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Piacentini: Between Worlds

By Gina Luciani

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By Gina Luciani and Giovanni Piacentini. By Giovanni Piacentini. Classical, Guitar. Classical. Listening CD. Navona Records #NV6224. Published by Navona Records (NX.NV6224).

Item Number: NX.NV6224

Composed almost entirely in 2018 and performed by composer Giovanni Piacentini, the music on Between Worlds serves as a brand-new snapshot of a musician's prowess at the height of his creative capabilities. In an age where the musician-composer is a dying breed in the realm of so-called ""serious"" music, Piacentini brings a breath of fresh air in a multitude of ways. There is no doubt that his astounding technical skill as a guitarist deeply informs his compositions, and the effect is nothing short of breathtaking. Strikingly, even when employing modern elements - such as adding electronics - Piacentini resolutely resists the temptation of putting trendy, cheap showmanship over the soul of the music. The guitar, the mainspring of musical expression, remains paramount and prominent, always. And, thanks to the composer's talent for lyricism, structure, and depth, this pays off. Immensely. Piacentini's private taste in music is, for lack of a better word, virtually all-encompassing. It comes as no surprise that as a direct result, his own music refuses and refutes strict categorization. The listener might hear reminiscences of Classical-era and Romantic guitar music by Mertz or Sor in one track, and post-2000's indie rock sound the next. That said, all pieces are united by an inherent voice which immediately marks them as works by Piacentini. They range in mood from melancholy to upbeat, from truculent to soothing, but the style itself is perpetually distinct and memorable. Between Worlds is an album that simply makes sense. It is a treasure trove for the musically- trained ear, yet uncompromisingly clear and aesthetic, thus able to appeal equally to casual listeners. Piacentini's impressive command of the guitar indubitably plays a large part, but what's even more stunning is his compositional craftsmanship. One need not recommend repeated listening with this album - this music is so attractive that a listener will likely feel compelled to engage in it again and again without prompt.

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