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Dip Your Ears, No. 36

available at Amazon
Stravinsky, Malipiero, Casella, Klassizistische Moderne, C. Hogwood
Arte Nova, the German budget label that brought us David Zinman’s Beethoven, is back in the United States, distributed by BMG-Sony-RCA-Masterworks, or whatever the new conglomerate is called. This is volume three in a very enterprising series of interesting discs that feature 20th-century works in classic form. Stravinsky is the common denominator of the three volumes, and here his Pulcinella Suite for chamber orchestra shares the space with Gian Francesco Malipiero’s Ricerari per undici Instrumenti and Alfredo Casella’s Scarlattiana: Divertimento after Domenico Scarlatti.

The three works are stunningly gorgeous! The Pulcinella Suite in its outing for violin and piano is stunning enough, but lushed up for chamber orchestra it’s a sometimes quirky marvel. Old wine in new bottles, some may say – but think of it as good old wine in excellent new decanters. Good ideas well developed are not worth any less for their kernel to have originated from others. Malipiero’s Ricerari are most enjoyable, too, but Scarlattiana was the impulse to buy the disc (at $6.99, I didn’t need much of an impulse). If you like Scarlatti and are not beset with an overly developed sense of musical ‘purity’, you must fall in love with the twenty-minute divertimento that takes its cue from over 80 different Scarlatti sonatas.

Excellent stuff then, as are most of Arte Nova’s new (re-)releases – and at a price that invites further exploration.

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