Slow Waltz No. 2 (orchestra)
6,99 € – 14,99 € VAT included
Giovanni Battista Mazza ricevette i manoscritti originali dei due valzer (per pianoforte) direttamente dalle mani del figlio di Aldo Finzi, con l’incarico di realizzarne una trascrizione per orchestra, qui pubblicata con i titoli Valzer lento n° 1 e Valzer lento n° 2.
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Aldo Finzi was an Italian composer who was born in Milan in 1897 and died in 1945. At the age of 24 his works were already being published by Ricordi, whereas before that he had Fantuzzi and Sonzogno as publishers. With the racial laws, he was prevented from having his music performed. Nevertheless, his production is quite conspicuous, even if he was content to work anonymously or under other names for a living: his is the rhythmic translation of Franck's Beatitudes into Italian, a translation that runs under another name. Buried under a false name, his wife had to wait until after the war and the repeal of the racial laws before she was able to draw up a document allowing her to return the composer's mortal remains to the family chapel in Milan's Monumental Cemetery. Recently, thanks to the work of his son and grandson, many of his works have been brought to light, allowing today's public to rediscover his artistic vein and deep inspiration. Giovanni Battista Mazza received the original manuscripts of the two waltzes (for piano) directly from the hands of Aldo Finzi's son, with the commission to make a transcription for orchestra to be performed at a concert conducted by Maestro Mazza himself in Milan at the Istituto dei Ciechi. The second waltz, in G major, is transcribed for string orchestra. The "colour" is therefore very different from that of the Slow Waltz No. 1. The performance of both pieces, as in the case of the concert in which they were performed for the first time, highlights their different character; otherwise this short composition lends itself to being included in a programme for strings alone. The writing is, in relation to the brevity of the piece, rich and varied in the colours and distribution of the parts. Giovanni Battista Mazza has found an example of reference for this small work in some youthful waltzes by Ottorino Respighi - some still unpublished - which he had the pleasure of bringing to light and performing a few years ago. The simplicity of these compositions manages to convey the slightly nostalgic charm of a decisive era in our history and in Italian music. Maestro Mazza dedicated these pages to Bruno and Aldo Finzi.
I was asked to perform the orchestration of the two Waltzes for piano by Aldo Finzi on the occasion of a concert that I was to conduct in Milan. I received the originals from the composer's son, the lawyer Bruno Finzi, whom I met for the first time on that occasion together with his son, Aldo, like his grandfather. It was a cordial meeting, during which I also received the gift of stories and memories linked to an era in our history, as well as to the life of a musician of great value who had died prematurely but had already been 'obscured' beforehand because of the racial laws. I was moved by the memories, vivid in spite of the years that had passed, of a witness who was close, as only a son can be, to a figure and a world of which I feel heir, a figure that I did not know before then but which is certainly part of my history as a Milanese musician. I wasn't born in Milan but I have lived in this city since I was a boy, studying at the conservatory. I lived for a long time in the house where Illica and Umberto Giordano had lived, where Andrea Chénier is said to have been born. I studied at the conservatory where Giacomo Puccini was trained, for whom I have always had a great love. I got to know people from that era through their stories: one of my teachers had played at La Scala with Mascagni, another knew Respighi, many lived and passed on the suggestions of that world. Bruno Finzi told me that he had been present at Puccini's funeral before he was even born: his mother had attended when she was 'expecting him'.
I gladly accepted the task that was entrusted to me, a work of modest proportions that, however, brought me back to a world that I felt was close - the world of our grandparents! - in which a window was open, even in Italy, on symphonic music, here too often suffocated by the impressiveness of our opera production.
The orchestration of the first waltz, the one in D major, was conceived for the same ensemble as Respighi's "Gli uccelli" suite, which was performed in the same concert I gave at the "historic" Istituto dei Ciechi in Via Vivaio in Milan. The instrumentation is that of a "two-man" orchestra, but with only one oboe. The style of the transcription is not far removed from that of the period, of which the sound of the harp evokes a characteristic atmosphere. However, I have taken a certain liberty in interpreting the original in the treatment of the phrases, which are sometimes dismembered into incises entrusted to different instruments and reconstructed in a discursive context with a dialogic character. In the last bars you can recognise a quotation, which I wanted to include, of Musetta's famous waltz in the second act of Bohème.
The second waltz, in G major, is transcribed for string orchestra. The "colour" is therefore very different from the previous one. The performance of both pieces, as in the case of the concert in which they were first performed, highlights their different character; otherwise this short composition lends itself to being included in a programme for strings alone. The writing is, in relation to the brevity of the piece, rich and varied in the colours and distribution of the parts. I found an example of reference for this small work in some youthful waltzes by Ottorino Respighi - some still unpublished - which I had the pleasure of bringing to light and performing a few years ago. The simplicity of these compositions manages to convey the slightly nostalgic charm of a decisive era in our history and in Italian music. I have dedicated these pages to Bruno and Aldo Finzi.
Giovanni Battista Mazza
Aldo Finzi, Giovanni Battista Mazza
Paper score, PDF score