CD Review

AS-Disc AS 55002 Monograph of Arnold Schoenberg

The sound of the Italian group Ex Novo Ensemble, at times extremely delicate and at times furious, make these transcriptions by Schönberg truly interesting. NMZ, Deutschland

A high quality interpretation and played with the utmost precision. Paolo Petazzi, L'Unità.

DYNAMIC CDS 54 Monograph of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

This publication can boast of the contribution of the Ex Novo Ensemble, (...); pathos and expressive ability are not lacking in these readings and they do justice to a composer who deserves more attention. CD CLASSICA

The German performance with Wolfgang Sawallish at the piano underlined the German post-romantic character of the work while the Ex Novo Ensemble keep to a more objective and dynamic approach. But it is very difficult to choose between these two quality performances. Jean-Yves Bras, Diapason.

..This interpretation by the Ex Novo Ensemble offers refined colours and marvellous, intoxicating ardour. The Canzone (Adagio), is enchantingly poetic and the Capriccio which follows from it has a variety of colours and a creative expressiveness that is completely in line with the wavering, varied, at times elegiac, suddenly lively, humorous or hedonistic language of Wolf-Ferrari. After Sawallish and friends' Nordic rendering of the work, this bright version from the Ex Novo has something vigorous and fresh which whets the appetite. And this music, so full of eloquence and pleasure, makes its point perfectly. Jean Hamon, Rêpertoire.

There is no doubt that the qualities of the Ex Novo Ensemble's performance of these rarely heard pages are noteworthy both for the harmony shown by the musicians and their extraordinary interpretation. Maria Girardi, Nuova Rivista Musicale Italiana.

GS 201001 GIULIA Monograpf of Gioacchino Rossini

The CD on the GIULIA label with chamber music by Gioacchino Rossini offers a noteworthy interpretative freshness despite being far from the usual cultural climate of experimentation and research which is this group's favoured repertoire. Mario Gamba, TV RADIOCORRIERE.

The CD from Giulia of chamber music by Rossini gives the Ex Novo Ensemble the opportunity to put all their qualities as soloists on show. Musica & Dischi.

GS 201028 GIULIA Monograph of Gaetano Donizetti

The performers are really fine though they are all very young (...), they can be proud of the quality playing both individually and as an ensemble (...). We could mention, first among peers, the pianist Aldo Orvieto and the violinist Carlo Lazari as representative of a way of making music that matches individuality with a sense of playing together that is gained only with practice and experience. Guido Burchi, CD CLASSICA.

The Ex Novo Ensemble, is made up of six young musicians of exceptional musical talent. (PSDJD) RITMO.

To be listened to and enjoyed with the senses rather than the intellect, without formalist prejudices, also thanks to the expressive and virtuoso bravura of the players. Particular mention should be made of clarinettist Davide Teodoro in the difficult clarinet solo. Emilio Gavezzotti, Musica.

DYNAMIC CDS 81 Monograph of Ferruccio Busoni

The members of the Ex Novo Ensemble play so well that I will desist from mentioning them singularly, with the exception of clarinettist Davide Teodoro. Alberto Fassone, CD CLASSICA.

RICORDI CRMCD 1024 Monograph of Gian Francesco Malipiero

What worlds of sound, how much nostalgia, how many temptations are brought forward and return to the music in a magisterial performance full of clarity and detail - even microscopic details - and the fusion of the whole, following the best performing traditions of chamber music. SUONO.

The members of the Ex Novo Ensemble play these four works with full stylistic awareness and fruitful musicality. G.Pu., Il Giornale della Musica.

Simply illuminated performances: the fruit of a solid background and detailed study, they approach the interpretation of a work with a clear responsible spirit, a precious sense of detail, alongside and filtered through a solid vision of the whole. It is not enough to be just good musicians to play like this; a deep and dedicated love is also necessary motivated by vigilant and responsible cultural awareness. Gianfranco Zàccaro, PIANO TIME.

The Sonata a tre written in 1926-'27 is a work of great emotional tension, it is performed here with exceptionally refined tone and penetration into the Venetian composer's sound world. ... Dialogo n° 4 per cinque strumenti a perdifiato is yet another variation on that imaginative sparkling inspiration which is the basis of so much Malipiero. The recording of this work, dated 1954, is played by the woodwinds of the Ex Novo Ensemble, they are all excellent, worthy of particular mention is the impeccable horn playing of Dileno Baldin and Franco Perfetti on the bassoon. Cesare Orselli, CD Classica.

