Composer: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Performer: Livia Mazzanti – organ
Number of Discs: 1 CD
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bit Depth: 24bit / 96kHz
Number of channels: 2.0
Size: 1.03 GB
Scan: yes (booklet PDF)
Livia Mazzanti / Castelnuovo-Tedesco – Complete Organ Works – 2009 (2020)
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)
01. Introduction 02:12
02. Aria 04:00
03. Fugue 03:51
04. Consolation (Ma Tovu) 03:03
05. Adoration (Borechu) 02:37
06. Invocation (Shema Yisroel) 01:51
07. Silent devotion 03:28
08. Lamentation (The Mourner’s Kaddish) 02:56
09. Prelude on the twelve tone row 08:02
10. Fugue on the twelve tone row 02:45
11. Prelude on the name of Frederick Tulan 02:44
12. Choral-prelude on the name of Albert Schweitzer 04:35
13. Fugue on the name of Albert Schweitzer 04:46
14. Tema 02:10
15. Hashkivenu 02:05
16. Lecho dodi 01:51
17. Vaani s’filosi 04:23
18. Raú-Banim 01:47
19. Hashkivenu Extended Version 05:10
In the music world the name of the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco is mostly known for his numerous compositions for guitar. The fact that he also wrote a good hour of excellent organ music is proved by our new release with the Italian artist Livia Mazzanti. It is interesting to see that the composer wrote music for the organ for the first time only after his emigration in the USA – as an Italian Jew he felt constrained to leave country under the Mussolini dictatorship. It was when he received a Christmas card from his friend Edward Power-Biggs in 1952 that Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco had the idea of composing a miniature Fanfare for organ based on the letters of the organist’s rather unusual name. This fanfare in six bars, was played by Power Biggs and broadcast on the radio. Power-Biggs encouraged him to work out this fragment to an entire composition.
Thus originated as the first organ work Introduction, Aria and Fugue. By the way, you can listen to this fanfare on this website (sound sample 1). The extensive booklet to our album informs about the backgrounds and the origin of the remaining works (for instance music for the synagogue, two experimental serial works as well as other free pieces) and other biographical details.
Without Livia’s painstaking efforts, this innovative new recording would not have been possible. She alone did all the hard work of rediscovering and preparing this music for performance. Among other things, she perfected an innovative registration for all these pieces in the years leading up to the recording itself. We must thank her for her attentive, sensitive reading of these unfairly neglected works, bringing them back from obscurity with her tireless devotion to Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s witty compositions. Her musical intelligence and poetic imagination mean she is a peerless, bold, yet demanding performer.
Thanks of generous support of Mrs. Cornelia Gerber (†) we’ve been able to carry out our recording at the organ of the Tonhalle in Zurich, which has been designed by Jean Guillou. It’s numerous specific features are excellently shown to advantage on this SACD. Our surround recording virtually places you into the concert hall…
Comment by producer Christoph Martin Frommen: As a recording engineer with now more than 20 year of experience I really know a lot of repertoire. But there is still excellent music over and over again you do not know, and then you ask yourself: why do I hear this “only now”?
This was also the case with the organ music composed by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, when in 2003 Livia handed over to me a self-made demo CD. What a poor sound… But what a nice music!
Initial plans for a recording in Saint-Eustache in Paris had to be rejected because of the very bad state of the instrument at that time. Thanks to our relations and contacts to Zurich we were lucky to be able to carry out the recording on the organ of the Tonhalle there. The acoustics of the hall meet the works better anyway. In addition, Livia handles this instrument perfectly with his numerous specific features – she has taken part here in numerous master courses with Jean Guillou whose pupil she is.
Complete enthusiasm followed my initial interest in these works, for the music and above all for this performer! So, get fascinated you too by her tremendously tension-loaded playing. You will quickly notice: she does not simply “play” the music, she really “lives” it! I was mostly impressed for instance by the five pieces of “Sacred Service for the Sabath Eve”, and above all the last piece entitled “The Mourner’s Kaddish” which was composed in the memory of the friends and relatives who died during the Holocaust. And those listeners who are able to stay down quietly in their armchair while listening to “Fanfare over the twelve tone row”, should seriously ask themselves whether there is still everything ok with their perception …
From the very beginning of her career in Rome in the eighties, Livia Mazzanti has revealed a wide range of interpretation, playing rarely executed organ compositions and choosing to offer possible affinities between different periods and styles in her concert programs.
With a degree in piano, organ and organ composition, her meeting with composers like Giacinto Scelsi and, later, with Jean Guillou proved decisive; she went on to continue her studies with the latter in France.
In 1985, she received the Special Jury Prize at the International Organ Competition in Rome, and when she was awarded a grant from the French government in 1988, she settled in Paris where, the following year, she was conferred with the Unanimité du Jury, the Diplôme de Concert of the Schola Cantorum.
Since then she has pursued her career both in Italy and France, while her concerts have led her to appear in most of the European countries, the United States and the Middle East.
She is responsible for the ideation and artistic direction of MUSICOMETA, the festival for famous international soloists that has been held in Rome since 1995. She has also collaborated musically with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rome. She is the only foreign musician in France who is listed in the organ collections of RCA Victor/BMG France, and her recordings have been critically acclaimed by such magazines as Diapason, Répertoire, and Organist’s Review. Livia Mazzanti has also recorded for Fonè and participated in the recording of the complete organ works of J. Guillou for Philips/Universal. She has recently rediscovered the complete works of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, recording them for the first time in the world on the organ of the Tonhalle of Zurich for the AEOLUS label.