ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
ALFONSO REGA - Symphony No. 4

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ALFONSO REGA - Symphony No. 4 "L'olocausto" - Heinrich Unterhofer (Conductor) - Orchestra Cantelli - Constanzo Porta Choir - Alfonso Rega Music

Almost na´ve in its simplicity and direct appeal, the music of composer Alfonso Rega nonetheless has the power to capture your attention, to make you stop and listen, and to move you. This work in particular, his Symphony No. 4 "L'olocausto", inspired by and written in homage to those who lost their lives during that tragic event, never veers far off course from its grieving expression and sorrowful central key of C minor. Although divided into six movements, a very strong melodic thread runs from beginning to end, and unifies its different aspects into one single solid concept.

Imagine if you may the coming together of classical form and cinematic style. A blend of neo-romantic with the contemporary style of Ennio Morricone. (Not of the spaghetti western days but rather from his 'The Mission' period). It's definitely music that would act well as a film's background score. Simple, evocative, it avoids obfuscation by strengthening its main theme by repetition rather than variation, with here and there beautiful solo instrumental passages, and evocative vocal and choral segments. And despite the fact that it deals with what was a serious blow to humanity, it doesn't try to hit you over the head with guilt or anger, but instead tries and succeeds in assuring that it must never be forgotten.

It would seem that this symphony was composed in 2008, although the times and dates of this recording and its release are missing. It appears to be a completely independent production, under the guidance of the composer himself, and released on his own label. It even foregoes the usual and customary catalogue number. It may be difficult to track down copies through usual distribution channels, but by following the Amazon links on this page you can at least get a sample of the music or purchase a download of the CD.

Jean-Yves Duperron - June 2012