The New Season, Second Piano Sonata, was wholly composed in 2019. As for the previous Sonata of 2017-2018, the dimensions are wide, but the sonata-form seems to centre here in an obvious manner the classical structure. The harmonic choices act with two aims: on the one hand they tend to explore every thematic idea in all its nuances that the same key permits, on the other hand they aim to underline, with modulations to the far tones, the great sections of the composition, opening them to new perspectives of sound dimension.
The minute attention to the harmonic detail lets the listener feel inside the coherence of the musical discourse, quite as if he were accompanied in a travel, also its variety of nuances.
The lyricism, the passionate enthusiasm and, in the same time, the intimate creative vein, define this work as if it were the alter ego of the Sonata of 2017-2018 and also the title, a secret tribute to the father, seems to suggest a sort of rising or rediscovered spring compared to the tormented past.
The choice to propose with the new Sonata compositions by Astor Piazzolla, entered by now in the classical musical repertoire of the 20th century, seems to indicate an interpretation for the own music. Despite the great difference between the two musical styles, the aim of the strict belonging to the own cultural roots in the name of a naturalness of intents, is evident not obviously dictated by a commercial operation focused on an easy usability. Looking for a link to the great masters of the past would be reductive and misleading towards a compositional style by now well delineated and recognizable. Love and sweat poured on the most famous piano composers are perceived as deep cultural root.
The need of the emotive involvement expressed with the use of the tonal harmony as essential means from the DNA, is the declaration of a communication and musical telling still possible and browsable, also to the light of different cultural influences rooted in the contemporaneity and filtered from their personality. The New Season is so the vision of the classical music today, such as the same social message of other musical expressions more popular, but with all the peculiarities that outline the own vocation to the cultured music without compromises. Listening to with a mind free from superstructures, this music is able to accompany us with its narrative flight in a long emotional travel, letting us perceive also aspirations and personal dreams that, thanks to the honesty of the message, we can embrace. For an artist, music is a philosophy, a way of life and here, life, with its thousand nuances of intensity of affection expressed by different times in the Tempo, is the unquestioned hero.
Composed between 1964 and 1970, Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas by Astor Piazzolla give back the variety of tones and colours of the passing of the seasons of Buenos Aires through the changes of rhythm, tenderness and violence of the typical passions of Tango nuevo. Ronchini presents a personal and rare piano version according strictly to the style and the original compositional material, basing on the available publications and inspiring himself to the records effectuated between 1969 and 1972 by the Argentinian composer with his own Quintet. Such a meaningfulness permits that the arrangement for piano is seen as if it had been originally thought for the solo instrument.
The relevance, the rhythm, the wide dynamic and brilliant writing don’t make people regret the tonal variety of the organic instrumental ensemble typical of the Argentinian Tango conceived by Piazzolla.
Liner Notes by Luçia Cortez
Translation by Nadia Mandolaro
Giacomo Ronchini: Graduated summa cum laude at the Conservatory G. Verdi in Milan, he improved his knwoledge with B. Petrushanskij and the Trio di Trieste.
He made his debut at the age of thirteen with Mozart’s Concerto K 414 under the direction of D. Gatti and, after the auditions of the RAI Orchestra and Pom. Mus., he performed Mozart, Schumann, Liszt and Rachmaninoff’s Concertos. He attended, very young, the Stauffer String Academy in Cremona giving the light to many chamber-music groups, that came into the public eye of the most prestigious concert seasons in Italy and abroad: Milan (Verdi Hall, S. Maria delle Grazie, LaVerdi), Turin (Lingotto), Palermo (Politeama), Rome (Gonfalone), Trieste (Rossetti, Revoltella), Asolo (Int. Festival), Città di Castello (Fest. delle Nazioni), Jesi (Pergolesi Th.), Treviso (T. Comunale), Amalfi (Int. Pianistic Fest.), Siena (Chigiana Acad), Genua (P. Ducale), Gorizia (Auditorium), Codroipo (Villa Manin), Busseto (Sala Barezzi), Modena (T. Comunale), Lecco (Music Festival), Brescia (Fond. Romanini), Savona (Chiabrera Theatre), Carpi (T. Comunale), Bergamo (Sala Piatti), Lipari (Greek Th.), Novara (Conservatory), Blonay, La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Amsterdam (Keizersgrachtkerk), Liège (M. Wallonne), Leòn (Eutherpe F.), Kiev (Lignea Hall), London (Purcell Room). Some of his latest prizes include the invitation by the Philarm. Orch. at the Royal Festival Hall in London, an honorable mention from the Ac. Chigiana and the “Nuove Carriere” CIDIM-Unesco. His album “Mozart in Paris” was chosen by Radio 3 among the most interesting in 2012. His two albums dedicated to bossa nova, Andorinha and Stones and Flowers, seal an interesting union with the Brazilian musician A. C. Jobim. After the publication in 2015 of the album Self-portrait, that marks his creative turning point, follows Forse un giorno (2015) and then So slow so long (2016).
