A work that brings music from the past to the present and looks to the future.
ECM 2390 / 482 8600
Gianluigi Trovesi (Piccolo Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Alto Saxophone); Stefano Montanari (Concertmaster); Stefano Rossi (Violin); Claudio Andriani (Viola); Francesco Galligioni (Violoncello); Luca Bandini (Double Bass); Emiliano Rodolfi (Oboe); Pryska Comploi (Oboe); Alberto Guerra (Bassoon, Dulciana); Riccardo Balbinutti (Percussion); Ivano Zanenghi (Archlute); Valeria Montanari (Harpsichord); Fulvio Maras (Percussion, Electronics)
Recorded January 2014, Sala musicale giardino, Cremona
With Stravaganze consonanti, Gianluigi Trovesi in partnership with Stefano Montanari has produced a stunning programme of early Rennaissance and baroque. Drawing the source material from Guillaume Dufay, Henry Purcell, Giovanni Maria Trabeci and Andreas Falconieri among others, the two bring this often exciting and exhilarating music to life for the 21st century, and in doing so have also incorporated period instruments into the ensemble adding a rich texture and colour that may be unfamiliar to some listeners.
Although a fine baroque violinist in his own right, Monanari takes on the additional role and responsibility of concertmaster and in doing so works closely with Trovesi’s clarinets and saxophone with often dramatic effect. The arrangements are superb, and cleverly utilise both the textural elements in the music as well as and contrasting sound of woodwind and strings.
The beauty to be found in some of these early works are a joy to behold with ‘Consonanze stravaganti’ composed by Giovanni Maria Trabaci (1575 – 1647). A wonderful piece of music that builds from a quiet beginning that gradually develops through the slowly evolving melody and with a beguiling arrangement for the ensemble; while Trovesi’s ‘For a While’ captures the drama inherent in the music with his sweeping alto clarinet to the fore, and subtle incorporation of fragments from Henry Purcell’s ‘Music for a While’.
After the brief opening composition ‘The Witches’ Dance’, Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695) again provides further excerpts from his work Dido and Aeneas with “Dido’s Lament ‘When I Am Laid To earth’” with the ensemble working in a joyful arrangement featuring harpsichord, archlute and piccolo clarinet combining to bring a deeply lyrical and moving reading of the composition. This is followed by the orchestra with a sweeping and all embracing ‘” The Gordian knot unty’d’ – Overture”, again demonstrating the power and vitality of Purcell’s music.
The powerful draw of this exceptional recording is again to be found in contrasting pieces by Guillaume Dufay (1400 – 1474) with ‘Kyrie I’ from his Missa L’homme armé and ‘L’ometto disarmato’ composed by Gianluigi Trovesi and arranged by Corrado Guarino. The music is carried along majestically with Trovesi alto clarinet providing the tension and release in a delightful dialogue with the ensemble.
Interspersed with music from the 16th and 17th centuries are two pieces by Trovesi and with percussion and electronics by Fulvio Maras. These compositions skilfully bridge the gap between the ancient and the modern that uses the recording studio to overdub Trovesi’s clarinets in an inspired conversation on ‘Dissolvenze convergenti’ and combined with percussion on ‘Karaib’s Berger’ create an altogether different sound world with the multi tracked clarinets jumping between left and right channels.
If ECM and their associated artists are prone to blur the boundaries in the music they present, then the label also blurs the lines between their own classification of where to place their music in a recording that could easily have been released under their New Series imprint.
How ever you may wish to categorise this excellent release, what is abundantly clear is that with Stravaganze consonanti Gianluigi Trovesi and Stefano Montanari have produced a work that brings music from the past to the present and looks to the future.
Reviewed by Nick Lea