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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67209
Recording details: December 2000
Walthamstow Assembly Halls, London, United Kingdom
Release date: April 2001
Total duration: 16 minutes 24 seconds

'All three works programmed here are lusciously scored … You couldn’t hope for a better played, or more richly recorded, trio of performances' (Gramophone)

'Well worth exploring” (BBC Music Magazine)

'Gethsemani … contains some of the loveliest orchestral sounds I have heard in years. If you have made a resolution to buy only one CD this month you should make it this one’ (International Record Review)

'Hyperion once again has us in its debt with its recovery of scores long lost from view … immensely attractive as well as impressively written. I am in no doubt that they deserve to be in the regular repertoire' (The Times)

'This is the luxuriant but richly evocative and eventful music of a born orchestrator. A discovery, thrillingly performed by Ceccato and the LPO' (The Sunday Times)

'Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'La notte di Plàton' is an exciting and rich work that makes use of unique orchestral writing to procure a striking, almost primitive effect … Gethsemeni is a poem of lush and startling beauty. The performances, under the baton of Aldo Ceccato, are superb. A fantastic disc that cannot be recommended highly enough’ (Music Teacher)

'Lush textures in lucid orchestration, with exquisite melodies supported by warm, summer-night harmonies. A real discovery' (Punch)

Juventus
composer

Juventus  [16'24]

De Sabata wrote the following programme note for Juventus:

Juventus is, as its name implies, a tone poem about youth. It portrays, first of all, youth’s enthusiasm and impetuosity, its ambition, its search for joy and power, and all those resplendent dreams that – when we are young – dwell in the hearts of us all …
Then, all too soon, comes the inevitable confrontation with the realities of everyday life. The triumphant dreams fade: exaltation gives way to sadness, idealism to despair. The songs of hope are transformed into mocking laughter and the tolling of funeral bells, until those, too, gradually die away into silence – bearing with it the threat of eternal annihilation.
But suddenly youth revives, its energy restored by the force of life within it. Its faith and its hopes return, made stronger by past adversity. It spreads its wings and soars again into the empyrean to the conquest of life.

The first performance of Juventus was given on 25 May 1919 at the Teatro del Popolo in Milan, under Arturo Voghera, and the piece was soon taken up by Toscanini.

‘It is’, as Otto Kinkeldey wrote, ‘an ode to youth, filled with all the boundless, impulsive enthusiasm of youth as seen by a vigorous young man’. In some respects the work shares similar moods to those of Richard Strauss’s Don Juan, but Juventus is no imitation of the earlier masterpiece, although de Sabata’s score is likewise notable for its orchestral brilliance and symphonic control. It falls into three large sections, related in outline to sonata structure. Juventus opens, ‘Allegro impetuoso’, with a tremendous outpouring of energy, based on a brilliantly rising idea, firmly in A major (the overall key of the work). This is treated to extended development – with momentary recollections of Petrushka– before the tempo (‘Moderato molto’), key (F sharp major) and mood change. A new theme, clearly that of youthful rapture, unfolds, and is likewise treated developmentally. A subtle change to B flat ushers in the main central section wherein the material is more closely juxtaposed and the orchestration assumes a more fantastical character. At length, the tempo changes to ‘Allegro vivace’, but pp, as the underlying pulse ‘filled with all the boundless, impulsive enthusiasm’ returns. The final recapitulatory section has all the energy and drive of the first, underpinned by some wide-ranging tonality changes until the exciting ending is upon us.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2001

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