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Janne Mertanen - Rota: Piano Concertos

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Rota: Piano Concertos

Janne Mertanen

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Langue disponible : anglais

Nino Rota, best known for his scores for the Godfather films as well as Italian classics by Federico Fellini and other directors, also composed a good deal of abstract music. It's never less than well wrought, and the end of modernist tyranny has brought a substantial resurgence of interest in it. Rota composed four piano concertos, and especially the two heard here grow on you with repeated hearings and have been increasingly frequently performed and recorded. The casual Rota fan would be justified in asking whether his concert music resembles his film scores; the answer is: sometimes, and increasingly often as his career proceeded. The Piano Concerto in E minor recorded here, composed in 1978, is subtitled "Piccolo mondo antico," but many of its melodies could have come straight from one of Rota's film scores. To be sure, these were often written for films that depicted some kind of vanishing worlds, and his melodic genius was tinged with nostalgia. But the appeal of the work lies not merely in its collection of melodies, but also in Rota's skill at fusing his brand of melodicism with concerto form. The space allotted to the prime Godfather-type melody is the second subject of the two outer movements, which fall into a loose sonata form; the opening bars of the slow movement are also very cinematic. But in each case the material is artfully batted back and forth between piano and orchestra, resulting in a texture that feels less like a traditional concerto than like an episodic film score, yet balances piano and orchestra in consistently unexpected ways. The Piano Concerto in C major, from 1960, has less of Rota's characteristic voice, but it is likewise an entertaining work. The derivation of the first movement from an artless, transparent melody at the beginning, as well as the brassy tritone-based finale, both suggest the influence of Shostakovich. The penetration of Rota's music as far as Finland augurs well for the continued growth of its reputation, and the little-known pianist Janne Mertanen and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra deliver crisp, lively performances backed by bright, clear SACD sound from Finland's Alba label. This is an excellent place to start for those who may have been curious about Nino Rota's concert music.
© TiVo

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Rota: Piano Concertos

Janne Mertanen

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Piano Concerto in E minor, 'Piccolo mondo antico' (Nino Rota)

1
Piano Concerto in E minor, "Piccolo mondo antico": I. Allegro tranquillo
00:12:55

Janne Mertanen, Performer - Hannu Lintu, Conductor - Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Nino Rota, Composer

2013 Alba

2
Piano Concerto in E minor, "Piccolo mondo antico": II. Andante sostenuto
00:08:37

Janne Mertanen, Performer - Hannu Lintu, Conductor - Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Nino Rota, Composer

2013 Alba

3
Piano Concerto in E minor, "Piccolo mondo antico": III. Allegro
00:08:06

Janne Mertanen, Performer - Hannu Lintu, Conductor - Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Nino Rota, Composer

2013 Alba

Piano Concerto in C major (Nino Rota)

4
Piano Concerto in C major: I. Allegro cantabile
00:09:33

Janne Mertanen, Performer - Hannu Lintu, Conductor - Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Nino Rota, Composer

2013 Alba

5
Piano Concerto in C major: II. Arietta con variazioni
00:07:16

Janne Mertanen, Performer - Hannu Lintu, Conductor - Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Nino Rota, Composer

2013 Alba

6
Piano Concerto in C major: III. Allegro
00:07:42

Janne Mertanen, Performer - Hannu Lintu, Conductor - Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Nino Rota, Composer

2013 Alba

Descriptif de l'album

Nino Rota, best known for his scores for the Godfather films as well as Italian classics by Federico Fellini and other directors, also composed a good deal of abstract music. It's never less than well wrought, and the end of modernist tyranny has brought a substantial resurgence of interest in it. Rota composed four piano concertos, and especially the two heard here grow on you with repeated hearings and have been increasingly frequently performed and recorded. The casual Rota fan would be justified in asking whether his concert music resembles his film scores; the answer is: sometimes, and increasingly often as his career proceeded. The Piano Concerto in E minor recorded here, composed in 1978, is subtitled "Piccolo mondo antico," but many of its melodies could have come straight from one of Rota's film scores. To be sure, these were often written for films that depicted some kind of vanishing worlds, and his melodic genius was tinged with nostalgia. But the appeal of the work lies not merely in its collection of melodies, but also in Rota's skill at fusing his brand of melodicism with concerto form. The space allotted to the prime Godfather-type melody is the second subject of the two outer movements, which fall into a loose sonata form; the opening bars of the slow movement are also very cinematic. But in each case the material is artfully batted back and forth between piano and orchestra, resulting in a texture that feels less like a traditional concerto than like an episodic film score, yet balances piano and orchestra in consistently unexpected ways. The Piano Concerto in C major, from 1960, has less of Rota's characteristic voice, but it is likewise an entertaining work. The derivation of the first movement from an artless, transparent melody at the beginning, as well as the brassy tritone-based finale, both suggest the influence of Shostakovich. The penetration of Rota's music as far as Finland augurs well for the continued growth of its reputation, and the little-known pianist Janne Mertanen and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra deliver crisp, lively performances backed by bright, clear SACD sound from Finland's Alba label. This is an excellent place to start for those who may have been curious about Nino Rota's concert music.
© TiVo

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