ALBERTO MANIACI (b.1987): Brise s’espoir, VITO MANDINA (b.1976): Decathlon, SIMONE PIRAINO (b.1985): Dolcemente insieme, GIUSEPPE RICOTTA (b.1968): La signora delle camelie, MARCO BETTA (b.1964): Strada bianca, VALENTINA CASESA (b.1981): Ten.

Catalogue Number: 08Y041

Label: Da Vinci Classics

Reference: C00314

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Six Sicilian composers pay homage to their trio of compatriots on the occasion of the ensemble’s tenth anniversary in this varied, instantly appealing programme of tonal pieces. The warm optimism of Maniaci's "Breeze of Hope" makes it an attractive curtain-raiser. In A-B-A form, it brackets an appropriately breezy fast section with a pop-minimalistic propulsiveness between two statements of a gently melodic section, the second time around decorated with improvisatory piano flourishes. Mandina's piece is a set of variations on a theme contructed from notes assigned to the letters of "Trio Arté" plus a fragment of "Happy Birthday". A lively piece, it ranges from boisterously playful to vigorously rock 'n roll to faux-serious and menacing. Piriano's songful, harmonically simple and consonant Dolcemente Insieme (“sweetly, together”) symbolises the ideal of co-operative friendship represented by the musical ensemble. Ricotta’s La Signora delle Camelie is based on Alexandre Dumas' novel in a full-blooded Romantic representation of the passion and drama of the narrative of the doomed love story. Betta's work is the most extended here, and the most "modern", though far from unapproachable. Its mysterious opening atmosphere celebrates "ancient Mediterranean cultures, the great classical tradition, and the music of our times" in the composer’s words; its melodic material is based on the distinctive cadences and flexible speechlike contours of Sicilian folksong. It rises to an appropriately volcanic climax, combining fire, hot-blooded passion and the tough, defiant culture of the Italian south. The final section evokes Sicilian folk music as strongly and resonantly as "La luna 'mezzo mare" in Nino Rota's indelible arrangement, or the "Sicilian muleteer's song" immortalized by Blanche Marchesi. Ten, by the trio’s pianist, celebrates the trio’s journey, both literal and metaphorical, over the past decade. The first section expresses determination and companionship in its genial melodiousness and persistent semiquaver ostinato motion. The second section evokes Sicilian folk music, and rises to a powerful, passionate climax in waltz time, before continuing the ongoing life of a travelling ensemble in a brief, optimistic, recapitulation of the opening material. Trio Arté.


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