Official release: 16 April 2021
In the seventeenth century, the idea of writing works for unaccompanied cello was a pioneering one; it had been attempted notably by some Italian musicians, including Domenico Gabrielli. In the eighteenth century, their heritage was received and brought to perfection by Johann Sebastian Bach, with his magnificent Six Suites for unaccompanied cello. These works, however, remained largely unperformed throughout the following century. The few who did know them and appreciate their greatness (such as Robert Schumann) thought them unsuitable to the concert hall, and therefore provided them with piano accompaniments. Following the model of Paganini’s Capriccios for solo violin, similar virtuoso pieces for unaccompanied cello were written in the nineteenth century, but they frequently remained within the domain of the “etudes” (significantly, also many early editions of Bach’s Suites were titled “Etudes”). Only in the twentieth century did the unaccompanied cello acquire a standing of its own in the concert programmes; that century and the following saw the flourishing of the repertoire for unaccompanied cello, as is testified by the works performed in this Da Vinci Classics album. (C.B.)
The figure of the composer György Ligeti (1923 – 2006) is principally related to his role as the first magnitude of the postwar avant-garde. Ligeti youth production is less known, even if it has been progressively discovered and appreciated. It includes the now-famous piano cycle of Musica Ricercata and Sonata for solo cello, written between 1948 and 1953.
Sonata for solo cello is a piece that can be placed in a post – Bartókian environment still linked to a tonal, if not even neoclassical conception. However, the piece already has traits of the mature Ligetian poetics, such as the nightly, vampire, and spooky atmosphere created by pizzicato notes in glissando with which the first movement begins. This tendency alternates with severe polyphonic writing in which it’s easy finding references to Bach’s cellist production, which also reveals a contrapuntal cult that the Hungarian composer will never really abandon.
An identifiable classical element in this Sonata is its cyclical dimension: there are in fact many recursive elements in the whole composition. An unsettling surprise consists of the return of the second melodic motif from the first movement in the middle of the following “whim” which is a virtuosic Perpetuum mobile, here really debtor to Bartók’s awesomeness.
Although this work can be considered just as a taste of an artistic phase still in training, it presents prodromes of pieces among the most important of the Darmstadtian avant-garde, composed by Ligeti for strings, such as Second Quartet and Ramifications (for string orchestra). Compared to his illustrious colleagues and in the narrow margins of a radical avant-garde writing (of which Sonata for cello is then a valuable preparatory study), Ligeti has been able to express better himself and his hallucinated and unique expressiveness precisely in writing for strings, made of extreme contrasts and colors, some of which are also found in the second movement of the piece presented here.
Music by Paolo Coggiola from Milan (b. in 1967) has sometimes been defined as “neo-romantic”. Coggiola feels close to neo-romantic Italian instances, standing out for his ambition to get back to an unavoidable need for a dialogue with the contemporary listener and a renewed musical narration, far from self-referentiality and abstraction.
The diptych presented here seems to be summarizing some of the instances of this CD’s various pieces, such as cognizant continuity with the past, but in the spirit of contemporary eclecticism. In fact, Coggiola’s music can be also defined eclectic: he isn’t interested in an extremist stylization, but rather in a strong expressive instance, wide-raging, which is lyrical, but also subtly ironic at the same time.
The romantic closeness of Coggiola to a poetics of nature led him to be also defined as a “neo-pagan” composer. A taste of this tendency can be experienced in these pieces which are focused on naturalistic and temporal phenomena. A precise study can be noticed in these works which are dedicated to music chromatic contrasts and to the dimension of the metamorphosis, a real obsession for the composer who considers it as the ultimate expression of the art itself, aligned to Ovid’s timeless message, which can be found in some fleeting glimpses of the final solar dance.
In his splendid lectures dedicated to tango, Borges states that: «the word “Argentine ” […] arouses two concepts in any part of the world, “gaucho “and” tango” which are two words that correspond to typical Argentine man and music. One would say that this association of ideas is universal […]». Later, telling one of his stories, he seals the idea that tango is closely linked with death. Therefore, it is natural, and not at all nostalgic, for contemporary authors, such as Miguel Bareilles, to cultivate the spirit of tango. His recent Tres preludios tanguisticos begin with a singular metronomic indication, which adds to the floating tactus the expression “tremendamente romántico y con sentimento tanguero”. It is conceivable, we suspect, also an ironic vein, but the character of these pieces (which are conceived as a flow without solution of continuity) is thus virtually marked. Bareilles’s style could be defined as post-Piazzolla: even in Bareilles, the tango is now freed from rigid articulatory demands, as indeed the dances of the Bach suites already were. The reference to Bach is quite pertinent here: in fact, the first piece is an evident reinterpretation of Kantor’s cellist writing, here transfigured into a painful sensuality (not lacking the indispensable and ancient “bass of lament” as a unifying element) which literally belongs to another musical hemisphere.
