Santoliquido: Chamber Music
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Gran Duo Italiano; Bagno, Federica del; Meluso, Angela
Chamber music aficionados of older generations will remember LPs of Brahms and Beethoven as performed by the Trio Santoliquido. The ensemble took its name from its pianist Ornella Puliti Santoliquido, who herself took the name when she married the composer Francesco Santoliquido. For several decades in the middle of the last century, husband and wife formed something of a power couple on the classical-music scene – especially in the field of chamber music – in Rome. However, Francesco Santoliquido’s own music has fallen into almost complete obscurity, a state which this attractive new recording by the established partnership of the Gran Duo Italiano should help to improve. Born in Naples in 1883 and trained in Rome, Santoliquido never espoused even the mild brand of modernism or the neoclassicism of contemporaries such as Casella, Malipiero and Pizzetti, and he issued diatribes against the evils and origins of modernism in the fascist press. Beyond the precepts of a classic-romantic style, then, the individual flavor of Santoliquido’s music owes something to his residence in Tunis during the 1910s, and subsequent support of a culture for classical music in north Africa, including the foundation of a concert society and music school in Tunis. Thus the piano music featured here includes a pair of Acqueforti Tunisine, as well as orientally scented nocturnes which were written for his wife to play. The album concludes with Ex Humo ad Sidera, a piece that describes mankind’s terrible struggle in rising from the dark, savage state towards Light. The main work here is a traditionally structured Violin Sonata in A minor with a turbulent opening movement, a languid and dreamy Andante and then a stormy finale. It is revived here with tremendous conviction by Mauro Tortorelli and Angela Meluso.