Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) is a composer difficult to classify. A child of his time he kept aloof from the innovations of the modernists and dodecaphony. As son of a German father and a noble-born Venetian mother he was born in Venice and went to study in Munich. He became famous as an opera composer. His style is romantic, tinged with impressionism and the odd neoclassical hint. His aim was to create a “universal beauty” in his works, where no rules apply, but only a feeling of well-being and sensuousness.
This new recording presents Wolf-Ferrari’s output for piano solo, atmospheric works played with the right feeling for the style by Costantino Catena, of whom the Italian classical magazine Amadeus wrote: “A pianist rare in his generation, in him shining above all the art of singing on the keyboard with an inventiveness of phrasing that demonstrates his exquisite musical intelligence”.
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Undici Variazioni* sul Menuetto del “Falstaff” di G. Verdi (1896)