This third album in Naxos’s Martucci Edition, comprising the complete orchestral works, continues with the First Piano Concerto which, while indebted to Chopin and Mendelssohn and prefiguring Rachmaninov, nonetheless has its own expressive immediacy. By turns sensuous and serene, nostalgic and intensely yearning, The Song of Remembrance is a rare example of a song cycle for voice and orchestra composed in nineteenth-century Italy. Volumes 1 and 2 of the Naxos Martucci Edition are available on NX 0929 and NX 0930.
"...If you love big, Romantic piano concertos, Martucci’s D-Minor Concerto is right up there with some of the best of them. Echoes of Schumann, Grieg, and Brahms’s First Concerto (his Second hadn’t been completed yet when Martucci wrote his score in 1878) reverberate throughout the score, and maybe even a hint every now and then of Tchaikovsky (assuming Martucci had heard it in its original 1875 version prior to starting work on his own Concerto). Gorgeous music, gorgeous playing, gorgeous recording; this one is not to be missed."
Jerry Dubins - Fanfare - November 2009
"...Martucci would certainly be pleased, as these performances are outstanding, played to perfection by the Rome Symphony and captured is excellent sound. The First Piano Concerto was not published until 95 years after it was written, and the composer evidently didn’t think much about it. Perhaps that is because it is so redolent of Mendelssohn and Chopin in places. However, even here we are given hints of the vast originality of this man’s music that would become so evident in just a few years. The one composer that kept popping into my mind was Sibelius; there are many moments of the stark austere beauty that so makes the Finnish composer’s output that I hear in snippets all over this wonderful concerto.
La canzone del ricordi (“The Song of Remembrance”) is a terrific orchestral song cycle (though only orchestrated eleven years after it was created) that seems miles beyond its time. As an orchestral cycle only Berlioz was writing anything comparable at the moment with his Les Nuits d’été, and Martucci takes his time to explore the textual nuances in each of these poems with delicacy and depth. I have only one other recording of this, that of Riccardo Muti and the La Scala Orchestra on Sony (with a wonderful performance of the Second Piano Concerto) sung by Mirella Freni...This is a not-to-be-missed series." *****
Steven Ritter - Audiophile Audition - November 2009
Recording of the Month
"...a performance that I would describe as masterly, even great."
Christopher Howell - MusicWeb-International.com - April 2012