Author Topic: Castiglioni: If Webern Were Italian & Drunk!  (Read 2557 times)

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snyprrr

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Castiglioni: If Webern Were Italian & Drunk!
« on: February 23, 2010, 09:40:02 PM »
Ah, the purveyor of icy crystals of cl-tinking high resgiter frozen fairytales. Castiglioni is at his best when he keeps it up high, apparently obsessed with the upper register in such a way as to make me feel all wintry just thinking about it!

Two recent piano releases aim at his Complete Piano Music, though, I think the one on ColLegno might go farther. I have heard neither, yet I look forward to hearing the interestingly titled Dulce Refrigierum (Sweet Refridgeration?), and, what amounts to his "hit", "How I Spent My Summer" (in Italian), which showed up on a Thomas Ades piano recital. Spanning his entire career, these discs promise to have a little bit of everything.

Another disc I've been trying to get for 10 years is the Divox issue of his wind (+piano) music.  It has been reissued lately (but,... I MUST have the original cover, ??? ahhhh....). Also, there is a short Romanze for SQ by the Arditti, that is the best Webern this side of Kurtag. Also, there is a great cd of his chamber works on ColLegno, which I highly recommend. And Sabine Meyer has an Octet on EMI.

Orchestrally, there is Sinfonia della Rosignol, a Sequenze, two vocal bits, and, the original Castiglioni disc (which also has been reissued) contain my fav, Invierno-In Ver, and truly wintry sounding symphonic fairytale that goes sooo far beyond any depiction of winter I've ever heard. I love it! There is a more conventionally avant sounding piano concerto, Quadlibet, that's ok too, but it is the solo female vocal piece that really gives CathyB. a run for her money.



Castiglioni's output is crystallized, like chiselled marble works out of ice. He represents a very small niche in the cornucopia that is the 20th Century Italian Avant, like Maderna (in terms of listening potential),  but his place is assured. No one sounds quite like him. Check out the piece Quilisma, on the ColLegno chamber disc, for a key to Castiglioni's style.

Anyhow, once again my powers of commuication fail me, and I call out for someone more eloquent to help me out here. Castiglioniacs unite!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 01:49:55 PM by snyprrr »

snyprrr

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Re: Il Palazzo-Ghiaccio di Castiglioni
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 08:28:19 AM »
I finally got the Divox re-issue, and, lo, there is an extra piece not on the original cd. Morceaux Lyriques (1983), for oboe and orchestra, is really quite an interesting oboe concerto, worthy of studying against the Maderna. Finally, we have a new orchestral work by Castiglioni on cd.

Also, I saw somewhere that Knussen had an all Castiglioni program recently, which I wonder if it will make its way to a DG release?

I've also ordered the ColLegno disc of piano music, which then means I will have all the recorded Castiglioni except for the Sabine Meyer Octet. Does anyone else feel as important as I do now?? ::)

btw- need serious help with the Thread Title.

snyprrr

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Re: Castiglioni's Ice Capades
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 10:33:07 PM »
Ah, the purveyor of icy crystals of cl-tinking high resgiter frozen fairytales. Castiglioni is at his best when he keeps it up high, apparently obsessed with the upper register in such a way as to make me feel all wintry just thinking about it!

Two recent piano releases aim at his Complete Piano Music, though, I think the one on ColLegno might go farther. I have heard neither, yet I look forward to hearing the interestingly titled Dulce Refrigierum (Sweet Refridgeration?), and, what amounts to his "hit", "How I Spent My Summer" (in Italian), which showed up on a Thomas Ades piano recital. Spanning his entire career, these discs promise to have a little bit of everything.

Another disc I've been trying to get for 10 years is the Divox issue of his wind (+piano) music.  It has been reissued lately (but,... I MUST have the original cover, ??? ahhhh....). Also, there is a short Romanze for SQ by the Arditti, that is the best Webern this side of Kurtag. Also, there is a great cd of his chamber works on ColLegno, which I highly recommend. And Sabine Meyer has an Octet on EMI.

Orchestrally, there is Sinfonia della Rosignol, a Sequenze, two vocal bits, and, the original Castiglioni disc (which also has been reissued) contain my fav, Invierno-In Ver, and truly wintry sounding symphonic fairytale that goes sooo far beyond any depiction of winter I've ever heard. I love it! There is a more conventionally avant sounding piano concerto, Quadlibet, that's ok too, but it is the solo female vocal piece that really gives CathyB. a run for her money.



Castiglioni's output is crystallized, like chiselled marble works out of ice. He represents a very small niche in the cornucopia that is the 20th Century Italian Avant, like Maderna (in terms of listening potential),  but his place is assured. No one sounds quite like him. Check out the piece Quilisma, on the ColLegno chamber disc, for a key to Castiglioni's style.

Anyhow, once again my powers of commuication fail me, and I call out for someone more eloquent to help me out here. Castiglioniacs unite!

ok, Castiglioni Thread 4.0, haha ;D!!

I now have pretty much everything available (except the Otteto). I got the Complete Piano Music on Col Legno, and the re-issued Divox disc, and I've just been listening to a heavy Castiglioni rotation.

