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News

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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18 Dec

Chamber Music with Guitar: Sharon Isbin Interview

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

We are thrilled to begin our series of conversations about Mario’s Guitar chamber music with Sharon Isbin, multiple Grammy Award winner, Musical America’s 2020 Artist of the Year, and the director of the guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and the Juilliard School. Sharon recently recorded the Quintet for Guitar and Strings Op. 143 with the Pacifica Quartet (Simin Ganatra, violin; Austin Hartman, violin; Mark Holloway, viola; Brandon Vamos, cello) on their CD, Souvenirs of Spain & Italy (Cedille). 
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17 Dec

Chamber Music with Guitar (1950-1968)

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

After nearly two decades of writing for the guitar, in 1950 Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco wrote his first works of guitar chamber music. What began as experiments of a curious mind evolved into a group of works that are beloved today by both musicians and audiences.  The Quintet for Guitar and Strings op 143 (1950) is without a doubt the most high-profile of these works, since it was requested, premiered* and first recorded** by his friend Andrés Segovia.
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28 Jul

Ofelia returns to “her” Florence

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Two of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s lifelong passions were Shakespeare and the visual arts. So it’s no wonder that he was drawn to Ofelia (Ophelia), a terracotta sculpture by Arturo Martini when he saw it at an exhibition in Florence in 1932. Castelnuovo-Tedesco acquired the sensual and tragic representation of the young Danish noblewoman of Hamlet for his personal collection. This work has now returned to Florence for the exhibition Arturo Martini and Florence at the Museo Novecento through November 14, 2021.
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03 Jul

Mario’s Return to Chamber Music (1945-1950)

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

In the mid-1940s, with the trauma of emigration starting to fade, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco returned to writing chamber music. During the period from 1945-1950, he wrote the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (Ricordi), the String Trio (Curci) and his Second String Quartet (Curci).  This second wave of chamber music also includes a series of three sonatas for string instruments, in which he enjoyed experimenting with the technical and expressive possibilities of different combinations.
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14 Jun

Premiere of the Cello Concerto in Poland

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Since 2018, the Italian cellist Silvia Chiesa has been reintroducing Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Concerto for cello and orchestra, opus 72, to European audiences. On Friday 18 June 2021 she will premiere the work in Poland, in Jelenia Góra, with the Lower Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Massimiliano Caldi. This performance had been planned for March 2020, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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07 Jun

The Complete Greeting Cards for Piano

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco composed 52 Greeting Cards for various instruments between 1953 and 1967, which he developed in a non-systematic manner up to the year before his death. These pieces were conceived as gifts for his interpreters, friends, and students, whom the author wished to delight with short musical portraits. The 18 Greeting Cards for piano (17 for solo piano and one for two pianos) represent an equilibrium between experimentation and tradition. During the composer’s life, only a handful of these short works were published. Now, for the first time, Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s complete Greeting Cards for piano are available in a critical edition, edited by Luca Ciammarughi and published by Ricordi
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10 May

Exile and Creativity: An Anthology

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco is among the men and women featured in Exile and Creativity, a volume of essays inspired by a series of programs held in 2017-18 by the Italian Cultural Institute in New York jointly with Centro Primo Levi. The essays examine the lives of intellectuals, artists, and scientists who were forced into or chose exile during the Fascist era.  Among those highlighted in the book are the Nobel-prize winning physicist Enrico Fermi, the sculptor Costantino Nivola, the writer and cultural figure Amelia Rosselli, and the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini. 
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