2016 / Filippo Landi
Review by Kathy Parsons
Upside Down is the debut recording by young Italian composer Filippo Landi, and I have to say that it’s one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard in a long time. Only twenty-one years old, Landi is a recent graduate of Florence Conservatory of Music (Luigi Cherubini) in Italy. He is currently studying composition at the same conservatory and is very interested in writing music for film. He has already scored a few films and musicals, so his music career is off to a very promising start! The album was mixed and mastered by Roberto Attanasio, a fine composer and pianist himself, and the piano sound is very natural and expressive. Several of the thirteen piano solos (one with spoken words) are very dramatic, but there is a wide range of emotions and experiences expressed in the music and all of them feel very genuine and from the heart. The music was composed between 2012 and 2015, so some of these pieces were written when Landi was still a teenager. I also love the simple line drawing on the album cover!
Upside Down begins with “Intro,” a short, slightly mysterious prelude that got my attention right away. Hmmmm - I think I’m on to something really interesting here! The title track comes next and seems to be asking poignant questions while trying to find the answers within, perhaps late at night at the piano. “Dreams” begins with a gently flowing rhythm with no hard edges, gradually building to a peak and then softening to the opening theme. From the sweet comfort of a happy dream we go to the intense, breath-taking “Nightmare,” one of my favorites (sheet music?). “Beautiful Lies” is also very dark and intense, expressing painful, powerful emotions that go very deep. “Fly Away” has a somewhat more classical feel than some of the other pieces and overflows with deep emotion. “Return” is also a favorite. Fiery passion runs through every note - an incredible piece! “Ragtime Moment” came as a complete surprise, but a delightful one that left me grinning while tapping my toes. Italian ragtime - who knew? Love it! “We Were Friends” seems to be mourning a loss. The simple but affecting melody tugs at the heart as the poignant melody washes over you. “Upside Down (Original Version)” is a bit shorter than the version at the beginning of the album and is a lovely reprise. “Boy” is quite different. David Erasmus recites his powerful poem by the same name while Landi plays the piano in the background. The poem is a bit unsettling (as I am sure it was intended!), but then the inspiring and uplifting “Hope” brings this amazing album to a peaceful close.
Upside Down is truly a remarkable first effort and I highly recommend it! It is available from Amazon and iTunes. Check it out!
February 11, 2017