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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Italian Postcards'
Artist - Quartetto di Cremona

Since its formation in 2000, the Quartetto di Cremona has established a reputation as one of the most exciting chamber ensembles on the international stage.

Regularly invited to perform in major music festivals in Europe, North and South America, and Far East, they garner universal acclaim for their high level of interpretive artistry.

In 2020 the the multiple award-winning Quartetto di Cremona celebrates its first twenty years of career, an important milestone for an Italian ensemble.

For the occasion, distinguished concerts and recording projects were developed over the year, the last of which this year is their just-released 14th recording, and first on AVIE Records, Italian Postcards.

Mozart penned his first string quartet during his first Italian journey to the town of Lodi. Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade takes its inspiration from poetry and ancient Italian melodies.

Extending the quartet repertoire, the Cremona commissioned British-French-Israeli composer Nimrod Borenstein, whose Cieli d’Italia was inspired by the colors of the Italian skies.

The album’s idyllic conclusion is Tchaikovsky’s string sextet, “Souvenir de Florence,” in which the Cremona is joined by violist Ori Kam (Jerusalem Quartet) and cellist Eckart Runge (former founding member of the Artemis Quartet).

Hugo Wolf (1860 – 1903)
1. Italian Serenade in G (6.50)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
String Quartet No. 1 in G, K. 80, “Lodi”
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)

Assembling evocations of the Mediterranean country by four non-natives, they open on Wolf's stirringly vibrant, magnificently crisp Italian Serenade in G and back that up with Mozart's melodiously beautiful “Lodi” quartet.

At times fleetingly frenetic, cautiously harmonic, at others simply imbued with a ballroom swirl ebb and flow, it is my own personal favorite moment here on this album.

Next up is Borenstein's ornate lushness found within Cieli d’Italia, Op. 88 for string quartet, brought forth here as a world-premiere recording, commissioned by the Cremona Quartet, with the album closing on the dutifully magnificent, sternly soaring, uplifting and occasionally elusive, and yet at all times pertinent and breathtakingly controlled essences and energy found with Tchaikovsky's 1890 composition “Souvenir de Florence”.

Cristiano Gualco – violin Nicola Amati, Cremona 1640
Paolo Andreoli – violin Paolo Antonio Testore, Milano ca. 1758 (Kulturfonds Peter Eckes, Germany)
Simone Gramaglia – viola Gioachino Torazzi, ca. 1680 (Kulturfonds Peter Eckes, Germany)
Giovanni Scaglione – cello Dom Nicola Amati, Bologna 1712 (Kulturfonds Peter Eckes, Germany)

Official Purchase Link

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Quartetto di Cremona @ YouTube