STR 33312, STRADIVARIUS Works by Alfredo Casella, Nino Rota, Ildebrando Pizzetti

From an interpretative point of view the Ex Novo Ensemble of Venice never give in to nostalgia or appeasement. The performances are innervated, particularly Casella, with a vigorous sense of rhythm, preciously balanced timbres thus refreshing the somewhat dated aspects of this music with verve and stylistic refinement worthy of great musicians. Walter Tuzzato, La Nuova Venezia.

DYNAMIC CDS 99 Works by Giuseppe Martucci and Ottorino Respighi

In some ways we are dealing with a historical masterpiece, as is the case with much of Martucci's output. The Ex Novo Ensemble is well aware of this and they give the work a sensitive, supple and perfectly balanced interpretation where the piano intervenes in the most mellow manner... this relationship with Aldo Orvieto's piano brings about continuous, refined shifts of form. Dynamic are also to be complimented for their recording. Gregorio Nardi, CD Classica.

...I liked this performance best.The piano part of his quintet contains his disavowal of any virtuoso display. Orvieto's modesty seems closer to Martucci's ideal...The individual solos speak freely and with greater distinction. Rawson, American Record Guide.

STR 33330, STRADIVARIUS Monograph of Bruno Maderna.

... The interpretation of the quartet is also fine... the young interpreters of the Ex Novo Ensemble manage to convey the gelid expressive atmosphere of these pages most effectively, mitigated with a rightly variegated interpretation that becomes passionate at moments, as it was in the composer original intent. Dialodia is one of Maderna's most extreme compositions, written for two instruments the Venetian composer was particularly fond of: flute and oboe. The interpretation of Daniele Ruggieri (flute) and Alessandro Baccini (oboe) is intelligently poised on the perfect fusion of the two instruments, embarking on an intense, tight-knit dialogue which does not disdain tenderly sentimental moments, though never falling into rhetoric, yet it manages to keep the single instrumental lines extraordinarily sharp. Carmelo Di Gennaro. Cd Classica

This precious disk shows us the Maderna we know and another more surprising Maderna. Precious due to the choice of chamber music and thanks to the quality of the playing: so free, dissolved in the music and in Maderna's vivid conception he most certainly would have approved. A rare CD to be treasured. Goffredo Petrassi, composer.

The CD of Ex Novo Ensemble is a most valuable addition to the Bruno Maderna collection in our sound archives. Johanna Blask, Secretariat PAUL SACHER STIFTUNG

A beautiful CD devoted to the great (unforgettable friend) Bruno Maderna! My thanks also to the work of this composer/interpreter which for many years now has given us splendid performances of twentieth century music. Giorgio Gaslini, composer.

It was a pleasure to hear again some pieces of Bruno Maderna specially so well done by Ex Novo under Ambrosini's direction. This music needs to be played with such love and care. Bravo! Mauricio Kagel, compositore.

Listening to Maderna in such a modern, virtuoso and above lucid performance, recorded by EX NOVO we can understand how this Monteverdi of our times has been systematically pillaged by too many of his contemporaries. ... his music is made of absolute purity in the sense of beauty where no spot is allowed. This is exactly what we hear here: the intimate poetry of sound. Sylvano Bussotti, composer.

'Serenata per un satellite'. Giacomo Leopardi would have liked the long flight of the marimba which darts and dodges happily, lightly dissolving in the peace (truce) of the night. Exquisite invention and the persistent memory of a poetically true transcription, performed wonderfully. Radio Tre, "Novità in compact", Sandro Cappelletto, musicologist.

I am floored by its incredible standards of beauty, precision, and warmth. (…) Claudio Ambrosini's version of Maderna's Serenata is terrific and is very "modern" in approach and sound thus showing the Ex Novo in a contemporary light. John Celona, compositore.

In general the technical and musical standard of the interpretations on this CD is very good. Friedrich Cerha, compositore.

Lele D'Amico stated that when it came to having faith in recordings he was an atheist. This CD of Maderna would have certainly redeemed him. Not only for the really enchanting beauty of some of the pieces and the magnificent performances of the Ex Novo Ensemble but also because those who know this group of Venetian friends also know that the same polish, the same refined musicality is also to be heard at their concerts. No need for editing, cutting or montage. Michele Dall'Ongaro, composer.

So then it's good to see that nevertheless some nice things can be realized such as this Maderna CD. I think this version is very important for the history of contemporary music: not just another performance of wellknown music, but a real contribution to keeping our ears open. Gaudeamus Foundation, Henk Heuvelmans.

