Review of BETTINELLI, B .: Chamber Music – Piano Trio / Improvisation / 2 Movements (Trio Bettinelli, Perugini, Pianezzola, Custer, Dusio, Ficco), Naxos, 2018
Seven years after the release of the cd “Bettinelli’s complete works for solo guitar”, the Naxos is back with this CD, an ideal follow-up to the previous one, giving space to the chamber music composed by the Italian composer. Contemporary guitar enthusiasts should not miss this record because of the six tracks presented here, three of the show again the presence of the classical guitar, yet another testimony of the central role that this instrument has had in the artistic production of the Milanese composer. In the role of interpreter we always find the Maestro Davide Ficco, now definitely at ease in this role, accompanied by the Turin guitarist Diego Milanese in “Divertimento a due for two guitars” (1982), by Paola Dusio in “Musica a due for flute and guitar “(1982), and by the mezzo-soprano Manuela Custer in” Due liriche for voice and guitar “.
Please let me to respectfully quote Angelo Folletto, who writes in the notes accompanying the CD:
“In the 1970s Angelo Gilardino and Ruggero Chiesa encouraged Bettinelli to give the instrument a centrai rale in a varied series of pieces. Of these, the Due liriche far soprano, mezzo or tenor and guitar (1977) underline his talent far vocal writing and bringing out the nuances of a text, as well as revealing his lesser-known lyrical side. He himsell wrote the two short texts freely set here, his rnusìc mirroring their content and the intrinsic sonority of the words with ‘madrigalistic’ accuracy. Thus the emotional heart of Autunno (‘Autumn’), a vaguely tripartite piece introduced ‘like a whisper’ by the guitar is the hazy colour that emanates tram the sluggish chromatic descent on the adjective ‘estenuato’ (‘faded’) whose watercolour- like tones then spread through to the end of the song. In tempo (‘Time’), meanwhile, atter a dark and premonitory recitative, metric scansìon dominates, alonq with the repetitive instrumenlal bass line that runs beneath the semi-declamatory vocal line; tension builds then dissipates with the fleeting final thought of the solo guitar. A second series of compositions was composed several years later. Musica a due (for flute and guitar, dedicated to duo partners Rosalba Montrucchio and Maurizio Preda) is a kind of sonatina in five sections that makes the most of the flute’s bright, bucolic character, with writing that ranges from cantabile to dreamy and on again to overt virtuosity and dominance. Also dating from 1982 is the Divertimento a due (for two guitars) in which, by contrast, the two instruments converse on equal terms. This is a more consistently, geometrically designed work, switching Irom mood to mood and sonority to sonority, its taster sections teaturing agile combinations of patterns and micro-themes.”
This beautiful CD is completed by three other pieces: “Improvvisazione for violin and piano” (1968), “Two movements for viola and piano” (1977) and “Trio for violin, cello and piano” composed in 1991 that widen the sense of listening and the perspective of the Bettinelli chamber music’s production. I recommend to buy and to listen to both the two Bettinelli’s monographs, two CDs that contribute to widening the view on the work and creativity of the Milanese composer. The performers are all very good and know how to capture and represent at best the poetics expressed by the mind and soul of Bruno Bettinelli.