ALFONSO RENDANO (1853-1931)
Alfonso Rendano is an exemplary musician among the Italian instrumentalartists of the second half of the 19th century. Born in Carolei (Cosenza, Italy) in1853, he was a child prodigy. At the age of 10 he was admitted to Conservatory of Naples, where he studied for six months. In 1866 he started studying privately with Sigismund Thalberg, who at the time lived in Naples and had founded a piano school, which played a fundamental role in the in the history of Italian music. Thalberg recognized immediately Rendano’s talent, he sent him to Paris and recommended him to Gioacchino Rossini, asking him to find a good teacher for his student. Thanks to Rossini, Rendano continued his specialization studies with George Mathias, who had been Chopin’s student. Later he studied composition in Leipzig and one of his professors was Carl Reinecke. Back to Paris, he started his artistic career, giving concerts all around Europe. He was admired by important personages such as Daniel Aubert, Anton Rubinstein, Hans von Bülow and Franz Liszt, with whom he played (version for two pianos) a Concerto for piano and orchestra Rendano had just composed. From 1883 to 1886 Rendano taught at Naples Conservatory. Then he worked asa private teacher, first in Naples then in Rome, where he lived and worked until hedied in 1931. In 1902 he composed an opera, Consuelo, which was represented atTeatro Regio in Turin and was also performed abroad. He was a highly estimated pianist, his repertoire was vast, from Bach to the authors of the end of 19th century, and he was one of the first to perform, during a series of concerts, the unabridged version of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. He also performed with the famous violinist Joseph Koachim, to whom Brahms had dedicated his Violin Concerto in D major. Although his early studies were carried out in Naples, Rendano completed his study career in France and Germany and his international background comes out the very first time you listen to this CD, which clearly shows his interest in demonstrating the music updating his career went through. At first, the titles of his works might suggest that his compositions follow the typical compositions of the end of the 19thcentury. These were the morceau caracteristique (whose pattern changed according to its region, which was in the case of Rendano, Calabria or Naples) and sentimental music. In fact the essence of his works is different and at times surprising. His style is arduous and complex, with influences from Liszt, and his melodies are full of chromatic scales and dissonances, which highlight his original style.