NICCOLÒ CASTIGLIONI (1932-1996): Piano and Orchestra: Fantasia Concertata, Fiori di Ghiaccio, Quodlibet for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Gorgheggio for Piano and 8 Instruments, Movimento Continuato for Piano and Instruments.
Catalogue Number: 01U047
Reference: STR 37097
Description: This disc usefully collects together Castiglioni's entire output for piano and orchestra, which spans the years 1959 to 1991. Castiglioni must have one of the most distinctive and instantly recognizable idioms of any avant-garde composer; as diverse as the Darmstadt composers of the 1960s were, he always stood a little apart from the group. He was also, by contemporary accounts, a very fine and elegant pianist, equal to the technical demands of his music, and this is clearly reflected in these works and those for solo piano (11J129). The scintillating, sparkling, crystalline clarity of his works, with the instruments predominantly playing in their highest register, is a common factor, contributing to the music's appealingly decorative, filigree character. Playful, humorous gestures are abundant; sudden tonal concluding gestures to atonal note-swarms, what can only be affectionate parodies of Messiaenic birdsongs, and the extraordinary structure of Gorgheggio, a solo stream of pointillistic gestures cut off without warning only at the very end by 100 repetitions of a chord from the ensemble. The Fantasia concertata is a stunning miniature concerto, a late work with an unexpectedly Romantic feel - still atonal, but fuller of texture, with some dramatic touches heightened by their unaccustomedly thunderous bass register. History was also important to the composer, and references suddenly and delightfully surface; a prelude and fugue and a tribute to Liszt in Fiori, along with a nod to its dedicatee, Ligeti; a subtle Baroque palimpsest glimpsed behind the music-box chatter of the last movement of the tiny concerto Quodlibet. Aldo Orvieto (piano), Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto; Marco Angius.