This initiative from the Ex Novo Ensemble under the baton of Claudio Ambrosini is particularly welcome. The works of Maderna have their place in history and the interpretations on this recording, together with the quality of the recording, does full justice to this fundamental figure of twentieth century music. Many thanks to Claudio Ambrosini and his musicians. Michaël Levinas, composer.

Congratulazioni sincere per il CD dedicato alla musica di Maderna. Che artista futurista! E che gruppo di musicisti virtuosi!! Bravissimo! John Rea, compositore.

The woodwind plays an important role on this CD: Daniele Ruggieri, flautist of the ensemble (in Divertimento and Honeyreves) once again gives an example of his technical dexterity and tone. Knowingly light and energetic when the music calls for it, Aldo Orvieto draws timbres from his piano that come close to the adamantine almost icy colours of the flute. The oboe d'amore and guitar, the protagonists of this disk are well able for the demands of this world premier: Alessandro Baccini has a warm and supple tone and a legato which is similar to that of a viola. Dario Bisso, a guitarist with a vivid, energetic tone was the counterfoil, a lyrical and technically pure second voice. Rossella Staibano. Syrinx..

Honeyreves was finally played by the capable Daniele Ruggieri and Aldo Orvieto without the usual approximate glossing over, typical even of the work's dedicatee. Maria Girardi. Il Giornale della Musica.

ASV CD DCA 1029 - 1030 Two monographs of Giovanni Sgambati

The interpretation stood out for its warmth, subtleties, vitality and poetry. Jean Hamon, Repertoire.

...pleasures pure and simple. BBC Music Magazine Critics' Choice

... brilliantly performed and recorded....The sound captures all the colour and dynamics of this remarkable score. (Fanfare)

..many winning qualities and both works are superbly played. J. Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine.

ASV CD DCA 1072 Monograph of Nino Rota.

...these performances are both technically excellent and emotionally vibrant..the recording quality is of a very high order indeed. (International Record Review)

...the recording is elegantly played and produced throughout. Music Week.

The play by members of Ex Novo Ensemble seems utterly in sympathy with this music, simply enjoyng the pleasure it brings while delivering rounded and accomplished performances. Gary Dalkin, Classical Cd reviews, Music on the Web.

The Ex Novo Ensemble, a group placed in Venice, Italy, plays admirably. Wunc - Classical Cd reviews.

...beguiling, unpretentious, and brims with a listener-friendly ease of manner... Classic FM Magazine - Runner Up, Record of the Month.

...discretion, proportion and proficiency...sparkle and charm are certainly in ample supply... Fanfare.

...Every minute of every piece is charming and pleasurable, played with assurance and "amore" by the Ex Novo Ensemble, and captured in ASV's clear, vivid sonics. H. Lehman, ARG.

ASV CD DCA 1085 Monograph of Alfredo Casella.

This repertoire and the Ex Novo Ensemble make a perfect match. Beginning with Siciliana e Burlesca for flute and piano. Daniele Ruggieri's phrasing expresses the right pathos and - thanks to the playing of Aldo Orvieto on the piano - conveys the characteristic joviality of Casella's music... In "Preludio" and "Danza Siciliana", taken from "La giara" Lazari on the violin and Orvieto at the piano give a very convincing performance. The Cavatina and Gavotta are played brilliantly. In "Minuetto" taken from "Scarlattiana" these musicians take a very passionate approach. With Barcarola and Scherzo we discover the young Casella we must again mention the flautist Daniele Ruggieri for his sheer musicality... the programme concludes with the Trio sonata for strings and piano... the third movement is an ingenious interplay between the three instruments, they move exquisitely, fulfilling the promise that was born together with this ensemble. Roberto Zecchini. Musica.

"In short, there's not a dud in this generous batch, and the performances are everything they should be. The Ex Novo musicians play with sensivity, flair, and uncloyng affection, and ASV engineering transports you to a choice seat in an intimate hall." Jed Distler. Classic Today.

"..spirit of the performances is feisty and commited...[A] good, bright sound" International Record Review.

"..a real discovery, strongly played and adequately recorded...well worth investigating" Michael Oliver. Gramophone.

STR 33536, STRADIVARIUS Monograph of Bruno Maderna.

These performances are exemplary, both technically and musically. Annette Eckerle.

Interpretation is constantly high showing deep involvement on the part of the Italian musicians, and in some pieces they are truly exceptional. D.C.S. Ritmo (Spain).