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CD Feature/ I Fiati Italiani: "I Solisti della Scala"

img  Tobias

Most of the time, taking something away will hurt – we all know this from our childhood, when we were robbed of our toys or the right to watch our favourite TV series. Sometimes, though, it can create something of bedazzling beauty. At one point in the 18th century, some composers were fed up with the usual instrumentation. So out went the strings and in stayed the winds, creating a genre called “Harmoniemusik” (meaning “Music based on Harmonies”, but you probably figured that out yourself). The genre has been all but dormant for almost an entire century, but has suddenly awoken from its sleep. One of the current specialists in this field are the Fiati Italiani and with this album they present a strong argument why the old days are well worth rediscovering.

Listening to this CD must be a special kind of shock in a year, when even those who should know better have qualified Mozart as a genius beyond compare and a being from another planet. After all, three of the four composers represented on “I Solisti della Scala” are complete outsiders, yet ignite a firework of melody and energy second to none. Opening the cycle is Frantisek Krommer, whose only remaining biographical entries seem to be his date of birth and death – his music, however, doesn’t need any secondary literature. His pieces constantly break the boundaries usually alloted to Partita movements, jump from major to minor keys in a breathtaking pace and rush by in a fanatical free-form-frenzy. Antonio Rosetti has managed to hold the public’s and the critics’ attention for somewhat longer and his two works on this album are proof of a unique and strikingly progressive style: Vividly repeated patterns induce a positive trance-state, allowing the uplifting melodic structures to rinse every corner of your mind. Of a somewhat more reticent nature is the contribution of Leopold Kotzeluch, but after listening to them for the second or third time, their magnetic pull is no weaker than that of his colleagues. All of these three unknowns manage to keep a nonchalant and carefree ambiance, without becoming bland. In direct comparison, Carl Maria von Webern’s “Adagio Rondo” is of a far sterner and elegant nature – until all hell breaks loose in the middle and a full-blown solo rears its head.

Allusions to Jazz are pervasive here, anyway – a sign that this ensemble has not closed its eyes to the last 50 years of musical history. This injects “I Solisti della Scala” with a sense of excitment and makes the intention of the players clear: This is not about restitution or about  adding just another chapter to the catalogue of unrecorded pieces, but rather about linking past and present through music. I Fiati Italiani have demonstrated the power of reduction – but allowing someone to take away this disc would hurt nevertheless.

Homepage: I Fiati Italiani
Homepage: Aulia Records

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