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"Complete Piano Sonatas Volume 1"
Domenico Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonatas N° 1 – N° 44

Dario Candela (Piano)
Recording: Auditorium A. Negri, Castrezzato di Brescia, Italy (January 6-7, 2015) – 70’ 56
Dynamic #CDS 77209 (Distributed by Naxos of America) – Liner notes in Italian and English

To this day Domenico Cimarosa’s accomplishments are best noted by his Neapolitan operatic works, including 60 opera buffa and 20 opera seria notwithstanding the multitudinous output of instrumental music. Within the aforementioned Cimarosa found time to compose a total of 88 piano sonatas. These pieces seemed to have been overlooked and not given much credence until this time. Dario Candela has changed all of this by becoming the first pianist to record the sonata collection in its entirety. Preselecting the sequence, Candela evenly divides the compendium in half.

What’s particularly fascinating about Cimarosa’s keyboard music is that no detail can be given as to when the pieces were composed. Each selection varies in length (the shortest being under one minute while the longest lasting slightly under three and a half minutes), tempo and key signature. Dario Candela, described as an ‘eclectic musician’, is the perfect choice to express Cimarosa’s contrasting mannerisms in each of the 44 tracks.

This Naples-trained pianist is assiduous in assessing and understanding of how Domenico Cimarosa wanted to craft the meaning of his music. Candela is more deliberative and restraining in the first half; stylistically speaking, Cimarosa's music brings to mind a semblance of Muzio Clementi. Candela's flavor comes across as being more recital in nature. But in the second apportionment, Dario Candela intensifies with greater degrees of contrast and forwardness. His ear follows the exuberant flair Cimaroa possessed over 200 years ago: there’s a continuum of respect and decorum, yet an absence of over embellishment and overt boldness.

We look forward to Dario Candela’s discovery of Cimarosa’s remaining sonatas in Volume 2.

Christie Grimstad




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