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Category: News

20 Apr

New light on Intellectuals who fled Fascist Italy

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco is among those profiled in a new and fascinating digital history project, Intellectuals Displaced from Fascist Italy. Led by Patrizia Guarnieri, professor of cultural history at the University of Florence, this ambitious bi-lingual web portal focuses attention on the brain drain that took place in Italy during the fascist years, particularly after the anti-semitic laws were promulgated in 1938. 
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02 Apr

Song of Songs: A Hidden Treasure

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

In celebration of Mario’s birthday on 3 April, we present a long-buried treasure: a recording of the world-premiere of The Song of Songs, which took place in Los Angeles on 7 August 1963. This scenic oratorio, a setting of the biblical book The Song of Solomon, was performed by a group of the city’s most gifted young musicians as part of a summer program, The Hollywood Theater Arts Workshop. Mario called these young performers “the surprise of America” and commented that this production was “one of the happiest experiences of my life”.
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20 Feb

In Memoriam Angelo Gilardino

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Composer, musicologist, editor and author Angelo Gilardino left us on January 14, 2022, shortly after celebrating his 80th birthday last November. While others have lauded his creative achievements,  I would like to reflect on his friendship with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and his lifelong advocacy for Mario’s music.  Angelo’s tireless work to make his mentor’s music available — and always in its most authentic forms — has been essential to the advancement of Mario’s music in recent years.
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28 Jan

Mario’s Transcriptions: New Editions

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

In the 1940s, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco wrote a number of  transcriptions of iconic melodies. Although some were purely commercial commissions, others he did just for fun, to offer to his famous friends to perform in concerts.  Some of these “experiments,” as Mario called them, have recently been reissued by Carl Fischer in two new editions, one of violin and piano arrangements and the other of cello and piano arrangements. Both volumes are anchored by the most famous of these arrangements, Figaro from The Barber of Seville by Rossini, originally published in 1945.  Originally conceived for cello and piano for his friend Gregor Piatigorsky, the work was at first rejected by the famous cellist, who was unsure how the public would receive a caricature of such a famous work. Jascha Heifetz was game, so Mario created an arrangement for violin and piano as well, which Heifetz performed for delighted audiences. 
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22 Jan

Chamber Music with Guitar: Jason Vieaux Interview

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Grammy Award winner Jason Vieaux has been described by NPR as “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” An avid chamber musician, he maintains an active teaching schedule at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Curtis Institute and online with ArtistWorks. Given his dedication to guitar chamber music, it’s no surprise that he has deep experience with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Quintet for Guitar and Strings, op. 143. In fact, he  recorded the piece in collaboration with the Escher Quartet on their 2019 CD Dance (Azica).  Jason kindly shared his thoughts about this work. 
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05 Jan

Chamber Music with Guitar: Leonard Becker Interview

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco enjoyed encouraging young musicians.  So it’s always a delight to meet young artists who discover Mario’s music and become passionate about performing it. Guitarist Leonard Becker (pictured above at center), who has been studying with Professor Franz Halasz in Munich since 2017, exemplifies this spirit.  Alongside Louis Vandory (violin), Valerie Steenken (violin), Elisabeth Buchner (viola) and Márton Braun (cello), he founded the Tedesco-Quintett, which won First Prize at the International Chamber Music Competition ‘Gerhard Vogt’ in 2019. For their first CD, released by Naxos in 2021, Leonard and his collaborators focused on Mario’s chamber music with guitar.  In this endeavor they were joined by Chloé Dufossez (flute),  Eloi Huscenot (English horn), and  Clara Isabella Siegle (piano).  Naturally we were curious to learn more about Leonard’s experience recording this music. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his project and what this music means to him.
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30 Dec

Chamber Music with Guitar: Duilio Meucci Interview

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 125th birthday came and went in April 2020, during the first, terrifying COVID lockdown. Events and concerts were all cancelled; everyone was on edge. However, in spite of all the obstacles, Duilio Meucci, with his prodigious talents as a guitarist and as a video director, managed to find an ingenious way to pay homage to the composer. Duilio and his collaborators created a socially distanced recording of a few bars from the unforgettable second movement of Mario’s Quintet for Guitar and Strings, Op.143. The result was as inspired as it was moving: in less than two minutes, these musicians truly captured the spirit of the moment.  When Duilio informed us that he and his collaborators (the Quartetto Felix, the violinist Antonella D’Andrea, the flautist Marco Salvio, and guitarist Pietro Locatto) intended to record an entire CD of Mario’s chamber music with guitar, naturally we couldn’t wait to hear what they would come up with.  The CD, titled Notes: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Guitar Chamber Music , was released in 2021 by the label Stradivarius.
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27 Dec

Chamber Music with Guitar: Giampaolo Bandini Interview

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Guitarist Giampaolo Bandini has performed, championed and taught Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s music for many years. In 2017, at the l’Istituto Musicale “Luigi Boccherini” in Lucca, Italy he organized the most extensive festival ever dedicated to the Florentine composer’s guitar music. After releasing more than 10 CDs, Giampaolo chose to dedicate time during the pandemic to an exploration of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s complete chamber music with guitar. He put together an outstanding  group of musicians to collaborate with him on the project: the Quartetto Adorno (Edoardo Zosi violin, Liù Pelliciari, violin, Benedetta Bucci, viola, and Danilo Squitieri, cello); Stefano Cerrato, cello; Francesco Di Rosa, oboe; Alberto Miodini, piano; Augusto Mianti, English horn; and Andrea Oliva, flute. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Guitar Chamber Works: The Complete Edition (Decca)  was released in Fall 2021. The recording includes extensive liner notes by Professor Stefano Campagnolo.  Giampaolo graciously agreed to talk with us about his long standing interest and recent immersion in Mario’s chamber music. 
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