Homages to the Tuscan Countryside. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born in Florence and studied piano and composition at the local Luigi Cherubini Conservatory prior to continuing his training in Bologna. Ildebrando Pizzetti and Alfredo Casella were his most important teachers. Soon a mature musician in his own right, Castelnuovo-Tedesco numbered among the most sought-after representatives of what was then Italy's musica nuova even while still a student. He received his diploma in composition from the Liceo Musicale di Bologna in 1918 and would write two piano quintets during the course of his career. The first was dedicated to the memory of the Italian pianist Ernesto Consolo and published without an opus number in 1932. With it's baroque eclecticisms the finale recalls the characteristics of the 'seventh art,' that is, film, with it's pathos and capacity for creating scenic spaces. This is hardly surprising inasmuch as Castelnuovo-Tedesco composed film music and defined this genre along with his contemporaries Miklós Rósza and Bernard Hermann. The second quintet, composed in Beverly Hills in 1951 and counted as his op. 155, is entitled Memories of the Tuscan Countryside. The work as a whole is of cheerful, contemplative serenity and might be understood as a quiet meditation on nostalgic yearning for his native Italy even though in this case there is nary a trace of a pathetic tone or melodramatic and sentimental excesses in his music.