Step By Step
2012 / Antonio Simone
Review by Kathy Parsons
Step By Step is the follow-up to Italian composer/pianist Antonio Simone’s stellar 2010 debut, Life Colours. Simone again combines his extensive background in classical music with contemporary new age stylings, creating music that is complex enough to reveal new layers with each listening yet accessible enough for more casual settings. Although Simone composes for a variety of instruments, this album is again all solo piano, conveying a range of moods and life experiences from bright and lively to quietly reflective to sweetly romantic. When an artist produces an incredible debut, there is always some apprehension about whether his or her second album will be as good. Antonio Simone does not disappoint!
Step By Step opens with the title tune, a piece with an exuberant energy and joie de vivre. Carefree and joyful, it’s a wonderful beginning! “Perspectives” also has an infectious energy at the beginning, cooling down to a more thoughtful pace in the middle and then returning to the original theme. “Faded Love” goes in a different direction with a poignant, wistful ballad that comes from the heart. “Days, Weeks, Months, Years” picks up the tempo again, flying at the speed of time. “Lost In Your Magic” is one of those pieces that you keep coming back to because of the dreamy way it makes you feel. I really love this one! “Gymnosatie” gives no hint of where it comes from at the beginning, but after a lovely introduction, it becomes a flowing, graceful interpretation of Satie’s “Gymnopedie #1.” Simone has definitely made this piece his own with original sections that flow in and out of Satie’s familiar theme - another favorite. “Palummella Is Still Flying” is a spirited minor key romp that is both playful and energetic. “Autumn (Nocturne)” is another favorite. The slow, deeply passionate melody conveys a mood of reflection and nostalgia - achingly beautiful! “Now and Long Ago” is elegant, wistful, and very dreamy. The bright and lively melody in “Away Down the River” is touched with melancholy. “Until I Say Goodbye” closes this lovely album with a long musical embrace that will keep you coming back for more!
If you loved Life Colours, you’ll love Step By Step, too. If you are new to Antonio Simone’s music, check it out at Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
July 1, 2012