NICCOLÒ CASTIGLIONI (1932-1996): Omaggio a Edvard Grieg*, HUGUES DUFOURT (b.1943): Soleil de proie, GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Alter-Face*, SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Sonata*, GYÖRGY LIGETI (1923-2006): 3 Stücke. * - First Recordings.

Catalogue Number: 07T060

Label: Stradivarius

Reference: STR 37058

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: Here, five contemporary heavyweights show what the fertile medium of two pianos can do in a modern idiom. Two basic strategies are in evidence; using the two keyboards and four hands as a living player-piano producing cascades of notes unattainable by a single pianist (Ligeti, Sciarrino, Aperghis) and as a sonorous carillon, capable of juxtaposing and overlapping monumental blocks of sound (Ligeti, Dufourt). The hyperactive Sciarrino is a very early work, and its title, and that of its second movement (minuet and trio!), see the composer laying the foundations of his mature style on forms of the past - the piece even suggests tonal models; one can hear shades of Beethoven and Mozart. Castiglioni's work is a great deal less tonal, and only the very end has anything obviously to do with Grieg; the piece is clear, sparking, like ice crystals in freezing mountain air. Dufourt's 'Sun of prey' is the motionless sun at the zenith, immobile, monumental and pitiless. The “standard repertoire” here is Ligeti's personal take on minimalism: Monument, which begins with less material than any respectable minimalist would consider working with and gradually builds, or brings closer and closer, an imposing edifice; Self-portrait, which follows the tenets of strict minimalism pretty dutifully until the composer introduces his tongue-in-cheek thesis that the finale of a certain famous Romantic sonata might be considered a piece of proto-minimalism; and the flowing patterns of the third piece, too fluid and organic, and not repetitive enough to be 'real' minimalism, but what else can you call these endlessly mobile structures, more clouds than clocks. Alfonso Alberti, Anna D’Errico (pianos).

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