QUARTETTO di CREMONA CELEBRATES 20th ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW RECORDING ON AVIE RECORDS
World-premiere recording of Nimrod Borenstein’s Cieli d’Italia plus music by Hugo Wolf, Mozart and Tchaikovsky
Guest artists Ori Kam, viola, and Eckart Runge, cello
Release date: November 20, 2020
It’s a rare blend: breadth of sound and capriciousness combined with perfect tuning and ensemble has the players sounding absolutely of one voice... Nothing less than life-affirming.
The Quartetto di Cremona exude phenomenal energy and momentum.
— BBC Music Magazine
“…as sleek and elegant as an Armani suit.”
Quartetto di Cremona, the award-winning Italian quartet, celebrates its 20th year as an internationally-acclaimed performing and recording ensemble with the release of their first recording for AVIE Records: Italian Postcards. It's a collection of music inspired by the sounds, landscapes, history and romance of Italy, but written by non-Italian composers: Nimrod Borenstein’s Cieli d’Italia, a new work commissioned by the quartet; Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade; Mozart’s first String Quartet, “Lodi;” and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet, “Souvenir de Florence.” Violist Ori Kam (Jerusalem Quartet) and cellist Eckart Runge (former founding member of the Artemis Quartet) join the Cremona for Tchaikovsky’s sextet.
Q&A with Quartetto di Cremona's violist, Simone Gramaglia
How do you feel about releasing the CD now, in the midst of the pandemic?
Releasing Italian Postcards to celebrate our 20th anniversary is especially meaningful to us since many of our special concerts and in-person celebrations had to be cancelled because of COVID. Having the first copies of the CD in my hands is beautiful and strange at the same time. It reminds me of a period not so long ago when it was still normal to hug, stay close to each other, making music and playing in theatres. Releasing the CD now is important; it tells us that music will never disappear and gives us hope that we all will once again be back together to enjoy live music and live concerts.
What’s your concept for “Italian Postcards”?
This CD, Italian Postcards, is about coming back to our country, where we started. It’s an homage to our “Bel Paese," but seeing it through the eyes of foreign composers who were inspired by our country.
How did you choose the repertoire?
We wanted a few pieces that would offer short, musical “snapshots” of Italy, and the works by Mozart, Wolf and Nimrod worked perfectly for that. We have always loved Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence;” and it serves as a bigger, more substantial piece to balance out the shorter works. Plus, it provided us the opportunity to collaborate with two fantastic players and friends, Ori Kam and Eckart Runge.
Where did you record the CD?
We were able to record at the beautiful Fondazione Spinola Banna per l'Arte, thanks to our friend Marchese Federico Spinola. The light, limpid sky, mountain views, green lawns, distant horizon and silence all around us created a perfect combination for music, spirit and mind. We recorded every day with energy, passion and commitment. And here, finally, is the “tangible” result!
Quartetto di Cremona
Hugo Wolf (1860 – 1903)
1. Italian Serenade (6.50)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
String Quartet No. 1 in G, K. 80 “Lodi” (17.31)
2. Adagio (8.02)
3. Allegro (4.08)
4. Menuetto (2.31)
5. Rondeau: Allegro (2.50)
Nimrod Borenstein (b. 1969)
6. Cieli d’Italia, Op. 88 for string quartet (7.20)
World-premiere recording, commissioned by the Cremona Quartet
Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
String Sextet in D minor, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence”
7. I. Allegro con spirito (10.32)
8. II. Adagio cantabile e con moto (10.09)
9. III. Allegretto moderato (6.40)
10. IV. Allegro con brio e vivace (7.13)
Total time: 66.20
Recorded December 2019, Palazzina Banna, Tenuta Banna, Poirino (Torino)
Producer and engineer: Michael Seberich