GIULIO CASTAGNOLI (b.1958): Missa Sancti Evasii for Soloists, Chorus, Boys' Chorus and Baroque Instrument Orchestra (Coro "Ruggero Maghini" di Torino, Coro "L'Opera dei Ragazzi", Academia Montis Regalis; Claudio Chiavazza), Cantico Notturno for 12 Voices, Percussion and Electronics (Corale Polifonico di Milan, Maurizio Ben Omar [percussion]), 3 canti Pisani for 6 Voices, Percussion and Electronics (S Y R I N Ensemble Stockholm, Riccardo Balbinutti [percussion]), Madrigale Guerriero e Amoroso for 6 Voices and 6 Traditional Chinese Instruments (The Song Company Sydney, Hong Kong Virtuosi; Ronald Peelman).

Catalogue Number: 09M092

Label: Stradivarius

Reference: STR 33858

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: It would be difficult to imagine a wider range of styles and influences being persuaded to work together than those encountered in Castagnoli's music. A student of several noted avant-gardistes, Castagnoli bases much of his personal style on music of the Renaissance and early Baroque, especially Monteverdi, but effortlessly introduces the scales and modes of Arabic and Indian musics, Chinese instruments, extended playing techniques and electronics. His texts in these vocal works are equally polyglot; the Mass, Petrarch, Ezra Pound, Chinese and Navajo poetry all appear here. The most obvious binding thread is the accessibility of the works; all are fundamentally tonal, or modal, despite the intrusions of 'ethnic' percussion (in the 'Cantico' and 'Madrigale'), electronic sounds, and microtonal inflections derived from non-western cultures. The half-hour Mass- the most recent work here - is the most tonal; suggestions of Darmstadt-style fragmented vocal lines occur in the earlier pieces, but these could equally well be related to a contemporary view of Renaissance antiphonal effects, which are frequently evoked in more conventional choral textures. The result is a kind of very sophisticated 'world music', not pandering to popular taste but nonetheless direct in emotional expression and reassuringly familiar-sounding even while employing devices from many centuries and geographical regions.

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