Italian pianist/composer Christian Calcatelli
’s debut CD is gorgeous! Conservatory-trained, Calcatelli’s music is heavily influenced by the classics, but his musical voice is clear and very contemporary. My first couple of times through the CD inspired more than a few utterances of “Wow!” I listen to so much piano music in the course of teaching and reviewing that sometimes I think my ear is getting a little jaded. Then a CD like this comes along and gets me all fired up again! At 24, Calcatelli has ambitions to create film music, and I predict he’ll be a major success at whatever he does. His pieces are melodic, heartfelt, and easy to access right away but complex enough to listen to over and over without losing interest.
For some reason, I am often especially drawn to the seventh track of an album, and this one is no exception. “Reflections” needs to be heard. If it reaches enough ears, it is certain to become a classic. Both dramatic and delicate, passion pours out of every note. In the main theme, the right hand plays shimmering alternating chords and intervals while the left hand plays melody and harmonies in the bass. Then it builds and the second theme enters, which is deeply emotional, almost pleading. The themes alternate, ending with the first, which just kind of trails off. What an incredible piece! (Sheet music???) “Prelude” opens the CD with a quiet, gentle preview of what’s to come. “Infiniti” beautifully demonstrates Calcatelli’s melodic gifts as well as his impressive playing chops. Emotion again permeates every note, touching the heart and soothing the soul. “That Second Forever” is very classical and darkly elegant. Passion flows, and under Calcatelli’s fingers, the piano provides a full orchestral sound that is rich and deep. Such beautiful music! The melody in “Song in B flat” is so strong that lyrics could easily fit, but are certainly not needed - the piano sings volumes all by itself. It just seems to be telling a story. “Whispering Thoughts” is much more ambient and abstract, but is just as exquisite. Built mostly around a series of harp-like broken chords that are allowed to ring without getting muddy, the feeling is intimate and cozy, but also very peaceful.
This is an amazingly good debut - especially for such a young artist. Christian Calcatelli
has such command of his instrument that it is truly an extension of himself. He performed a record-breaking 60-hour and 1 minute improvisational concert in Rome in 9/04 called The Calx Project, and is currently releasing two CDs of that music for download from his site. I will be reviewing both soon. “Christian Calcatelli
” is also currently available for download at www.calcatelli.com
. I give it my highest recommendation!