Dallapiccola works made accessible

Despite Luigi Dallapiccola’s reputation as an exacting 12-tone composer, there’s nothing to be frightened of here.

Composer: Dallapiccola 
Repertoire: Orchestral Works, Vol.2
Artists: Gillian Keith (soprano), Paul Watkins (cello), BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Vocal/Orchestral
Label: Chandos CHAN 10561

The Partita (1932) occupies the dimensions of a symphony, complete with Mahler-like song finale, as Dallapiccola cunningly reworks material from the Italian Baroque, enriching his sources with lavish re-harmonisations and orchestration. The song cycle Quattro Liriche (1964), too, is compelling. His Dialoghi (1960) and Three Questions with Two Answers (1963) are tougher nuts, but their graceful lyricism is powerfully captured by Noseda’s immaculately shaped phrases.