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Piacentini: Chiaroscuro

Release Date: 05/12/2017 
Label:  Navona   Catalog #: 6097  
Composer:  Giovanni Piacentini
Performer:  Giovanni PiacentiniTim FainMike McginnisJane Yoon,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Classical guitarist and composer Giovanni Piacentini's talents as a dual-threat musician are on full display on Chiaroscuro, his debut album. He wrote all these works themed around his instrument of choice, and his playing appears on two pieces - Miniatures, for guitar and chamber ensemble, and a solo guitar performance on the title track. Yet, even on the tracks where he does not perform, the composer's voice remains ever-present, namely in each work's reverberant use of space. Piacentini describes himself as highly attuned to the "overall sound and impact" of classical guitar. The album's three works affirm this assertion, and indicate this sensitivity also applies to pieces which pair guitar with an ensemble (Miniatures) as Read more well as compositions written for a different set of instruments entirely (Chasing Shadows). Throughout Chiaroscuros, the guitarist's musical mindset as a solo performer remains a central influence on the album's compositional personality. The title track's five movements feature a distinguished improvisatory style, which develops with enthralling spatial characteristics that blend the guitar's various timbres with added reverberation. Under Piacentini's virtuosic hands, Chiaroscuro beautifully mixes harmonics, tremolo, and other techniques that yield a detailed musical landscape rich with naturalistic imagery. Miniatures expands the guitar-centric color palette of Chiaroscuro, with an accompanying ensemble accentuating the six-string's timbres with flavors of bass clarinet, vibraphone, percussion, viola, and violin. At points, the strings and bass clarinet seemingly emerge from the sound of the guitar, illustrating the connection between Piacentini's perspectives as a composer and performer. Chiaroscuro and Miniatures share similar structures; each work has multiple movements based on specific images - seasons and times of day in Chiaroscuro, and paintings in Miniatures - and tend to present musical snapshots more than transforming narratives. In addition to its absence of guitar, Chasing Shadows - for violin, bass clarinet, vibraphone, and harp - is a distinct work on the album. Here, the violin is the primary soloist, and leads the listener on an exciting and beautiful musical journey. Accordingly, Piacentini designs an exquisite violin part that traverses a range of moods and energies, from determined athleticism to yearning lyricism. Read less

Works on This Recording

Suite for Guitar Solo "Chiaroscuro" by Giovanni Piacentini
Performer:  Giovanni Piacentini (Guitar)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2012; United States 
Chasing Shadows by Giovanni Piacentini
Performer:  Tim Fain (Violin), Mike Mcginnis (Bass Clarinet), Jane Yoon (Harp),
Chris Graham (Vibraphone)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2015; United States 
Miniatures (7) for Chamber Ensemble by Giovanni Piacentini
Performer:  Derek Tywoniuk (Vibraphone), Giovanni Piacentini (Guitar), Brian Walsh (Bass Clarinet),
Matt Cook (Percussion), Andrew Tholl (Violin), Andrew McIntosh (Viola)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2015; United States 

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