Franco Margola (1908–1992) had an unwavering and authentic love for the violin, lasting throughout his career and artistic development. This recording showcases the versatility of the Brescian composer and the evolution of his musical thought over his lifetime. Often resisting the fashions of his time, the composer balanced tradition and modernism. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Margola became intolerant of harsh and violent sounds and so preferred writing more relaxing pieces.
Kinderkonzert No.2 is a work for violin and orchestra (1954). In the first movement, the writing is fluid and melodious. Only during the cadenza does the atmosphere become more serious, and the lightness that characterised the entire movement is only rediscovered with the return of the full orchestra. The next movement, Sostenuto, has a dreamlike character that comes to life in the central section with dance-style music. In the final Allegro, the soloist’s part is characterised by brilliant virtuosic writing which fits well into the articulated orchestral texture.
Almost thirty years later, Margola wrote Concerto dell’alba for violin and string orchestra (1982). Intended to be the third of the Kinderkonzert, Concerto dell’alba sounds free from any form of modernism and cerebralism. Nevertheless, the composer uses a modern idiom with wisdom and discretion which creates a spontaneous musical eloquence and cantabile sound. A vigorous RondoÌ with lively popular tunes concludes the Concerto.
The composer proposed a decidedly neoclassical writing style in Variazioni sopra un tema giocoso (1965), placing well calibrated sounds within a formal structure. Also neoclassical, Sonata in D (1931) is the first of a series of five violin sonatas and reveals the composer’s technical mastery. In the first movement, two themes are alternated: one serious, and the other dreamy, seemingly floating on the arpeggiated piano accompaniment.
In 1960, the Doppio concerto for violin, piano and string orchestra was published. Once again, Margola refused to follow contemporary musical fashions, instead following his own nature in the search for an expressive and spontaneous language. The three tempos that make up the Doppio concerto follow each other seamlessly and show us a cleverly devised composition where the romantic musical idiom is updated in the light of the experiences of the new century.
Franco Margola (1908-1992) has his musical roots in the 19th century, in particular in the cultural movement which was predominantly interested in instrumental music, as opposed to the opera. Franco’s musical language is classicist, with clear formal structures and a leading role for the melody.
Following the success of the piano Kinderkonzert, which was played by the legendary Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Franco Margola composed, after almost thirty years, to two similar works for the violin: the Kinderkonzert no. 2 for violin and orchestra and the Concerto dell'alba for violin and string orchestra, works of intimate charm, fluidity and cantabile. Also included are the Variazioni sopra un tema giocoso for string orchestra, a Sonata for violin and Piano and the highly attractive Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra.
Beautifully played by Davide Alogna, one of Italy’s best known violinists. Alogna was soloist with conductors like Riccardo Muti, Eliahu Inbal, and Zubin Mehta. The pianist is Costantino Catena, a strong advocate of Italian piano music, particularly by Ermanno Wolf Ferrari. They are accompanied by the excellent Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, conducted by Pietro Borgonovo.
Recorded November 2021 in Milan, Italy.
Bilingual booklet in English and Italian contains liner notes by Emiliano Giannetti, along with profiles on the violinist, pianist, and conductor.
Davide Alogna plays a G.B Guadagnini (Piacenza, 1744) on loan by Altmayer Fine Violins, London; and Costantino Catena plays a Yamaha CFX.