C1510. BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Milano: Symphony #5 in c-sharp (Mahler), Live Performance, 23 Feb., 1973. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-459. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Maderna was a musician who couldn't write or conduct a note without wanting to communicate something essential, and essentially human. He is arguably the most underrated figure of the avant-garde; Maderna's music breathes an expressive freedom that makes it, I think, immediately compelling. His commitment to the modernist cause is unassailable. As well as Maderna's own music, there are a handful of recordings you need to hear. There's a white-hot Mahler 9th with the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1971 - one of the most incandescent interpretations I've ever heard, and a thrilling LE MARTEAU SAN MAÎTRE on YouTube; on CD and download, you can find Maderna's Schönberg, Webern, Malipiero, Stravinsky, and even Mozart as well. The most eloquent revelation of how much Maderna meant to the whole generation of post-war composers is the music they wrote in his memory: Boulez's RITUEL IN MEMORIAM BRUNO MADERNA and Berio's CALMO. But the best tribute to Bruno you can give him is to listen to his own music. Enjoy.”
- Tom Service, THE GUARDIAN, 13 Nov., 2013
“Italian composer and conductor Bruno Maderna was one of the preeminent figures in contemporary European music in the mid-twentieth century. By the age of 20 Bruno Maderna had already earned his degree in composition from the Conservatory of Rome and returned to Venice to continue under composer Gian Francesco Malipiero.
In 1948 Maderna took a conducting class with legendary maestro Hermann Scherchen and probably through him got to know Wolfgang Steinecke, the founder of the Darmstadt Festival. Maderna had already met composer Luigi Nono at Ricordi, and would meet Luciano Berio in Milan after leaving the Venice Conservatory in 1952. Steinecke engaged Maderna as a conductor at the Darmstadt Festival, a post that made Maderna a celebrity in postwar European avant-garde and one that he would hold until the end of his days.
As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, Bruno Maderna's work as a composer began to take a back seat to his activity as a conductor. He was named principal guest conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, appeared frequently with the Juilliard Ensemble, and was musical director for two years at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood. He also spent a great deal of time in the recording studio and produced many fine albums of contemporary music, although in concert Maderna was equally well known for conducting the symphonies of Mahler and other well-worn repertoire of the Viennese classics. Perhaps this had some effect on Maderna's personality as a composer, as well, for by the end of his life he'd turned his back on the serial aesthetic espoused by the Darmstadt Festival and his colleague Pierre Boulez.
When the end came for Maderna at age 53, it did so swiftly - he was diagnosed with lung cancer during the rehearsals for his SATYRICON, which premiered in March 1973, and was dead by that November. His celebrity in America was so short-lived that by 2004 Maderna's name was largely forgotten there, but not so in Europe, where he is yet regarded as one of the giants of postwar modernism.”
- Uncle Dave Lewis, allmusic.com