Caetani: Piano Music

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Composer: Roffredo Caetani
Artists: Alessandra Ammara (piano)

Roffredo Caetani is not exactly a household name, but he was certainly one of the most interesting Italian composers active during the turn of the 20th century. Godson of Liszt and a pupil of Sgambati, his aristocratic origins allowed him, from childhood, to be in contact with some of the most eminent personalities of the cultural world of that period, meaning that he was able to keep up with the latest musical tendencies, adapting them to his own needs and personal style.

A preference for gloomy atmospheres, rigorous use of polyphony and the relentless search for particularly daring and dissonant harmonies are just some of the traits to be found in Caetani’s oeuvre, many of which also appear in this compilation, dedicated to the composer’s output for piano. While the Ballad Op.9 is perhaps the most inspired of Caetani’s works for the instrument, containing bold chromaticisms and numerous Wagnerian touches, the Four Impromptus are of a lighter and more intimate nature, most likely conceived for performance in the refined environment of the salon rather than in the concert hall. Also included on the set is a Toccata, the final piece making up Op.9 and which refers back to the Baroque repertory as well as to Schumann (to his Toccata Op.7), and the Sonata Op.3 – Caetani’s most ambitious piece for piano, cyclic in nature and particularly affecting in its second movement, a vast canvas of melancholy and reflection.

00:00:00 Ballata in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 9 (Andante sostenuto e mesto)
00:06:23 Four Impromptus, Op. 9: Impromptu No. 1 in A-Flat Major (Un poco agitato)
00:12:08 Four Impromptus, Op. 9: Impromptu No. 2 in B-Flat Major (Moderato)
00:15:50 Four Impromptus, Op. 9: Impromptu No. 3 in A Minor (Andantino)
00:19:42 Four Impromptus, Op. 9: Impromptu No. 4 in E-Flat Major (Molto allegro)
00:25:38 Toccata in D Major, Op. 9 (Allegro vivace)
00:32:15 Sonata in A-Flat Major, Op. 3: I. Allegro moderato
00:46:36 Sonata in A-Flat Major, Op. 3: 8 II. Un poco lento
01:01:09 Sonata in A-Flat Major, Op. 3: 9 III. Allegro assai

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