Since 2014 he is the protagonist, with these projects, of recitals that represent a moment of particular attraction in classical and jazz sesaons.
Astor Piazzolla: (b Mar del Plata, 11 March 1921; d Buenos Aires, 5 July 1992). Argentine composer, bandleader and bandoneón player. A child prodigy on the bandoneón, Piazzolla and his family emigrated to New York in 1924; in his teens he became acquainted with Gardel, for whom he worked as a tour guide, translator and occasional performer. Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires in 1937 where he gave concerts and made tango arrangements for Aníbal Troilo, a leading bandleader; he also studied classical music with Ginastera. In 1944 Piazzolla left Troilo’s band to form the Orquesta del 46 as a vehicle for his own compositions. A symphony composed in 1954 for the Buenos Aires PO won him a scholarship to study in Paris with Boulanger, who encouraged him in the composition of tangos; the following year he resettled in Argentina and formed the Octeto Buenos Aires and, later, the Quinteto Nuevo Tango, which performed at his own club, Jamaica. Piazzolla left Argentina in 1974, settling in Paris, where he composed a concerto for bandoneón and a cello sonata for Rostropovich, among other works.
Piazzolla’s distinctive brand of tango, later called ‘nuevo tango’, initially met with resistance. Including fugue, extreme chromaticism, dissonance, elements of jazz and, at times, expanded instrumentation, it was condemned by the old-guard, including not only most tango composers and bandleaders but also Borges, whose short story El hombre de la Esquina Rosada was the basis for Piazzolla’s El tango (1969); like tango itself, Piazzolla’s work first found general approval outside Argentina, principally in France and the USA. By the 1980s, however, Piazzolla’s music was widely accepted even in his native country, where he was now seen as the saviour of tango, which during the 1950s and 60s had declined in popularity and appeal. In the late 1980s Piazzolla’s works began to be taken up by classical performers, in particular the Kronos Quartet, who commissioned Five Tango Sensations (1989). In all he composed about 750 works, including film scores for Tangos: the Exile of Gardel (1985) and Sur (1987). Shortly before his death, he was commissioned to write an opera on the life of Gardel.
Giacomo Ronchini started his studies at the “Verdi” Conservatoire in Milan receiving the highest marks with honours. When only thirteen he had his debut with Mozart’s concerto K414 under the baton of Daniele Gatti winning in the next years auditions with the RAI orchestra and “Pomeriggi musicali” with whom he performed Mozart, Schumann, Liszt and Rachmaninoff concertos. From a very early age his love for chamber music brings him to the Cremona string academy where he forms various partnerships, from duo to quartet, which are launched in the most prestigious seasons and halls in Italy and abroad: Milan (Verdi hall), Turin (Salone della Musica in live on radio), Palermo (Politeama), Rome (Gonfalone), Trieste (Rossetti Theatre, Museo Revoltella), Asolo (Festival Internazionale), Città di Castello (Festival delle Nazioni), Jesi (Pergolesi Theatre), Treviso (Teatro Comunale), Amalfi (Festival pianistico Internazionale), Siena (Accademia Chigiana), Genua (Palazzo Ducale), Gorizia (Auditorium della Cultura Friulana), Codroipo (Villa Manin), Busseto (Sala Barezzi), Modena (Teatro Comunale), Lecco (Music Festival), Brescia (Fondazione Romanini), Savona (Teatro Chiabrera), Carpi (Teatro Comunale), Bergamo (Sala Piatti), Lipari (Teatro greco), Blonay for the “journées Paul Hindemith”; Amsterdam (Keizersgrachtkerk), Kiev (Lignea hall), London (Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room). Some of his latest prizes include an Honorable mention from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and the “Nuove Carriere” organized by CIDIM-Unesco. His love for music and his skills as an arranger led him to new projects on Jobim. His album “Mozart in Paris” and two records dedicated to Tom Jobim were chosen by RAI Radio 3 among the most interesting in 2012 and 2013. Casa Musicale Eco in Monza, which is also editing some of his educational works, has published three volumes entitled “L’orchestra fa scuola”; transcriptions and arrangements for orchestra of the most beautiful classical compositions dedicated to children in the first years of study. From the Jobim’s project explodes a new musical adventure: the release in 2015 of the album “Selfportrait” marks the creativity of the musician that develops generously giving birth, at short distance, to the second album “Forse un giorno”.