Friday, January 22, 2010

The Symphonies of Gian Francesco Malipiero

Gian Francesco Malipiero (1883-1973) belongs to the generation of Italian composers that includes Respighi, Pizzetti and Casella. His music is generally not well known, but Naxos has undertaken to release his complete symphonic output in a number of volumes. We look at Volume Four today. Antonio de Almeida conducts the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in respectable performances of Malipiero's Symphony Number 7, his Sinfonia in un tempo, and Sinfonia per Antigenida, all works dating from 1948 and later.

This is rather dark music on the whole. After repeated listenings, I have come to respect his uncompromising seriousness. Having not heard the rest of these volumes I do not know if this quality is characteristic of his entire opus. I honestly cannot say that these works have imprinted themselves on my musical consciousness. They have not. Either that means I should listen more, which I no doubt will, or they just do not have enough in the way of distinguishing features to garner my attention. That is not to say that his music isn't well-crafted. I find some composers' works do not stay in my mind for whatever reason. The symphonies of Elgar are an example. So far, Malipiero's symphonies are as well.

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