NICCOLÒ CASTIGLIONI (1932-1996): Altisonanza for Orchestra, Le favole di Esopo for Chorus and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 06M106
Description: The late work Altisonanza is a remarkably effective piece of nature-music, describing in vivid, graphic detail the composer's beloved mountain landscapes among which he spent his last years. The combination of a sophisticated, modern idiom and the almost naïve simplicity of this descriptive music presents an intriguing paradox; simple, sustained cords and folk melodies, gentle and tonal; imitations of birdsong; representations of cold streams and mountain air by association with specific textures and high registers - an almost too obvious device - are presented in a context of sustained dissonance, atonality and freedom from compositional conventions. The 'Aesop's Fables' oratorio from a decade and a half earlier is more conventionally avant-garde, so to speak, but here too, quasi-pictorial character sketches are delineated by contrasts between frank atonality and strong hints of tonality, and imitative animal noises and depictions of their character are presented with clarity and humor. One senses a refreshing freedom from dogma in the composer's chosen idiom, coupled to a willingness to be serious without taking himself too seriously. Cologne Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Emilio Pomàrico.