Official Release: 16 July 2021
Concerto No. 3
for Bandoneon and Saxophone Quartet
From the piece’s very beginning, the lines of the five instruments are often asymmetrical and rhythmically strongly characterized. The color-changing tones of the saxophones and the multifaceted melos of the bandoneon culminate in a central part full of tension and obsessive repetitiveness, with increasingly pressing small variations. On this fabric, a melos of broad and yet essential notes unfolds, aimed at emphasizing the chosen dynamic path. After various developments the initial theme returns, closing the first movement. Only the last bars offer once more a sense of satisfied serenity to the listener: through gameplay, irony and passion the circle is closed. The second movement represents the illusion par excellence, i.e. the flight. With an airy and passionate sound construction, the bandoneon traces its spirals above the four saxophones’ dense rhythmic and melodic path; it is only interrupted in the central section, where everything subsides, floating in a sort of suspended, dreamy, and rarefied atmosphere.
Raffaele Bellafronte graduated in piano with Lucia Passaglia and studied composition and analysis with Firmino Sifonia, Giampaolo Chiti and Fulvio Delli Pizzi. His works have been published by Rai Trade, Curci, Carisch, Bongiovanni, Bèrben, Les Productions d’Oz (Canada), DaVinci Editions. His works have been premiered beyond the boundaries of his homeland, reaching concert halls and theaters among the most important in the world such as: Carnegie Hall in New York, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Wigmore Hall in London, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Other World Premieres of his works took place at several world conventions such as: Denver 2004 (trumpet), San Diego 2005 (flute), Tokyo 2005 (clarinet), New York 2013 (double bass). He has recorded for Brilliant Classics, Summit Records, Stradivarius, Tactus, Delos International, Rai Trade, Bongiovanni. He is the founder and artistic director of the Masterclasses – Seminari Musicali Internazionali; for twenty years, starting in 1990, he has directed all editions of this event. Since 2007 he has been the Artistic Director of the Rossetti Theatre and the Civic School of Music – Città di Vasto. He is a professor at the “Perosi” Conservatory in Campobasso. In 2003, his recording of his Suite No. 1 for Delos (USA) was nominated for a Grammy Award.for Delos Records (USA). In 2017 he received the prestigious international award “Golden Guitar for composition” at the 22nd International Convention for Guitar on the occasion of the 50th edition of the “Michele Pittaluga” Guitar Competition in Alessandria. His recordings and publications are included in the major music catalogs of the world.
Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas
Astor Piazzolla composed Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, or The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, between 1965 and 1970. Although they were performed together by Piazzolla himself, becoming in fact a real suite, the pieces were at first conceived individually and independently of each other. The term “Porteño” identifies the inhabitants of Buenos Aires of European descent, wishing to distinguish themselves from the descendants of the “criollo” (Spanish colonizers), from mestizos and indigenous peoples. The work therefore aims to be a tribute to the city of Buenos Aires, musically represented in the four seasons of the year. The Estaciones were originally conceived by the author for the setting of the standard ensemble with which he usually performed, i.e. a quintet with violin, piano, guitar, double bass and bandoneon. In the transcription of Alessandro Fabbri recorded here, the work maintains the typical and pleasant characteristics of Piazzolla’s writing. In fact, each piece consists of a single movement where, however, rhythmical and lively moments alternate with more meditative ones. The sax quartet is homogeneous in color; however, due to the specific characteristics of each instrument and to their skillfully employed virtuoso possibilities, this ensemble is well suited for highlighting some rhythmic idiosyncrasies. These include the characteristically displaced accents of traditional Argentine music, underlining the “Piazzolla signature” motif, i.e. the chromatically descending bass creating a melancholy and poignant atmosphere. (Piero Barbareschi)
Commissioned by Cluster, an association of composers and performers for today’s music, the quartet was originally created in 2015 consisting of two movements. Later, the composer added a third movement for the purpose of completing the musical discourse. The first version was premiered by ExclusIVe Saxophone Quartet in the same year, after which several performances of the final form followed. Saxofour’s aesthetics comprises different genres: the first movement, peaceful and dreamy, comes in the form of a melancholic and sweet melody; the second, more rhythmic and lighter, interrupts the atmosphere of the first and prepares the third movement; the third one, “Fellinesque” and particularly lively, hints at counterpoint with a fugato part and closes “with a bang”.
