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Duo Gazzana



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Hommage a J.S.B. by Valentin Silvestrov
1 Schnittke - Suite im alten Stil / Pastorale
2 Schnittke - Suite im alten Stil / Ballett
3 Schnittke - Suite im alten Stil / Menuett
4 Schnittke - Suite im alten Stil / Fuge
5 Schnittke - Suite im alten Stil / Pantomime
6 Poulenc - Sonata No.1 / Allegro con fuoco
7 Poulenc - Sonata No.1 / Intermezzo
8 Poulenc - Sonata No.1 / Presto tragico
9 Silvestrov - Hommage a J.S.B.
10 William Walton - Toccata for violin and piano
11 Dallapiccola - Tartiniana seconda
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Duo Gazzana's second album for ECM New Series unites works from the 20th and 21st centuries with striking narrative character and a retrospective glance at music history. Composers from France, Great Britain, Italy, Russia and Ukraine present earlier musical forms – toccata, suite, canon, variations – in the light of new developmental techniques, thereby revealing similarities and relations across centuries, geographical boundaries and contrasting forms of expression.

Alfred Schnittke's Suite in the Old Style is indeed a playful if unconventional allusion to compositional style of the past. Hommage à J.S.B., by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, evokes variations on themesof the Leipzig master. Similarly Luigi Dallapiccola, in his divertissement Tartiniana seconda, responds with contrapuntal mastery to the music of the Baroque composer Giuseppe Tartini. William Walton's rarely heard Toccata, written when he had just turned 20 years old, virtually overflows with structural ideas related to the virtuosic demands of traditional toccata form. The cadenzas for both the violin and the piano call for quasi-improvisational skills that draw rhythmic impetus from jazz. Vitality and vehemence also inform Francis Poulenc's dramatic Sonate, here representing the evolution, on a structural and formal basis, of the simplest and earliest musical forms (toccata, suite, divertissement and variations) used in the compositions of this album. Written in 1942-43 it is dedicated to the memory of the Andalusian poet Federico García Lorca. A line, from one of his poems: 'La Guitare fait pleurer les songes' (The guitar makes dreams weep) inspired the second contrasting movement, an expressive intermezzo in the manner of a dirge.

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