Menotti: Apocalypse Presti: The Masks Dello Joio - Meditations on Ecclesiastes (1992)

Menotti: Apocalypse Presti: The Masks Dello Joio - Meditations on Ecclesiastes (1992)

Artist: Menotti: Apocalypse / Presti: The Masks / Dello Joio
Title Of Album: Meditations on Ecclesiastes
Year Of Release: 1992
Label: Koch International Classics
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 57:57
Total Size: 221 MB
01. Apocalypse - I. Improperia
02. Apocalypse - II. La citta celeste
03. Apocalypse - III. Gli angeli militanti
04. The Masks - I. Andante Tranquillo
05. The Masks - II. Allegro Moderato
06. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Introdution- Largo
07. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Theme- Adagio con sentimento
08. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 1- Solemne
09. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Soave e leggiero
10. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 3- Grave, con ruvidezza
11. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 4- Larghetto, con leggerezza
12. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 5- Animato
13. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 6- Adagio, con intensita
14. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 7- Spumante
15. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 8- Adagio liberamente
16. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 9; Con brio, motlo deciso.
17. Meditations on Ecclesiastes - Variation 10- Semplice
Album Review
This is an interesting collection. All the music here was composed in the 1950s, but there doesn't seem to be much else that unifies them - they are all well performed, however. Apocalypse was Giancarlo Menotti's first orchestral work, and it is in many senses a strange one - it is weirdly unbalanced (the first movement is longer than the other two combined), and there is little connection between the movements apart from a certain personal touch. It is nevertheless a fascinating, slightly eerie and otherworldly but often deeply beautiful piece with plenty of fine themes, atmosphere and color, and it is well scored. The tunes themselves suggest light music, and the atmosphere is easily romantic, but this is not a work without substance, and it is definitely a work worth exploring.
Ronald LoPresti (1933-1986) is the least known composer here. Furthermore, The Masks is a student work, and I have really no idea how representative it is of his output. The most obvious stylistic influence is perhaps Hindemith, but the music has a certain Barberesque quality to it as well. I cannot say that it is a particularly memorable work, but at least the vigorous parts are enjoyable enough. The Meditations on Ecclesiastes remains Dello Joio's most famous work (he also got the Pulitzer Price for it). Written as a ballet, the work is scored for string orchestra, which Dello Joio employs to color and illustrate various aspects of the Biblical story, and if the end result is occasionally a little dry it is surely an inventive work with plenty of good ideas put together with skill and ingenuity. It is all very well played by the Oregon Symphony Orchestra under James DePreist, and overall this is a rather fascinating collection, well worth checking out.
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