“What impresses me most with this collection is the way in which the composer is able to introduce so much character to each of these highly accessible pieces,but without adding unnecessary complexity in the process.
I can highly recommend ‘Animal Jazz’ as a thoroughly charming collection of jazzy pieces, and suspect my own younger students are going to love it!” Read Andrew Eales's review in Pianodao
Den lille danserinnen (‘The Little Ballerina’) evokes a charming, gracious, light-footed dancer, while Nocturne makes the piano sing in the romantic tradition. Both these delightful short pieces would be ideal encores!
The eighteenth century saw a great increase in secular music for solo voice and continuo set to texts in Venetian, then a recognized literary language rather than a mere Italian dialect. Most of these compositions are short gondola songs or canzonettas, but a few are cantatas in several movements, indistinguishable from their counterparts with Italian texts except in language and subject matter, which favours contemporary themes treated in a comic manner. The two Venetian cantatas for soprano and continuo by Diogenio Bigaglia (1678–1745) published here – probably the first of their type ever to appear in a modern edition – are excellently crafted, revealing an unexpectedly racy side to the composer, a Benedictine monk. One is a set of shopping instructions given by a nun to her aged servant; the other is a woman’s catty description of the rise from rags to riches of one of her neighbours through prostitution. The edition comes with translations of the texts and a brief note on Venetian pronunciation.
Issued in Vienna in 1788 by Artaria, Haydn’s favoured publisher, this long-forgotten string quartet was, according to the title page, arranged by the composer himself from his Symphony No. 86 in D major. Circumstantial and musical evidence suggests that this may well have been the case. String quartets everywhere will welcome the appearance of the first modern edition of this notable work, which has largely been ignored for over 200 years.
In these two short piano pieces, Italian composer Adriano Cirillo (b.1951) has sought to capture in music the elusive qualities of nostalgia and melancholy that Charles Baudelaire designated as "Spleen" in his legendary late 19th-century collection of poems Les Fleurs du mal.
"Cirillo certainly has an acute gift for spinning a melodic line; here the main tune weaves its way beautifully through the delicious harmonic twists that underpin it, and will surely delight and melt the hearts of listeners everywhere."