically vital. Tamara Smolyar (piano), Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea (second piano).