Now Playing: Sarah Nicols- piano
Topic: METIER RECORDS
"Niccolo Castiglioni was born in Milan in 1932 and died there in 1996. Between 1958 and 1965 he was a regular visitor to the fabled Darmstadt summer school, and from 1966 to 1970 a visiting professor of composition in the USA, where he taught in Ann Arbor, Seattle and San Diego. The first piece on offer in this fine representative selection of his piano music, splendidly played by Sarah Nicolls,Cangianti, dates from 1959. Cangianti is a tightly-argued, compact eleven-minute work written in 1959. It is composed of sub-clauses of tremendous colour and complexity, full of flurries in the middle register and some fortissimo outbursts. Decisive treble and bass oppositional motifs join with considerable command of dynamic variations to produce a work of real distinction. Tre Pezzi (1978) is curious. In his erudite sleeve-note Michael Finnissy wonders whether they represent a "parodistic exorcism" citing Messiaen, Webern and the Second Viennese School generally. The first (marked "Sweet") certainly has a flurry of birdsong and occupies an insistent, staccato-laced sound-world. And the third is kinetic and leapingly fractious.
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