Alexander Dorn: Souvenir de Rome, Op. 24





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Uploaded on Sep 8, 2010

The subtitle of this piece is 'Clavier-Fantasie uber 'La Mandolinata' von Paladilhe'. Dorn (1833-1901) was a contemporary of Brahms, who studied piano with his father, Hermann Dorn, and later became a teacher himself, in Egypt (1855-65) and later at the Berlin Hochschule. Dorn is remembered today for teaching material, including a book of studies in all the keys. The song on which this is based is by Émile Paladilhe (1844 - 1926), a remarkable prodigy who, at 16, was the youngest ever winner of the Prix de Rome. He recently slipped back into the consciousness of the musical world when Susan Graham included his song 'Psyche' on a recent recital recording with considerable acclaim. 'La Mandolinata' must once have been popular, as Saint-Saens also made a transcription of it. The baritone Emilio de Gogorza (1872-1949) made an early acoustic recording of it, and I have reflected the brisk tempo he uses in my performance. The piece is marked 'allegretto vivo', and although probably intended for the domestic market, is quite tricky at a good speed. Dorn uses considerable ingenuity and licence in conveying the Italianate feel of this attractive song, not least in his imitation of vocal sighs with rapid descending chromatic figures near the end of the piece. Apologies for the slightly clumsy edit at around 3:00 .
Played by Phillip Sear

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