Buzzolla: Opera Completa Per Pianoforte

ΚΑΛΛΙΤΕΧΝΗΣ: Aldo Fiorentin
ΣΥΝΘΕΤΗΣ: Antonio Buzzolla
Κωδικός: 8007194104080
Διαθεσιμότητα : 2 τεμάχια
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This is the first recording of all known piano works of Antionio Buzzolla (1815–1871), a native of Adria who, following a brief career as an orchestral musician at La Fenice in Venice, completed his studies at the Naples Conservatory under Donizetti and Mercadante. In the early 1840s, he conducted at the Italian Opera in Berlin and toured Poland and Russia. Following the lukewarm reception given two of his mature operas in Venice, he abandoned writing for the stage and became maestro di capella at San Marco from 1855. Though much of Buzzolla’s not insignificant output of sacred and secular vocal music is admired, the manuscripts of these piano works have only recently been discovered and published, edited by the featured pianist here, Aldo Fiorentin. 

A capable and sympathetic artist, Fiorentin makes a strong case for Buzzolla’s music, the interest of the performances enhanced by his use of a historically appropriate piano. Maurizio Biondi’s informative notes point out that the only one of these pieces that may be precisely dated is the second movement of the first sonata, which bears the inscription “Dresden, 24 February 1846.” It follows that at least one movement of the earlier of Buzzola’s two sonatas was written almost two decades after the death of Beethoven and well after both Chopin and Schumann had published their last sonatas for piano. Of course it would be decades before anything resembling what we now regard as the canonic piano repertoire began to develop; and following publication, the dissemination of music revered today was often painfully slow, even among professionals. However, listening to Buzzolla’s piano music, one is immediately struck by the impression that it sounds about a generation too late. In style and texture it recalls early Hummel, or perhaps even middle-period Clementi. Both in his thematic invention and harmonic movement, Buzzolla never seems far from the operatic stage. Stretches in both sonatas might be plausibly mistaken for piano transcriptions of Donizetti overtures. 

But there can be no question about Buzzolla’s gifts as a pianist. His writing for the instrument, though never as resourceful as that of, say, Moscheles or Thalberg, let alone Chopin or Liszt, is unfailingly graceful and often effective. The finale of the first sonata works up a veritable storm of tremolando figurations worthy of Rossini. And the last movement of the second sonata, a set of seven variations on La marseillaise , abounds in ingenious figurations that constantly confound expectations. The Notturno is a lovely thing, featuring a Bellini-like cantilena over textures more reminiscent of Field than Chopin. The sound values of the recording are good and fully capture the variety of instrumental registers (though one would like to know the maker and vintage of the piano). 

With this recording, Aldo Fiorentin has made a significant contribution, both in drawing our attention to the piano music of an interesting Venetian musician and in his imaginative realizations of the scores. If Buzzolla’s creative orientation harked to an earlier ethos—at his funeral he was described as “oppressed to see music falling into decadence”—as revealed here he was a salon composer of great charm and extraordinary skill. 

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