Eight new pieces to remember Castelnuovo-Tedesco: the presentation at Cremona Musica

“Omaggio a Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco” (“Homage to Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco”) is the new volume that will come out in September, to remember the Italian composer, who passed away in the USA 50 years ago. A “lively and current” homage, as defined by Piero Bonaguri, guitarist, curator of this work, and general editor of the contemporary music series of Ut Orpheus, publisher of the book, as it remembers Castelnuovo-Tedesco with eight new original scores for solo guitar, written by artists of today. The work will be presented at Cremona Musica on 28 September, a few days after its publication.

Piero Bonaguri himself commissioned the eight original compositions collected in this work, to six composers: Marco Reghezza, Marco Simoni, Alessandro Spazzoli, Paolo Ugoletti, Filippo Ferruggiara and Daniele Mandonico. The last two are conservatory students of Ugoletti. On the cover there is a portrait of the composer, made by Nino Bertoletti, and supplied by Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s heirs for this occasion.

The scores are connected by multiple links to Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s works, as they use themes and forms he used: “For instance – Piero Bonaguri says – he used to compose the “greeting cards”, to dedicate a piece to someone; he used to take the letters of someone’s name, see which notes they coincide with, and compose a theme with these letters. Uguletti has composed something like this, but using the name of Castelnovo-Tedesco”.

“Castelnuovo-Tedesco was one of the greats of last century, in general, as he wrote a lot of things for guitar, but he was marginalized because he lived in a period in which structuralist avantgardes prevailed, while he was fond of tonal and melodic music. He was also in exile in the USA. But guitarists have never forgotten him, because he wrote a lot of pieces for guitar, many played by Segovia too, so this rediscovering of Castelnuovo-Tedesco is our moment. Now we are also freer in terms of musical languages, so it is nice that composers, sometimes young, are writing in a manner that Castelnuovo-Tedesco would have appreciated, and they dedicate these works to him”.

“Omaggio a Castelnuovo-Tedesco” will be presented at Cremona Music on 28 September. On this occasion Piero Bonaguri will play some of the compositions collected in the volume, on his guitar.

“I went to Cremona Musica in 2012 – Bonaguri says – to present another work in the series, dedicated to Andreas Segovia. It is a very important event in the world of music, and I am happy to hear that it has developed further since the last time I attended”.

Ut Orpheus has recently published another work about the Florentine composer, “Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco nel carteggio con Gangi e Carfagna (1954-1968)”, issued in 2016.

The series Piero Bonaguri Collection, published by Ut Orpheus, has included many volumes over the years containing more than 100 original pieces for guitar, often dedicated to great artists (Segovia, Rodrigo, Corelli, Rameau, Tàrrega...)

“Omaggio a Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco” was commissioned by the 23rd Convegno Internazionale di Chitarra in Alessandria, where it will be presented for the first time, with the participation of the composer’s granddaughter, Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco.