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Aniello Desiderio Quartetto Furioso Vivaldi 4 & 4 Piazzolla Seas

Aniello Desiderio’s Quartetto Furioso – Vivaldi 4 & 4 Piazzolla Seasons Four professional virtuosos – and only one rendering of the “Four Seasons”? Not when guitarist Aniello Desiderio, his brothers Gennaro [...]

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Aniello Desiderio Quartetto Furioso Vivaldi 4 & 4 Piazzolla Seas


Aniello Desiderio’s Quartetto Furioso – Vivaldi 4 & 4 Piazzolla Seasons Four professional virtuosos – and only one rendering of the “Four Seasons”? Not when guitarist Aniello Desiderio, his brothers Gennaro (violin) and Gaetano (piano) and percussionist Salvatore Minale approach the cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter. They require two scores: the “classical” evergreen by the Venetian baroque maestro Antonio Vivaldi and the “new tango” by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla; or “Le Quattro Stagioni” from “Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’ Invenzione” and op. 8 in “Cuatro Estaciones portenas”, to put it more precisely and in the language of the composers. The 28th August 2009 is the great day, the release date of this masterpiece of musical contrasts. When Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed his wonderfully picturesque cycle, he surely did not guess it would become one of the greatest hits of all times, performed in so many different ways, including various arrangements for all imaginable instruments, even hard rock bands. The related compositions by “tango nuevo” pioneer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) are also extremely popular, and have been heard in a number of variations – three times on disc combined with Vivaldi’s four-part cycle. And yet the production of this foursome by the Aniello Desiderio Quartet has a lot of novelty to offer: for example the unusual instrumentation, arrangements by composer Raffaele Minale, who with great subtlety and insight blended the popular score with wonderful combinations of timbre. Minale composed new transitions, which so naturally cross the bridge between the two different musical worlds as if a jump over the Atlantic, the “crossover” from Italy to South America, was a proverbial stone’s throw. Finally, there is the unbeatable joy and virtuosity of the musicians. Quite simply, this recording lives up to the name of the quartet: it has one major feature, and that’s FURIOUS! The listener sits up to listen to the breathtaking virtuosity of this performance. What would Paganini, who was also a brilliant guitarist, have said to Aniello? How would Vivaldi and Piazzolla sound if Paganini and Aniello had met and given free rein to their virtuosity and their emotions? Besides all their musical skill, both master musicians had a common gift crossing the ages: how to thrill and excite their audiences!

Aniello Desiderio, born in 1971 and lovingly nicknamed “Il Fenomeno” in his native Italy, is not only one of the most skilful players of his instrument, but is also considered by many to be the guitarist of the century, worshipped by critics and the media. He has received no fewer than eighteen first prizes at national and international guitar competitions, confirming his outstanding musicality; Desiderio, born in Naples, was acclaimed with superlatives like “genius” or “the Orpheus of the guitar”. He manages breathtaking, lightning switches of register and arpeggios like a circus acrobat – you could say, at Ferrari pace. On Deutschlandradio, Aniello Desiderio was once deservedly praised for his unbounded and outstanding command of his instrument: “Aniello Desiderio fears neither heaven nor hell; he only recognises three authorities: love, life and death.” He was a wunderkind, a child prodigy: at the age of four he first started to learn the guitar, he had his first stage appearance when he was eight, and when he was nine the Italian TV channel RAI UNO broadcast a portrait of him within the limits of “pure” classical music. Nowadays of course, Desiderio, Professor at Koblenz Musical Academy, is familiar with flamenco, canzone di Napoli and tango.

His brother Gennaro, three years younger, first followed him eagerly on the six strings before taking up the violin. Although he qualified with a conservatory diploma, his style does not conform to academic standards. And yet this “devil violinist” with the tremendous vibrato commands all the tricks to stand up to comparison with the legendary wonder virtuoso Niccolò Paganini – right up to a bewitching effect on the fairer sex. And because as a Neapolitan one does not necessarily need to create competition within the family, the third and youngest of the brothers, Gaetano (Nino), sits at the (piano) keyboard. It was only for percussion that the boys could not find anyone within the family. So the versatile, sensitive and – when needed – forceful Salvatore Minale stepped in to provide the necessary kick. All four musicians seem to be filled with an astonishing musical fire. The best way to experience the sparks flying is to see the band live, but even from the CD the loudspeakers seem to be set on fire from the mind-blowing density of their performance. Part of the reason for this is of course the outstanding recording quality. Hi-fi fans will take notice when they hear the names of the recording engineer and the studio: Johannes Wohlleben sat at the mixing desk in the famous Bauer studios in Ludwigsburg. A concentration of love and joy of playing, spectacular compositions, a fantastic sound and Neapolitan energy are the recipe for this cocktail of the two cycles, a delight for the lovers of all musical genres. This CD comes with a fascination guarantee – at any time of the year!

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