Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968) belonged to the group of Italian composers (the so called ‘Generation of the ‘80s’), his contemporaries were Respighi, Malipiero and Casella. Of these composers, Respighi and Pizzetti composed relatively little for the piano, and their works for the instrument tend recall music of the past - with echoes of baroque and Gregorian chant detected in many of them.
Pizzetti’s love of melody is quintessentially Italian – a predilection for song, dramatic lyricism and at time moments of great joy and passion – all components found in not only his orchestral music, but in the works for piano on this CD. Many are exquisite miniatures, but the large scale Sonata of 1943 is Pizzetti’s most important piano work and the Variations on a theme from Fra Gherardo (his opera from 1928) show the composer equally at home working on a large scale. In both works musical influences and styles from earlier periods are used to great effect.
- Unusual repertoire from a 20th century master, including two world premiere recordings.
- Excellent performances by Giancarlo Simonacci, a specialist in 20th century music, as demonstrated in his superb recordings of the piano music of John Cage on Brilliant Classics.