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Born in 1892, Giorgio Federico Ghedini was among those Italian composers - like Martucci and Casella - who elected to devote most of their energies to music for the concert hall rather than the stage. Initially writing in a relatively conservative neoclassical idiom, Ghedini began to take his place in the front rank of modern Italian composers during the late 1930s, with a terse, boldly sculptured series of 'edifici sonori' (as the composer called them), in which Stravinsky's influence is unmistakable. After the war his style continued to evolve through engagement with the concerto genre and the concerto grosso ensemble with it's roots in the Italian Baroque. The private, reflective, plaintive characters of both solo instruments are well matched to Ghedini's idiom by this point in his career. Dating from 1953, the Musica da concerto for viola and string orchestra is cast in a single span which disguises a traditional fast-slow-fast arch, though the viola's powerful presence frequently draws the pulse of the music away from convention and into earnest dialogue with the strings. Neoclassical counterpoint briefly surfaces near the beginning of the final section, but otherwise the Musica da concerto is remarkable for it's sustained lyric intensity around the soloist's almost ubiquitous presence. Composed in 1962, the Musica concertante for cello and string orchestra is emphatically late music - Ghedini died three years later - which has attained a measure of serenity compared to the earlier viola work. Here the string orchestra and soloist engage in overlapping waves of melody and rhapsody, rising and falling across a continuous 16-minute span, comparable to but distinct from contemporary concertante works by Henze and William Schuman. These valuable and underrated mid-century concertos are intriguingly separated by Hindemith's condensed set of Op.44 pieces for string orchestra, characteristically knotty, chromatic and incisive.
Born in 1892, Giorgio Federico Ghedini was among those Italian composers - like Martucci and Casella - who elected to devote most of their energies to music for the concert hall rather than the stage. Initially writing in a relatively conservative neoclassical idiom, Ghedini began to take his place in the front rank of modern Italian composers during the late 1930s, with a terse, boldly sculptured series of 'edifici sonori' (as the composer called them), in which Stravinsky's influence is unmistakable. After the war his style continued to evolve through engagement with the concerto genre and the concerto grosso ensemble with it's roots in the Italian Baroque. The private, reflective, plaintive characters of both solo instruments are well matched to Ghedini's idiom by this point in his career. Dating from 1953, the Musica da concerto for viola and string orchestra is cast in a single span which disguises a traditional fast-slow-fast arch, though the viola's powerful presence frequently draws the pulse of the music away from convention and into earnest dialogue with the strings. Neoclassical counterpoint briefly surfaces near the beginning of the final section, but otherwise the Musica da concerto is remarkable for it's sustained lyric intensity around the soloist's almost ubiquitous presence. Composed in 1962, the Musica concertante for cello and string orchestra is emphatically late music - Ghedini died three years later - which has attained a measure of serenity compared to the earlier viola work. Here the string orchestra and soloist engage in overlapping waves of melody and rhapsody, rising and falling across a continuous 16-minute span, comparable to but distinct from contemporary concertante works by Henze and William Schuman. These valuable and underrated mid-century concertos are intriguingly separated by Hindemith's condensed set of Op.44 pieces for string orchestra, characteristically knotty, chromatic and incisive.
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Born in 1892, Giorgio Federico Ghedini was among those Italian composers - like Martucci and Casella - who elected to devote most of their energies to music for the concert hall rather than the stage. Initially writing in a relatively conservative neoclassical idiom, Ghedini began to take his place in the front rank of modern Italian composers during the late 1930s, with a terse, boldly sculptured series of 'edifici sonori' (as the composer called them), in which Stravinsky's influence is unmistakable. After the war his style continued to evolve through engagement with the concerto genre and the concerto grosso ensemble with it's roots in the Italian Baroque. The private, reflective, plaintive characters of both solo instruments are well matched to Ghedini's idiom by this point in his career. Dating from 1953, the Musica da concerto for viola and string orchestra is cast in a single span which disguises a traditional fast-slow-fast arch, though the viola's powerful presence frequently draws the pulse of the music away from convention and into earnest dialogue with the strings. Neoclassical counterpoint briefly surfaces near the beginning of the final section, but otherwise the Musica da concerto is remarkable for it's sustained lyric intensity around the soloist's almost ubiquitous presence. Composed in 1962, the Musica concertante for cello and string orchestra is emphatically late music - Ghedini died three years later - which has attained a measure of serenity compared to the earlier viola work. Here the string orchestra and soloist engage in overlapping waves of melody and rhapsody, rising and falling across a continuous 16-minute span, comparable to but distinct from contemporary concertante works by Henze and William Schuman. These valuable and underrated mid-century concertos are intriguingly separated by Hindemith's condensed set of Op.44 pieces for string orchestra, characteristically knotty, chromatic and incisive.

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