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Poulenc, Walton, Dallapiccola, Schnittke & Silvestrov

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Poulenc, Walton, Dallapiccola, Schnittke & Silvestrov
Poulenc, Walton, Dallapiccola, Schnittke & Silvestrov


The second ECM New Series album by Italian sisters Natascia and Raffaella Gazzana draws together a fascinating programme with a strong narrative line. On this recording of works by composers from France, Britain, Italy, Russia and Ukraine, older music is viewed through the prism of the new, and affinities are imaginatively explored - through the ages, across geographical borders and idiomatic divisions.

Alfred Schnittke's "Suite In The Old Style" reflects, temperamentally, upon Bach and Scarlatti, while echoes of Bach's sonatas resonate in Valentin Silvestrov's 2009 composition "Hommage à J.S.B." Luigi Dallapiccola's "Tartiniana seconda" addresses the music of baroque composer Giuseppe Tartini with canonic mastery. Francis Poulenc's powerful "Sonate pour violon et piano", written in occupied France in 1942-3 is dedicated to the memory of murdered Andalusian poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

William Walton's rarely-heard Toccata, written when the composer was just twenty, bursts with ideas, acknowledging the virtuosic demands of the Toccata form, inviting improvisational responses from both violin and piano in the cadenzas, and drawing rhythmic impetus also from jazz (Walton was an early Ellington enthusiast). This piece is especially significant to pianist Raffaella Gazzana - she wrote a critical review of it for her dissertation at Rome's La Sapienza University.

The Gazzana sisters studied in Rome, Geneva, Brussels, Siena, Lausanne, Fiesole and Salzburg and received inspiration from a large number of prominent teachers, including Bruno Canino and the Trio di Milano, Yehudi Menuhin, Uto Ughi, Pierre Amoyal, Pavel Gililov and Ruggiero Ricci. They have given recitals in many European countries, Africa, Oceania and Asia and cultivate special relations with the Far East. A previous ECM album, Fives Pieces, featuring works by Takemitsu, Hindemith, Janácek and Silvestrov, was released in 2011.

Personnel: Natascia Gazzana (violin), Raffaella Gazzana (piano)


  1. Name
  2. Alfred Schnittke: Suite im alten Stil (1972), I. Pastorale
  3. II. Ballett
  4. III. Menuett
  5. IV. Fuge
  6. V. Pantomime
  7. Francis Poulenc: Sonate pour violon et piano (1942/43, rev. 1949), I. Allegro con fuoco
  8. II. Intermezzo
  9. III. Presto tragico
  10. Valentin Silvestrov: Hommage à J.S.B. (2009), I. Andantino, II. Andantino, III. Andante
  11. William Walton: Toccata for violin and pianoforte (1922/23)
  12. Luigi Dallapiccola: Tartiniana seconda (1956), I. Pastorale, II. Tempo di Bourrée, III. Presto; leggerissimo, IV. Variazioni
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