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Antonio Bazzini (1818-1897): La Ronde des Lutins - Music for Violin and Piano / Maria Semeraro, piano; Luca Fanfoni, violin

Album Summary

>Bazzini, Antonio : La ronde des lutins, Op. 25
>Bazzini, Antonio : Sonata for violin & piano in E minor, Op.55
>Bazzini, Antonio : Fantasia su La Traviata di Giuseppe Verdi, for violin & piano, Op. 50
>Bazzini, Antonio : Morceaux Lyriques (6) for violin & piano, Op. 35
>Bazzini, Antonio : La Calma serenata, for violin & piano, Op. 34/3
>Bazzini, Antonio : Le Carillon d'Arras, Op. 36
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Poor Antonio Joseph Bazzini (1818-1897), a one-work composer if ever there was one, after the examples of Bruch and Holst, destined forever to be remembered as encore fodder for virtuoso violinists as they end their recitals in a blaze of glory with his Scherzo fantastique Op.25, better known as La Ronde des lutins, or Dance of the Goblins. Now, Luca Fanfoni and Maria Semeraro expand our knowledge of Bazzini with a more complete survey of music for his own instrument, for he had a place, post-Paganini, in the 19th-century tradition of performer-composers. Inevitably Italian Opera exercised an influence upon him, evidenced by many fantasias based on operatic themes, often from Verdi, such as the one inspired by La Traviata in which the virtuosity effectively brings out Verdi’s dramatic intent. Then his mastery of longer and more abstract forms is revealed by his Op.55 Sonata, a poetic masterpiece with a formal, well-defined structure. Later in life Bazzini aside his performing career in favour of composition, including symphonic, choral and chamber music (six quartets and a quintet) and teaching: Puccini and Catalani were among his students. Luca Fanfoni’s extensive discography includes a Verdi-themed disc of fantasias and variation sets, as well as the ten concertos and sonatas of Antonio Lolli, another figure in the neglected byways of Italian music, this time from the Baroque era.

American Record Guide, November/December 2015
Yes, The Dance of the Goblins is here, and it is over in six minutes. That is good because virtuoso technique, which the piece demands in spades. He just manages to get through the work in one piece. The rest of the program came as a bit of a surprise to me. I reviewed an all-Bazzini disc by Chloe Hanslip (March/April 2009). She included the Dance of the Goblins. He actually wrote a fine Violin Sonata, which is included here. I is very dark and dramatic, II is slow and noble, and III is swift and picaresque. There is a fantasy on La Traviata. It holds together because of the work's memorable tunes and drama. Other works, like the Elegy, The Calm Serenade, The Muleteer, and The Carillon of Arras have lovely Italian melodies one would hear in opera of the composer's day. Bazzini's ability to write a tune with enough imagination in the arranging is what makes these pieces a delight to hear. Fanfoni is mostly up to the task. This is a better chosen program than Hanslip's, and you are more likely to want to come back to this because of the engaging music. Fanfoni plays a violin made by Goffredo Cappa in 1690.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014).



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Works Details

>Bazzini, Antonio : La ronde des lutins, Op. 25
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1852

>Bazzini, Antonio : Sonata for violin & piano in E minor, Op.55
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1872

>Bazzini, Antonio : Fantasia su La Traviata di Giuseppe Verdi, for violin & piano, Op. 50
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Bazzini, Antonio : Morceaux Lyriques (6) for violin & piano, Op. 35 :: no 1, Elégie (Andante mesto)
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Bazzini, Antonio : La Calma serenata, for violin & piano, Op. 34/3
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Bazzini, Antonio : Morceaux Lyriques (6) for violin & piano, Op. 35 :: no 3, Le Muletier (episode de la vie de montagne)
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Bazzini, Antonio : Le Carillon d'Arras, Op. 36
  • Performers: Luca Fanfoni (Violin); Maria Semeraro (Piano)
  • Notes: BartokStudio, Bernareggio, Italy (03/02/2014-03/05/2014)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic