PETRASSI Partita. Quattro Inni sacri. Noche oscura. Coro di morti
Following the 2013 release of Petrassi’s Magnificat and Salmo IX° (3/13), Gianandrea Noseda and the Orchestra e Coro Teatro Regio Torino turn their attention to more of Petrassi’s sacred music and also to the purely orchestral Partita of 1932, a tasty neo-classical sandwich with an intensely flavoured chaconne wrapped in two outer movements of rhythmic, textural and instrumental brilliance. This is fairly early Petrassi but it already reveals the strength of ideas and the command of structure that were to be prominent features of his later music. Noseda and the orchestra convey both the music’s élan and the manner in which Petrassi seems to take such pleasure in his skills, not in any studied way but with an exuberant confidence that manages to combine rigour with spontaneity.
With the solemnity and fervour of the Quattro Inni sacri Petrassi enters a different world. These Latin hymns were originally written for voice and organ but acquired their orchestral clothing in 1950, enhancing the atmospheric and often radiant colour spectrum that complements the impassioned vocal lines, here articulated dramatically by the tenor Giorgio Berrugi in Nos 1 and 2 and by the baritone Vasily Ladyuk in Nos 3 and 4. Noche oscura (1950 51) and Coro di morti (1940 41) both feature the Teatro Regio chorus, as assured in the mystical, ethereally chromatic language with which Petrassi voices the poetry of St John of the Cross in the former as it is in the dark colours, apprehension and shrouded imagery of Coro di morti.