GOFFREDO PETRASSI (1904-2003): Divertimento in C (World Premiere Recording), Partita, 4 inni sacri for Tenor, Bass and Orchestra, Coro di morti - Madrigale drammatico for Chorus and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 04O009
Description: Petrassi's early student Divertimento (1930) is a variegated work stylistically, with flashes of everything from Ravel and Stravinsky to Bach chorales and Hindemithian counterpoint, none of which do anything but make it an interesting and enjoyable 22 minutes. Also written while still in conservatory, the Partita of 1932 won a prize and was selected for performance at the ISCM Festival. The critical response was "Hindemith sweetened by Casella", which is apt. The "sacred hymns" of 1942 (orchestrated eight years later) are in neo-baroque style but use a modern language in order to, as the composer put it, function as an antidote "to the unctuous and conformist style in use in our churches". The most striking work is probably the 1940 Coro di morti which sets the prologue to an early 19th century dialogue between a Dutch anatomist and several enbalmed corpses at midnight on a mathematically propitious day. Employing an orchestra of twelve brass, double basses, three pianos and percussion is very evocative of night and darkness while the choral writing spans a stylistic gulf from Monteverdi to modern atonalism. Latin/Italian-English texts. Carlo Putelli (tenor), Davide Malvestio (bass), Novo Coro Lirico Sinfonico Romano, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma; Francesco La Vecchia.