Americana this weekend, as interpreted by one of the legendary Husband and Wife/Violin-Piano duos this week. Franco Gulli and Enrica Cavallo performed Ned Rorem’s Day Music at the 1980 Santa Fe Chamber Festival at Alice Tully Hall in New York on August 11, 1980.
Ned Rorem is one of the most celebrated living American composers today. His astonishing catalog of works; everything from Opera to Songs are staples in many performing organizations libraries. But equally important is his work as an author. Ironically, most of his literary fans aren’t aware of his alternate life as a composer and most of his musical friends aren’t aware of his alternate life as an author. Makes for interesting conversation, I’m sure.
The Duo of Gulli and Cavallo began in 1949 and ended with Gulli’s death in 2001. Franco Gulli had a long and productive career, which began in the 1940s, where he debuted with a local orchestra in his native Trieste Italy in 1944 and continued after the war with guest appearances all over the world, including one notable concert in 1956 where he performed with the La Scala Orchestra, conducted by Sergiu Celibedache. Since that time he has performed countless concerts and recitals all over the world.
Enrica Cavallo studied at the Milan Conservatory of Music, and was giving recitals throughout Italy after the war. She met Franco Gulli in 1949, and shortly after became a successful duo, performing throughout Europe before eventually coming to America. They were married in 1950 and the two continued touring, as well as Cavallo teaching at the Milan Conservatory. In 1993, she and Franco Gulli left and settled in Bloomington Indiana, where both were on the faculty at the Indiana University School of Music, until his death in 2001 and her death in 2001.
Enrico Gulli has an extensive catalog of noteworthy recordings of his solo and orchestral playing, but it appears there is only one or two recordings of his work as a duo with Cavallo. So this performance might be considered a rarity.
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