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Menotti: Apocalisse & Other Orchestral Works
01 Mar 2001
Originally recorded in 2000
Spoleto Festival Orchestra
Teatro Nuovo, Spoleto, Italy
Orchestral & Concertos
Total Time - 60:45
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This is a live recording made at the 2000 Spoleto Festival
GIAN CARLO MENOTTI
Select Complete Single Disc for
Symphonic Poem for Orchestra
Improperia. Adagio, solenne - Allegro - Adagio - Allegro molto - Andante maestoso - Allegro
La città celeste. Adagio, ma non troppo, molto cantabile
Gli angeli militanti. Allegro giocoso ma non troppo - Lento
Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra*
Suite from 'Sebastian'
Introduction. Adagio - Allegro molto - Adagio
Barcarolle. Andante con moto
Street Fight. Allegro energico
Cortège. L'istesso tempo
Sebastian's Dance: Tempo di Valzer moderato
Dance of the Wounded Courtesan. Molto moderato - Andante maestoso, ma con moto - Allegro - Moderato - Allegro agitato
Pavane. Andante calmo
Raphael Wallfisch and the Orchestra of the Spoleto Festival under Richard Hickox perform works in honour of Menotti’s 90th birthday. This is a premiere recording of the Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra, and there is only one other recording of Apocalisse currently available. This is a live recording made at the 2000 Spoleto Festival. Raphael Wallfisch’s Chandos recording of cello concertos by Barber and Shostakovich has been described as ‘impressive and eloquent’ (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs on CHAN 8322). A further recording from Grammy-Award-winning conductor Richard Hickox.
Gian Carlo Menotti was born in Italy, in a country town on Lake Lugano. His father was an area businessman of some accomplishment, and his mother a talented amateur musician. In 1924, at the age of thirteen, he entered the Milan Conservatory. At this point the youthful composer had already written two operas. He left for the USA, entering the Curtis institute of Music in Philadelphia where he developed a close relationship with a fellow student, Samuel Barber. In 1935 Menotti’s one-act opera buffa Amelia Goes to the Ball was premiered with such success that the Metropolitan Opera engaged it for the following season.
The success of Amelia brought Menotti a commission from NBC for a radio opera, The Old Maid and the Thief. During World War II Menotti remained in America, although retaining his Italian citizenship. There he wrote his Piano Concerto in F and a dramatic ballet, Sebastian.
After the War, the successes came at an astonishing pace. The Medium ran for 211 performances on Broadway, followed by The Consul, his first full-length opera and though by many to be his greatest work. The NBC commission of a Christmas opera for television resulted in Amahl and the Night Visitors, a work that has retained public recognition since its premiere on Christmas Eve, 1951. The same year saw the composition of the work Apocalisse, for orchestra. The Fantasia is a work dating from 1975 and is recorded here for the first time. It is a work displaying the noble virtuosity and striking lyricism that has made Gian Carlo Menotti’s music so universally beloved.
‘These technically secure and inspired performances are authoritative in the most benign sense of the word.’
‘The sonics… are impressive, with excellent depth, clarity and atmosphere. Hickox and Spoleto (Italy) musicians know what they are about.’
American Record Guide
‘His [Menotti’s] may be an eclectic style, but this is music for enjoyment… the Chandos recording is clear and refined, making one hope that Hickox and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra will continue their Menotti exploration’.
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