Review: San Francisco Symphony in rare Castiglioni work, “Inverno-in-ver”

Posted on: September 19, 2018

“Italian composer Niccolò Castiglioni wrote his exquisitely wintry orchestral tone poem ‘Inverno in-ver’ in the mid-’70s,” writes Joshua Kosman in Saturday’s (9/15) San Francisco Chronicle. “The piece is a series of short, glistening character sketches, conjuring up images of ice, snow, frost and so forth. But on Thursday, Sept. 13, when Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony gave the piece its first local performance, the ongoing and accelerating disaster of climate change had recast the work significantly…. Thursday’s beautiful rendition in Davies Symphony Hall was presented in association with the Global Climate Action Summit, Gov. Jerry Brown’s confab on climate change…. Castiglioni’s work [is] a little-known byway of Italian modernism…. With its emphasis on tinkly bells, celesta and piccolos, ‘Inverno in-ver’ the title is a complex, untranslatable network of Italian punning that involves ‘winter,’ ‘inversion’ and ‘in truth’ plays like light bouncing off a frozen surface, or the rhythmic drip of icicles from the eaves of a roof…. It strikes a balance between aphoristic terseness and a sort of understated lushness. Some of the 11 movements appear and vanish in a single breath; others create impressively broad musical structures out of delicate building blocks.”

Posted September 19, 2018