The Piano disc was quite a revelation of modern piano music 1958-88. The first piece is 2mins of Darmstadtian anonymity, which yields to 1958's Cangianti, which was written to make a splash, and it does. Here, Castiglioni the pianist breaks free, and apparently the Darmstadters ate it up. He does all kinds of fun stuff in 9mins, and I don't see why this shouldn't be a classic (Idil Biret has a version on Naxos, along with Sarah Nicolls mostly Complete Piano Music).

The Divox disc fills out some more the early picture, up to 1966, with wind, and wind and piano pieces. Castiglioni is the kind of guy who will write a piece for two instruments, and leave one mostly silent until the end, or little tricks such as that. He makes you go, huh, a lot.

3 Pieces (1977) hits the stride. The first piece starts off with a trill on the two very highest notes of the piano, something that happens also in the oboe concerto. Castiglioni seems to do whatsoever pleases him, abd everything has a 'sound' purpose, something is always catching your ear. This continues with all subsequent works, except for the Come io passo l'estate (How I Spent the Summer), which starts off with a Tyrolian rag! At first, this, Castiglioni's most 'famous' piece (not least of all by having it on Ades' EMI recital), turned me off, as if it were his weakest piece, but, eh, hey, it is what it is, which is to say, an avant-garde travelogue. Cute!

Some of the other music here is really beautiful. Castiglioni was a pianist, and his style is quite distinctive. He really knows how to write interesting piano music, BUT!!!,...and,... WHAAAT???... is this?,...in the piece, He (1990; fifth letter of Hebrew alphabet), at one point, the music gets caught up in an arabesque, which congeals into a chord that then gets played, over and over, for TWO WHOLE MINUTES!!, before proceeding on to something completely different. Hey, even Karlheinz didn't repeat the chord EXACTLY!! haha,... anyhow, it's so unbelieveably annoying that it then becomes soothing, before it moves on. But, this is something hilarious in the piano literature. Has anyone heard it?

I basically chose the Col Legno disc because it contained a more complete overview (and price), but, my very first impression of the piano image made me pretty much have to hear the Nicolls/Metier version. I have grown more accustomed to the fairly tight, yet ample, acoustic, which almost feels like a little bubble (which isn't all bad in this rep), but, I would be interested if the other recording's sound might be just a little more...?,...mmm,...

I'm really not criticizing. It's a very good recording, just a little idiosyncraticly 'tight yet loose'.



At some point I must have decided that Castiglioni was going to be one of my favorite composers, but, I can say that this journey has not be just that simple. I'm glad to say that there is enough here to keep me coming back, things that I may have a 'problem' with, which is good, because maybe I'll learn something. I think Castiglioni might have a Kagelian sense of humor, or something, in that he really doesn't seem to care what you like.

A good percentage of the Chamber Music now is available, and when coupled with the few large orchestral works available, we see a composer always writing in a chamber style. Not too much is going on at once, but things are always changing, and rotating, and always with an ostinato, and always with the bird chirping minor third.

There is one piece, an Hommage a Edvard Grieg, for 2 Pianos, which, who knows, may be Castiglioni's masterpiece, but which has no recording (anyone?). Castiglioni makes no bones about his fondness of Grieg, and perhaps, that is where one might have to go to learn more about the Italian Ice Man.

snyprrr

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Re: Castiglioni's Ice Capades
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 05:00:50 AM »
No love for Castiglioni. :'(

Offline not edward

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Re: Castiglioni's Ice Capades
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2015, 02:38:59 PM »
Nice to see a reasonably big name taking up the Castiglioni cause; I hope this won't be the only disc we get from Noseda. I think the riotous Altisonanza is my favourite of all the works of his I've heard so far, and this is a slightly more focused and taut reading than Pomarico on Neos.



I was trying to describe Castiglioni to someone the other day, and I could only come up with two thoughts: "if Webern were Italian and drunk" and "I bet Luke likes his music." I'm not sure either is much help to anyone.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

snyprrr

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Re: Castiglioni's Ice Capades
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2015, 01:46:29 PM »
Nice to see a reasonably big name taking up the Castiglioni cause; I hope this won't be the only disc we get from Noseda. I think the riotous Altisonanza is my favourite of all the works of his I've heard so far, and this is a slightly more focused and taut reading than Pomarico on Neos.



I was trying to describe Castiglioni to someone the other day, and I could only come up with two thoughts: "if Webern were Italian and drunk" and "I bet Luke likes his music." I'm not sure either is much help to anyone.

Webern- yes, NC is very crystalline. I, too, saw this and rejoiced, not the least for having an alternative to that Neos disc. Frankly, I wouldn't be expecting too many new pieces to come to light- it's a surprise to have the two 'Altisonanza's. Do you have that Octet on EMI (Sabine Meyer)?

I have about all the available NC, he surely is one of my candidates for Supreme Serialist. The Italian thing seems to help (mit humor). My favourite piece... which I can't locate... is the the main work on that old BMG-Dischi Ricordi disc, it has a very fairytale serialism... mm... no, can't find...

We also have at least three complete cycles of Piano Music!

oy- yes, Castiglioni is haaawt!!!

Offline not edward

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Re: Castiglioni's Ice Capades
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 04:13:45 PM »
Do you have that Octet on EMI (Sabine Meyer)?
Yep, it's pleasant enough but minor Castiglioni IMO.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music