SANDRO FUGA (1906-1994): Cello Sonatas Nos. 1-3.

Catalogue Number: 09X042

Label: Tactus

Reference: TC 900601

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: Fuga was a refined and aristocratic personality, who described himself as a "Romantic survivor" and described the Italian avant-garde of his day as "musical clownery"; his music is above all, directly communicative in its emotional utterance and, as the above would lead you to suspect, resolutely tonal. Given that four decades separate the first and second sonatas and yet their idiom is almost unchanged suggests that he found the idiom that suited him early on, and found no pressing reason to do anything different. There is a considerable amount of French influence to be found throughout these elegant works. The composer’s instrument was the piano, and this is apparent in the richly textured, harmonically lush piano parts, which treat the instrument as an equal partner in the musical argument. The First Sonata begins with a dreamlike, subdued introduction, followed by a lively toccata. The second movement is tragic, while the finale is jocular and full of joie de vivre, opening with a humorously incongruous evocation of an American barn dance, complete with banjo-like pizzicati! The Second begins calmly, grows in emotional emotional intensity and density of texture and finally returns to the mood of the opening. The middle movement is a flowing, very Ravelian intermezzo, and the finale a big, bravado allegro in which a trenchant military march is overtaken by a torrent of extrovert passion. The Third was written when the composer was in his eighties, but is as full of verve and youthful energy as its predecessors. The idiom remains basically the same, perhaps a little more hard-edged and concentrated, but with the early 20th century French influence still unmistakable. In four concise movements, it begins with a rhythmically animated movement, followed by a love, lyrical singing slow movement. A kind of mysterious, scurrying perpetuum mobile scherzo follows, and the sonata ends with a movement of insistent rhythmic vitality. Umberto Aleandri (cello), Filippo Farinelli (piano).

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