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Symphonies 1 & 2
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Audio CD, Import, 7 September 2018
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- Package Dimensions : 14.09 x 12.63 x 1.37 cm; 200 Grams
- Manufacturer : Cpo Records
- Manufacturer reference : unknown
- Original Release Date : 2018
- Label : Cpo Records
- ASIN : B07D31RXPS
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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The composition of magnificent symphonies was not exactly the domain of Italian composers of the nineteenth century. However, this became the calling of Giovanni Sgambati, a Liszt pupil very much qualifying as the most important composer of symphonic music in Italy during his century. He contributed more to the renaissance of Italian instrumental music than any other composer, paving the way for its new popularity during the second half of the nineteenth century. Liszt described Sgambati as an extraordinary and genuine artist, Richard Wagner recommended his works, and European heads of state decorated him with medals. Although the dates of this Rome native lay rather precisely between those of Verdi and Puccini, he did not compose a single opera and as a composer endeavored to develop a style that would blend the cantability of his fatherland into the structural landscapes of the German romanticists. The harmonic language of his symphonies is tonal but also nuanced with many chromatic means and dissonances. His second symphony was rediscovered only a few years ago and now is celebrating its world recording premiere on cpo.
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As for the pieces themselves, the first symphony is marvelous, a mixture of Italian lyricism with germanic symphonic grip. Although very much in the romantic vein, there are some very novel touches and memorable tunes that sets it above most other lost 'masterworks'. For me the only slightly routine movement is the final one, but the rest of the symphony is so fine that this doesn't dampen my admiration of it.
The second symphony took longer to grow on me, but as with the first, repeated playings will reward the listener as the lyrical passages do stick in the mind.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this disc to anyone looking for a new romantic symphony to discover, albeit I would strongly recommend also the Naxos disc for the Sgambati symphony no 1