Characteristic of these pieces is also an idiomatic and masterful instrumental writing, which arrives, in the third prelude, at the doubling of the articulation, created on one hand, by the left-hand pizzicati, and on the other by a passionate, almost tragic melody, which is transfigured into virtuosic and very bright drawings, an authentic expression of that Eros and Thanatos topos which is the real essence of the most authentic tango, and which is proposed here most openly and sincerely.
The title of Marco Nodari’s piece (b. in 1969), Dualismi e contrasti, could be considered almost a declaration of poetics: his music is open to the multiplicity, to the richness of stimuli and suggestions of the present (and the past) without ideological preclusions, and with a strong propensity for the communicative and narrative dimension, a sort of red thread of this CD. In this sense, Marco Nodari’s music could be assimilated to the postmodernism mare magnum. Multiplicity and contrasts are realized here not only through a wide range of techniques – which also include the percussive element, of popular (and perhaps guitar) derivation -, but also through a subtle play of stylistic elements and recursive formal articulations (virtually oriented to a classic rondo), which create a kaleidoscopic piece, in which echoes of the historical twentieth century (we like to think of Brittenians) alternate with others in which we perceive a refined reinterpretation of suggestions derived from minimalism and perhaps also from the cross-over, but without that indulgence towards the collage that characterized many avant-garde works from the second postwar period: instead, in a perspective of certain recovery of an expressive gesture that is ultimately unitary and wide-ranging (and here also distancing itself in an original way from postmodern “small narratives”), it culminates with contrasts dissolving in an episode of happy and clear virtuosity.
The production of the Spanish Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) is intimately linked to his activity as a successful cellist. He’s well known as a wonderful performer and recipient of pieces by some of the most important composers of his time. His Suite for solo cello (which dates to 1926) has settled itself over the years as a classic (in competition with Benjamin Britten’s Suites) of the historical twentieth-century cello repertoire. His writing is free from experimentalism or deep modernist concerns. His style is rather an heir to the cellist baggage of the past, but with original suggestions of Spanish music, reinterpreted in the light of thoughtful and successful use of compositional techniques from the twentieth century. The key to the very happy outcome of this suite certainly lies in the unique mastery of instrumental means, which are transfigured into an intimately and profoundly musical substance; but not only that, also in an intense and elegant lyricism that is expressed, for example, through the use of a sort of short and poignant idée fixe in the first movement. Thus, the “surrender” to the tradition of Spanish dances of the second movement (here, to tell the truth, a Sardana, which is a typical Catalan dance and almost a cultural symbol) has nothing sweet or sketchy, it is extremely mercurial and built classically. In the third movement, the distinctive national character becomes obvious. Therefore, at this point, we are aware of one of the greatest merits in Cassadó’s music, which is the excellent clarity of the compositional sign, which, although extolling the resources of his instrument in an almost insuperable way, always remains light and nervous.
English Translation by Elena Indraccolo
Giovanna Buccarella: Born in Bari, graduated in cello under the guide of Vito Paternoster at the "N. Piccinni" Conservatory of Bari. She studied with Amedeo Baldovino and Michael Flaksman and followed, for several years, the chamber music courses taught by the Trio of Trieste at the Music School of Fiesole, the International High School of Chamber Music of Duino at the Collegio del Mondo Unito and the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, where he obtained the Diploma of Merit twice in a row.
She devoted herself permanently to the chamber repertoire, always obtaining broad consensus from the public and critics: under the guidance of the Trio of Trieste she formed the trio Clara Haskil and later formed the Duo Schumann with the pianist Francesco Monopoli. She currently performs with the guitarist Francesco Diodovich as Duo Mateaux, with whom she has already released three CDs: "ONDE" ed. DotGuitar, "VIAJES" ed. GuitArt, "DOUBLE CONCERTO" ed. Stradivarius Milano Dischi with the Pugliese Philharmonic Orchestra.
She was a founding member and principal cello of the COLLEGIUM MUSICUM Chamber Orchestra of Bari, with which she has 15 musical seasons, collaborations with artists of undisputed prestige including Giuliano Carmignola, Claudia Antonelli, Sergio Fiorentino, Aldo Ciccolini, Angelo Persichilli, Gigi Proietti, Moni Ovadia, Leopoldo Mastelloni, Micaela Esdra, Michele Mirabella, Maurizio Micheli, Emilia Fadini, Mauro Maur, Susanna Mildonian, Sonia Bergamasco, and also recordings for RAI RADIOTRE (among others "I Concerti del Quirinale" in 2007 in the presence of the President of the Republic ") and CD publications.
