Musicisti contro l’oppressione [Musicians Against Oppression] is the title of a two part concert series in Milan this month, created and led by Italian composer Carlo Boccadoro under the auspices of the Teatro alla Scala in collaboration with the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. The first concert, which took place on 6 November, featured Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Ballade op. 107, performed by Andrea Pecolo, violin and Andrea Rebaudengo, piano. The work was very well-received by the audience at the sold-out Sunday morning event.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco composed the Ballade for violin and piano in 1940, shortly after his arrival in the United States. Written for the Russian Empire-born, German-trained violin virtuoso Tossy Spivakovsky (1906- 1998), who had also just recently emigrated to America, the work was premiered that same year by Spivakovsky at Carnegie Hall. Ballade then remained unpublished and unperformed for many decades. In 2018, it was published by Edizioni Curci as part of the Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Collection. The premiere recording was performed by violinist Francesca Dego and the pianist Francesca Leonardi on their 2018 CD, Suite Italienne.
Many thanks to all involved for including Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s music in this project.