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Hyperion Records

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Photograph by Don Carr.
Power Pix
Track(s) taken from CDH55049
Recording details: November 1987
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: April 1988
Total duration: 31 minutes 4 seconds

'A praiseworthy achievement in every respect … Carol Madalin sings both works beautifully' (Gramophone)

'A glorious work [and] a most lovely record. Recommended with all possible enthusiasm' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

La Canzone dei Ricordi
1886; The Song of Remembrance
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
La Canzone dei Ricordi (‘The Song of Remembrance’) bears no opus number, but we know that Martucci was working on it from 1886. It is interesting to note that Mahler had then just completed his Songs of a Wayfarer, while his other song cycles were to come much later. It must also be said that to compose a cycle for voice and orchestra was an act of audacity in nineteenth-century Italy, where the main output for the voice was concerned almost solely with the stage and where vocal chamber music was neglected.

Although divided into seven parts, La Canzone dei Ricordi presents an admirable homogeneity and unity of inspiration. It expresses nostalgic dreams, regrets of days and things long gone. The first section can be considered as an introduction: the dreamer recalls … It is as delicate in its inspiration as in its orchestration. The second section evokes the colourful song of a stream: rippling muted strings suggest the continuous murmur of water, and playful woodwinds the soft breeze. The third, twice interrupted by the same refrain, is a serenade. Pizzicato strings and lively arabesques on the clarinet allude to a strumming guitar. The fourth is a sort of barcarolle portraying a little boat as it drifts away upon the sea, while Halcyons soar in the sky and Sirens sing mysterious songs. The fifth relates how, for a brief moment, the murmur of the breeze carries back lost illusions and deceptive hope for love. The sixth part is the longest and starts in a restless and sombre mood: the woods were witness to betrayed love. There is a sudden moment of brightness when a calmer section follows, taking over the melody stated by the orchestra at the very beginning of the piece. This is a song of regret and, at the same time, of thankfulness. The seventh part concludes the cycle in the same way it began, as the dreamer visualizes once more those lost days of love.

from notes by Alfredo Bonavera © 1988

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