She has collaborated with numerous orchestras and theaters: the Rome Opera House, the Petruzzelli Theater in Bari, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Italian Youth Orchestra, the Magna Grecia Orchestra of Taranto, the Province Symphony Orchestra of Bari, Orchestra Ensemble "The Soloists of the Italian Opera" (United Arab Emirates - "Madame Butterfly").
For some time she has also dedicated herself to other musical genres ranging from jazz to tango to ethnic music: with the VERTERE STRING QUARTET, a formation that includes numerous projects and collaborations with well-known jazz musicians such as Javier Girotto, Marco Tamburini, Daniele Di Bonaventura, Paolo Fresu, Achille Succi, Robertinho De Paula, Michael Rosen, Stefano Onorati, Stefano Paolini. With the Vertere String Quartet has released the following CDs: "NAHUEL" (2007) ed. Il Manifesto alongside the saxophonist Javier Girotto, "COLORIADE" (2007) ed. Dodicilune with the "Pasquale Mega Emsemble", "SINE NOMINE" (2010) ed. Harmonia Mundi with the bandoneonist Daniele di Bonaventura, "VERA CRUZ" (2011) ed. Dodicilune with guitarist Robertinho De Paula and "CONTEMPORANO IMMAGINARIO" (2011) ed. Note Sonanti with Marco Tamburini and Three Lower Colors.
She was part of the MIRKO SIGNORILE QUINTET, with whom he made the CD "MAGNOLIA" and several concerts. From 2000 to 2005 she collaborated with the ethno-pop group RADIODERVISH, performing concerts and participations in important festivals in Italy and abroad (Paris-Olympia theater, Beirut, Brussels, Athens, Rome Concert of 1st May, Auditorium Parco della Musica Rome, Ravenna, Imola, Turin, Milan, Carrara, "Arezzo Wave festival", "Friuli Folkest 2002", Sanremo "Tenco Award", "Mantova Festival", Ancona, Catania, Palermo, Agrigento, Bari etc.). With Radiodervish she has also made numerous concerts with the participation of the Israeli singer NOA and has released three CDs "IN ACOUSTIC", "CENTRO DEL MUNDO" and "IN SEARCH OF SIMURGH". The prestigious "CLASSIC VOICE" magazine mentioned her among the hundred artists who most distinguished themselves in the concert seasons of 2009 and 2010.
She is the winner of the GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS 2019 for the performance of the "Tres Preludios Tanguìsticos" for cello solo (dedicated to her) on the CD "CANTO POR EL AGUA" by the Argentine composer Miguel Bareilles.
She is a cello teacher at the "N. Piccinni" Conservatory of Music in Bari.
György Ligeti: (b Dicsőszentmárton [Diciosânmartin, now Tîrnăveni], Transylvania, 28 May 1923; d Wien, 12 June 2006). Hungarian composer. After being exposed to two tyrannies in his youth, Nazi and Stalinist, he left Hungary following the 1956 Russian suppression of his country’s independence and found himself, in western Europe, confronted by another stern ideology, that of the Darmstadt-Cologne avant garde. The effect was twofold. He was liberated to pursue long-cherished ideals of musical advance, but at the same time his critical, contrary spirit was sharpened. Unlike many of his young colleagues in the west, he was suspicious of system, rejoiced in the delightfulness and evocativeness of sound, and steadily reintroduced – though in quite new ways, guided by an exact ear – things that serial orthodoxy had refused, such as simple harmonies, ostinatos and palpable melodies. Just when this process of recuperation might have led him, in the early 1980s, to join the new dominant movement of postmodernist collage and retrospect, he found further stimulation and contradiction in non-European musical cultures, especially Caribbean, central African and East Asian. Always paradoxical, he found this music of the world enhancing his sense of himself as musically a Hungarian, and began to publish or republish many of the compositions he had written decades earlier.
Born in 1969, Marco Nodari started his studies of Composition at the Conservatory of music of Brescia with the professors G. Facchinetti, E. Brusa and P. Ugoletti, and graduated in Milan with the Professor A. Corghi. He also studied piano with the professors U. B. Michelangeli, R. Pinelli and R. Bettini, and graduated from the Conservatory of Mantova. Being interested also in non-musical subjects, in 1999 he graduated in Architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan. In 2009 he specialised with honours in Composition at the Conservatory of Brescia. He attended specialised courses (“Livorno Music Festival”/M°P. Maxwell Davies, Fondazione “ A. Toscanini” of Parma, Civic School of music of Milan/M°A. Guarnieri, “ Seminario di tecnica e riflessione compositiva”/M°A. Giacometti, Music for movies/Accademia Chigiana/M°E. Morricone) and he was awarded prize in many national and international competitions (1st prize at the “First Young composers selection” organized by Radio France in collaboration with Suvini Zerboni Editors, 1st prize at the International competition “ Val Tidone”, 1st prize at the National competition A.Gi.Mus, 1st prize at the National competition “ R. Toscano” of Pescara, Finalist at the International competition City of Nizza, 2nd e 3rd prize at the National competition City of Pavia, recognized at “ Bacchelli” of Livorno, 3rd prize at “ F. Margola” of Brescia etc.). His music has been performed by eminent musicians (including M. Zoni, L. Prandina, G. Tampalini, S. Vebber, M. Marzi, G. Baldocci, F. Lama, N. Bogdanov, M. Scilironi, S. Pisciali, G. Artunghi, A. Pianelli, G. Pirollo, M. Grisanti, S. Marrini, Dedalo Ensemble etc.) and has been played in important classical events and seasons (Concerts season/ Metropolitan Theatre/Tokyo,“ Altre mete”-OFT Torino, “ Armonia e incanto”- Orchestra Haydn di Trento e B., Festival pianistico internazionale “ A. B. Michelangeli”, Stagione della Societa Filarmonica di Trento, Saison musical de Radio France, “ Sulle ali del novecento”, “ Alfeo Gigli”, Stagione A.Gi.mus, “ Sardegna Isolafestival”, “ Scintille di musica”, “ Bresciachitarra”, “ Musica in Abbazia”, Stagione di Concerti Cortina d’Ampezzo, 20° Ciclo de Organo J. De Sesma etc.) in many places both in Italy and abroad (including Tokyo, Parigi, Berlino, Roma, Firenze, Bologna, Basilea, Kiel, Mainz, Nizza, Perugia, Todi, Pescara, Gorizia, Bologna etc. as well as in the Italian Institutes of Culture of Brussels, Stuttgart, Grenoble, Cologne, Wolfsburg, Hamburg, Beirut, Tripoli). He has published works with editors such as Suvini Zerboni, Fone, Rugginenti, Ludo, Berben, Armelin, Eufonia and Concertoclassics/Musicmedia. In 2006 the 43° International Piano Festival “ A. B. Michelangeli” has commissioned him a piece for ensemble dedicated to the Victims of Piazza della Loggia of Brescia. In 2013 he recorded a Cd completely dedicated to his piano music compositions in collaboration with Eufonia Editions (“ Appunti di viaggio”/N. Bogdanov, M. Nodari, piano) and in the same year the piece for guitar named “ Tiliguerta” it’s been included in “ Strong Emotions on classics Contemporary music”, a Cd by the “ Concerto/Musicmedia” Editions (G. Tampalini, guitar). In 2014 the Conservatory of city of Potenza has commissioned him a piece performed in a live recording at the RAI studios of Rome. In 2015 a monographic Cd dedicated to his chamber music its been made for the “ Concerto/Musicmedia” Editions of Milan. He has taught Harmony and Analysis at the “ G. Martucci” Conservatory of music of Salerno, “ G. da Venosa” of Potenza, “ N. Piccinni” Conservatory in the city of Bari. Currently he is teaching Theory of Harmony and Analysis at “A. Buzzolla” Conservatory of Adria and he is director of the editorial series “Analisi&riflessioni” (www.aldebaraneditions.com); he also has been for seven years the artistic director of the classical music season “ Sundays in music” in Brescia.
Paolo Coggiola was born in Milan in 1967. He studied with Bruno Bettinelli, Franco Donatoni and Paolo Vaglieri, graduating in composition, choral music and choir direction, as well as graduated in law.
He was the winner of the 2 Agosto International Competition in Bologna. His compositions were performed by Arena di Verona Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali, Emilia Romagna Symphonic Orchestra Arturo Toscanini, European Symphony Orchestra, Sentieri Selvaggi at International Art Gallery of Montepulciano, Teatro alla Scala in Milano and into the Bang on a Can Marathon in New York.
He wrote two monographs on Franz Schubert and Claude Debussy published both by Skira-Corriere della Sera. In addition for Sonzogno he has published a book about compositional techniques, The Abacus and the Rose. His extensive catalogue of compositions is published by Casa Musicale Sonzogno and Preludio Edizioni.
He teaches composition at Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado (Milano).