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Aurelio MAGNANI (1856-1921)
Virtuoso Clarinet Works
Divertimento no.1 (1903) [9:29]
Divertimento no.2 (1903) [7:43]
Elegia (1880) [8:59]
Romanza e Valzer nell'Opera 'Faust' di Gounod (1880) [10:42]
Melodia Romantica (1907) [5:03]
Mazurka-Caprice (1897) [7:10]
Solo de Concert (1902) [6:53]
Sergio Bosi (clarinet)
Riccardo Bartoli (piano)
rec. Teatro Apollo, Mogliano, Macerato, Italy, 3-4 April 2011. DDD
NAXOS 8.572890 [55:58]

Ace clarinettist Sergio Bosi and pianist Riccardo Bartoli are back again for Naxos with a follow-up to their superb disc of 'Italian Clarinet Gems', released in 2011 (review). This is essentially more in a similar vein, but this time by a single composer.
 
In fact, Aurelio Magnani was primarily a teacher of the clarinet. According to the accompanying notes, his 'Méthode Complète de Clarinette' is still a standard text in Italian conservatories and elsewhere. He did however devote a good deal of spare time to composition, writing two operas and various other instrumental works, including a quantity of chamber music for clarinet.
 
Bosi and Bartoli's debut recording for Naxos, published in 2010, was a slightly more serious affair in a musical sense, featuring clarinet suites by Busoni and some of his less-known contemporary compatriots. Nevertheless, Magnani's music is certainly not flippant or bland. In fact, it is stylishly entertaining, especially for those who adore lyrical clarinet. All these pieces are lovingly crafted and creatively mellifluous - three indeed are pastiches.
 
Despite this listener-friendliness, the recital is, for the most part, a virtuosic work-out for the clarinettist - as befits the title. Sergio Bosi signs off his booklet notes with an expression of personal delight "to have recorded these works by a composer with whom I feel a particular affinity, partly for reasons of artistic ancestry, and partly on account of a number of strange coincidences that connect the two of us, including the fact that we both made our débuts, a century apart, in the theatre in my home town." This recording can thus be seen as Bosi's tribute to Magnani, and what a fine one it is. His tone is mellow, his phrasing refined and thoughtful. With a large discography to his credit, it is a pity he is not more widely recognised. Riccardo Bartoli teaches at the same institution in Italy, giving the pair plenty of time to internalise the scores - as their intuitive interactions in this recording testify.
 
This programme was recorded at the same venue as 'Italian Clarinet Gems', and sound quality is just as impressive. The only black mark is the short running-time.
 
Byzantion
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