Friday, September 27, 2013

CCC 088 - Lorenzo Ferrero

Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero is the subject of this week's CCC. Ferrero is fairly young, but he's built up a large catalog of music. Included in his ouvre are twelve operas and three ballets. His neo-tonal style is perfectly suited to those genres, and gives his music a ready appeal.

Ferrero constructs his music around triads, which makes it accessible, although chord progressions seldom follow traditional paths. He also uses modern techniques such as odd meters, tonal clusters, and unusual instrumental combinations that give his work a fresh sound.

La ruta de Cortes is from a much larger work. Ferrero's use of the orchestra shares traits with minimalist composers like Philip Glass, but the underlying aesthetic is completely different. The music moves forward with a fluid grace.

The Canzoni d'amore: Mi palpita il cuore is a good example of Ferrero's vocal writing. As you can hear, the melody, while quite expressive, seems to be naturally suited to the voice.

Ferrero uses tonality to great effect. Glamora Spies is a sprightly chamber work is an expressive chamber work that paints a vivid picture. We hear the dangerous and uncertain world of espionage that surround the hero. And perhaps because it's framed in a familiar harmonic structure, we're instantly drawn into the action.


The Launch of the Aegusa, from his ballet "Franca Florio" shows Ferrero's skill at orchestration. Over the cours of this seven-minute ballet he adds instruments as the crowd gathers for the launch, culminating in a triumphal fanfare of trumpets. And then suddenly the mood changes, and where we heard mostly woodwinds and brass before, now strings are used to convey the worry and anxiety of the main characters.


Lorenzo Ferrero uses tonality to great effect. His music is packed with emotional expressiveness, and its accessibility brings that expression directly to the listener. Although not often performed in this country, I think audiences would be quite receptive to Ferrero's work. I'd particularly like to hear his operas.

Recommended Recordings

Ferrero: La Nueva Espana

Ferrero: Tempi di Quartetto

Ex Novo Ensemble: Chamber Music

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