When Edoardo Dinelli was 5 years old and sat at a piano for the first time, it was love at first sight. As he grew up, what used to be a game became a passion and then an obsession. He began studying seriously with Professor Nadia Puccinelli and soon obtained a Piano Degree at the “Rinaldo Franci” musical Institute in Siena. Meanwhile, Since his interest in music grew increasingly stronger, he began his training as a composer with Maestros Fabrizio Papi and Pietro Rigacci. Later on, he specialized in Film and Video scoring with important composers such as Manuel De Sica, Franco Mannino and Luis Bacalov at the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema in Rome. Finally, following his real and innermost passion, he obtained a master’s degree in music and New Technologies at the Conservatorio L. Cherubini in Florence with Professor Alfonso Belfiore, allowing him to channel powerfully his own creativity towards multimedia and Computer Music. He currently lives and works in Florence. As a composer and producer, he collaborated, among others, with the cultural Association Il Paracadute di Icaro, for which he composed the stage music of several shows staged by the company at Teatro di Rifredi in Florence. His music for the show #IOSONOSAMIA is particularly interesting; it is based on the novel “Non dirmi che hai paura” by Giuseppe Catozzella, staged at the Teatro di Rifredi in January 2020.
This quartet, as can be seen from the title, aims to describe a tennis match. Because it is a quartet, the composer imagined not singles, but a doubles match between two teams of two players. Each player in this case uses the saxophone (instead of racquet) to hit notes over the music staff, instead of felt-covered balls over a net into their opponent’s side of the court. The main theme is a semi-chromatic scale of 10 notes split by a quaver break into 4 progressive cells of 1, 2, 3 and 4 notes. The whole piece is also divided in 4 parts: 3 sections plus a coda. The first and the third sections include lively and rhythmic phrases exchanged between the four parts, while the middle section is a slow and emotional swing describing the long duration of the games in slow motion. The main theme comes back at the end in the form of a fugue, played first by the soprano and then followed by the alto, the tenor, and the baritone until, with a surprise, the last shot wins the match point.
Roberto Scarcella Perino studied with Slovenian pianist Sonja Pahor to whom he dedicated his first Piano Sonata. He holds degrees in Piano from the Conservatory “Corelli” in Messina and in Composition from the Conservatory Martini in Bologna. He studied composition at Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Azio Corghi, in Milan and in Parma at Accademia Petrassi, and also Conducting at the Juilliard School of Music. He graduated from the University of Bologna with a degree in Musicology and he taught Music Analysis at the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma.
The works of Roberto Scarcella Perino, composer, include five operas, two piano concertos, five piano sonatas, movie scores, three ballets, chamber music and choral pieces. His music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by important ensembles and soloists throughout Europe, Asia and the United States, including Orchestra Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra della Toscana, and Exclusive Saxophone Quartet. Summer 2022will see the world premiere of A Sweet Silence in Cremona, his new opera written with librettist Mark Campbell, commissioned by NYU Florence and Casa italiana Zerilli-Marimò. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Italian Department, Scholar in Residence at the American Institute for Verdi Studies, and the Composer in Residence at the Casa italiana Zerilli-Marimò. Every summer, Roberto teaches a course on Italian Opera at NYU in Florence.
ExclusIVe Saxophone Quartet plays Vandoren Traditional Reeds on:
Soprano Yanagisawa S9930, with LefreQue sound bridge
Alto Selmer – III series
Tenor Selmer Super Action – I series
Bariton Selmer Super Action – II series
ExclusIVe Saxophone Quartet: Born September 2010, the ExclusIVe Saxophone Quartet is composed by musicians from various music experiences in Italian and foreign important musical associations, events and chamber festival. Thanks to the combination of professionalism and freshness of their repertoire, the result is an high-level musical product that combines classic repertoire for saxophone quartet, both original and transcriptions, contemporary music and pieces "borrowed" from jazz, swing and soundtracks. A few months after its creation it has been acclaimed with excellent feedback in the classical music environment (selected for the prestigious recording-concert at Radio Vaticana in December 2010), distinguishing itself as a strong advocate of new music as the dedicatee of many new works by contemporary composers (Roberto Scarcella Perino, Alessandro Fabbri, Raffaele Bellafronte, Edoardo Dinelli, Giuseppe Bruno). It performes in chamber music season programmes of several important associations, such as Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence – Teatro Goldoni, Livorno – Filarmonica Laudamo, Messina – Araba Fenice, Terni – Tenuta dello Scompiglio, Lucca – Piano Time, Steingraeber Haus, Bayreuth, Lerici Music Festival, just to name a few. The Quartet is constantly renewing its repertoire by inserting new pieces, arrangements and transcriptions for quartet and piano quintet. This versatile and dynamic ensemble, thanks to the pianist Giuseppe Bruno, manages to give life to a quintet able to propose an even wider repertoire, elegantly passing from Schumann to Gershwin, brand new quintet contemporary repertoire or transcriptions from other chamber or orchestral works.
Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi: Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi, born in Atessa in 1980, undertook the study of accordion at the age of nine and later studied also bandoneon. From 1993 to 2001 he attended the courses of M° C. Calista and later of M° C. Chiacchiaretta at the F. Fenaroli Civic Musical School in Lanciano, graduating in 2007 with Honors at the Conservatory of S. Cecilia in Rome. He attended master classes in Italy and abroad with J. Mornet, W. Zubitsky, A. L. Castano, C. Rossi, Y. Shishkin. Brilliant performer and refined musician, he has won numerous national and international competitions and has played in very important venues alongside artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Antonella Ruggiero, Angela Gheorghiu, Andrea Griminelli, Erwin Schrott, Anna Netrebko, Giorgio Albertazzi and many others. He aims at developing a new repertoire with a purely Mediterranean taste and timbre for Accordion-Bandoneon and Orchestra; so he enlisted the cooperation of important composers such as Roberto Molinelli, Andrea Scarpone, Fabio Conocchiella, Umberto Scipione, Raffaele Bellafronte, Enrico Blatti, Giancarlo Facchinetti, Domenico Giannetta and Cristian Carrara. From 2018 he began a close collaboration with violinist Andres Gabetta and the Baroque ensemble "Cappella Gabetta". After countless concerts around the world, in 2019 Sony issued their album entitled "Tango Seasons" with Music by Vivaldi and Piazzolla arranged by Roberto Molinelli. In addition to his impressive concert activity on the Italian territory, he has performed in England, France, Belgium, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, the United States, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Switzerland, Hungary, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Georgia, Lebanon, Armenia, Bahrain, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Belarus and China.
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.
Raffaele Bellafronte studied piano with Lucia Passaglia, composition and analysis with Firmino Sinfonia, Giampaolo Chiti and Fulvio Delli Pizzi. After many years of research and experimentation in the recording studios, Bellafronte’s work has progressed from a model whereby ideas are expressed, achieved, proposed in their final definitive mode via audio supports to one wherein the composer re-traces and re-elaborates the compositional strategies of previous centuries into new and exciting music. Much of his work has been published with d’Oz, Bèrben, Bongiovanni, Curci, Carisch, Da Vinci Edition and RAI Trade. His work continues to cross national borders.
Roberto Scarcella Perino’s music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by excellent ensembles and soloists throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, including the Orchestra Arturo Toscanini, the Orchestra Regionale Toscana, Giuseppe Bruno and the Exclusive Saxophone Quartet. His works include four operas, 2 piano concertos, movie scores, three ballets, chamber and choral music. His first opera, A Caval Donato, commissioned and premiered by Teatro Verdi in Pisa in 1999, has been produced also at Teatro Vittorio Emanuele in Messina. Mr. Scarcella Perino was chosen to write the music for Verdi, Merli and Cucù, an opera commissioned and premiered by Teatro Verdi in Busseto, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of death of Giuseppe Verdi in 2001. Blackout had its world premiere in October 2003 at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York, and had further productions at Teatro Piccolo Regio in Turin and at Teatro Savio in Messina. His Azione in Musica for children’s chorus, Le Passioni dell’Anima, the sequel to his successful Le Passioni dell’Aria, was premiered in Italy in April 2017 and one month later in New York performed by the New York City Children’s Chorus. August 2017 saw the world premiere of his new opera Furiosus, presented by the International Opera Theater of Philadelphia in Città della Pieve (Umbria); NYU Florence at the Continuum Theater in Villa La Pietra in June 2019 had a beautiful new production of the same opera. Mr. Scarcella Perino is a Senior Lecturer at the NYU Italian Department, a Scholar in Residence at the American Institute for Verdi Studies, and the Composer in Residence at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò in New York. He has been the recipient of numerous high honors and awards, including an International Competition for Children’s Opera and the Musical Analysis International Competition N. Slonimskij. He studied with the Slovenian pianist Sonja Pahor to whom he dedicated his first Piano Sonata. He holds degrees in Piano from the Conservatory “Corelli” in Messina and in Composition from the Conservatory Martini in Bologna. He studied composition at Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Azio Corghi, in Milan and in Parma at Accademia Petrassi, and also Conducting at the Juilliard School of Music. He graduated from the University of Bologna with a degree in Musicology and he taught Music Analysis at the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma. Every summer, Roberto teaches a course on Italian Opera at NYU in Florence.