Though well represented on CD, Gian Francesco Malipiero is hardly viewed as one of the most prominent 20th Century composers nowadays, and it is hard to think that, in the first 50 years of the last century (well - make it 40), he was considered as one of the leading figures of the modern music scene, along with his compatriot Alfredo Casella. How fast reputations wane!
This disc collates three Louisville premiere recordings, including two Louisville commissions: the 1948 Piano Concerto and the 1953 "Fantasies of Every Day". The "Nocturne of Songs and Dances" dates from 1957. The recordings date respectively from 1960 (Louisville still stuck to mono in those days), 1954 and stereo 1966. Other than a short left-channel drop out in the piano concerto (at 2:24), the sound is good for its respective vintage, and the mono recordings are not marred by the metallic fluttering that affects some other First Edition Louisville remasterings (see my reviews of Wallingford Riegger: Variations / Sym No.4 and Peter Mennin: Syms 5 & 6 / Cello Cto).
There is nothing very modern in these compositions, and nothing very distinctive either. The music is mildly 20th-Century modern, agreeable to ear and easy listening in its cinematographic expressivity, in turn muscular, dramatic and lyrical, even subtle at times in its orchestration (try the string dialogue at 9:35 into the Fantasie) but with not much that really sets it apart and sticks in memory. It brings to mind the music of Honegger, but there is more distinctive personality in the Swiss-French composer. The Piano Concerto is a light and sunny work in its first movement, with many French neo-classical traits, more muscular-dramatic in the last, and it has a superb, intensely brooding middle movement in the form of a kind of funeral lament. The Concerto would indeed do a good companion piece to Honegger's Concertino for Piano. Echoes of Honegger again can be heard in the Notturno, and especially of the 2nd Symphony for Strings and Trumpet. It is in the form of a quasi-symphony, with four contrasting movements in a slow-fast-slow-fast shape. In this piece the Louisville Strings don't always sound as if they're playing cleanly on the same pitch.
TT is a shortish 49:00, but I guess that is all the Malipiero-Louisville First Edition Music had in its catalog. There is a good general presentation by David Prince, but the notes to the individual works are those from the original LPs and they are not extremely informative.
There are better introductions to the art of Maliperio, I think: his string quartets (I have them by the Orpheus String Quartet on ASVG.F. Malipiero: The 8 String Quartets which can now be found as a cheap Brilliant reissue Complete String Quartet) or his symphonies (they have been recorded by Antonio Almeida on Hong Kong/Marco Polo).