The oboe was a special instrument for Bruno Maderna, and he filled these three concertos (composed in 1962-3, 1967 and 1973) with solo lines in which sharply fragmented and fluently rhapsodic materials constantly interact. Heinz Holliger, in turn, pours all his unrivalled dexterity and capacity for infinitely varied expressive nuance into the performances here. Yet the music remains problematic.
Quadrivium was composed in 1969 and marks the beginning of Maderna’s final creative period, during which he wrote impressive and headstrong works for large symphonic forces. Aura was commissioned for the 80th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was premiered in 1972. Amanda was written in 1966 and is uninhibited, cheerful and lyrical.
With this disc, German label Neos takes on an enterprising project, Bruno Maderna: Complete Works for Orchestra, Vol. 1. Outside of Italy, Maderna is recognized as a significant figure within Italian avant-garde associated with Nono and Berio, but his music is not is well known as theirs, apart from his fanciful and hip Serenata per un satellite (1969). Within Italy, Maderna is remembered as one of her greatest conductors, although he is worshipped to such extent in that role that his compositions have been overlooked. Such a series, hopefully, would serve to redress the balance; Maderna's experience as conductor helped inform his compositions, and by having access to his orchestral pieces one might be able to determine to what extent his composing impacted his work as a conductor.
In his autobiography Opera Years Rolf Liebermann wrote: “Of all the film versions of operas in which I was involved, my favourite has always been Wozzeck, mainly because the interpreters and location were so convincingly authentic.” And truly, this film adoption of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, recorded in 1970, fascinated with its constantly developing tension from the first tone to the last accord. Indeed the cast could not has been any better than in this production: Toni Blankenheim as Wozzeck and Sena Jurinac as Marie. Clearly and precisely in picture and speech, this film can truly be considered a classic and is now available on DVD for the first time.
L'uomo, non come quantità, come massa, ma come singolo deve lottare per un mondo ideale, dove ci sia posto per il veggente, anche per il precursore, e poco importa se è un anarchico (Man, not in quantity, as in mass, but as an individual, alone, must strive for his ideal world, where there is place for the seer, as for the precursor, and little does it matter ìf he be an anarchist)Bruno Maderna