ROBERTO SCARCELLA PERINO (b.19??): Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-4, Metamorfosi, Ninna Nanna per Giorgio, 12 Variazioni su Ciuri Ciuri, 12 Constellations.
Catalogue Number: 08X063
Label: Da Vinci Classics
Description: The backbone of this thoroughly enjoyable disc is Perino's delightful cycle of concise neo-romantic sonatas, using traditional forms in a personal and expressive way. All are in three movements, beginning with a sonata-allegro, but are of quite distinct character. The first begins with a sentimental, almost saccharine theme with a rippling accompaniment, but just as you might start to wonder whether you had strayed into Einaudi territory and to cast around looking for an exit, the music acquires some passion and heft, and once the movement proper gets going, it has a propulsive energy oddly reminiscent of Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance". The brief second movement is an affectionate song, and the finale a boisterous tarantella in rondo form, which works up a fine Romantic fervor between the whirling of the main theme. The robust, energetic first subject of the 2nd Sonata's first movement has a strong Latin flavour, which imbues the whole movement with a sense of passion and rich Romantic warmth. The central Romanza is redolent of warm summer nights, with a middle section in which the fires of passion burn brightly. The immensely appealing variation-finale puts its theme through the customary Romantic extravagances, and the Latin rhythms put in a final appearance in one variation. The big opening movement of the 3rd - half the duration of the piece - incorporates a succinct quasi-Listian virtuoso fugue alongside jazz elements. An elegant little Valzerino, likely a nod to Nino Rota - it sounds like it anyway - is the middle movement, while the final Vivacissimamente presents the pianist with exuberant roulades of swirling notes. No.4 begins unassumingly and exudes good-humoured nonchalance throughout the first movement. The central Berceuse is gentle and affectionate. The finale is a series of folk-like dances, some with a Celtic flavour because of the work’s Irish dedicatee, separated by a kind of "promenade". The other pieces include an impressionistic retelling of a Sicilian folk tale, and a small set of variations on a Sicilian folk song, parodying the styles of various Classical composers, a bit like Reizenstein's "Lambeth Walk" variations. Giuseppe Bruno (piano).