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Album Review: Pianopianoforte
Giorgio Costantini
Cover image of the album Pianopianoforte by Giorgio Costantini
Giorgio Costantini
2006 / Giorgio Costantini
50 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Pianopianoforte is a gorgeous collection of piano-based pieces by Italian composer/arranger/pianist Giorgio Costantini. Costantini has toured extensively with Italian and international artists, worked on Italian television, produced an Italian rock band, and also works as a trainer at The Michel Hardy University of Psychology where he creates music for health, meditation, and relaxation. A native of Venice, Costantini has been based in Rome for close to twenty years. He has been researching the depth of emotions in the human soul and looking for a piano language that could be a “trait-d’union” between classical and pop music - “easy listening but very evocative.” Costantini cites Michael Nyman, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Erik Satie, Debussy, and Ludovico Einaudi as influences - a heady blend! I also hear a bit of early Yanni here and there, but that could be the Mediterranean influence. Most of the tracks are well-orchestrated using keyboards, but this is primarily a piano album.

Lyrical and melodic, several of the fourteen pieces have the dramatic sweep of a soundtrack. The opening track, “Tutto l’amor perduto,” is one of those pieces. Using a catchy rhythm and a soprano voice, this piece is both hauntingly beautiful and uplifting with guitar, strings, and piano. A great beginning! “Elegia” is an elegant piano solo with a mood of sadness and longing. “Adagio” is more symphonic, with a simple melody line on piano and lots of strings. It feels very classical, but the background rhythm brings it into the present - a very effective approach! Satie’s influence is clear in the simple grace of “Desert,” a piano solo for about half of the piece and then a full orchestration. “Nero” is one of the “big” pieces that sounds a bit like Yanni. Piano, voices, strings, and a crisp rhythm make this piece a standout. “Rain” is another favorite. Kind of a duet for piano and guitar, background strings add a wash of color. The piece begins and ends with a melancholy melody, and has a gently flowing interlude in the middle - a great piece! “La Tempesta” begins with a strong sense of turbulence, becomes calmer, rebuilds, quiets, and just ends - I really like this one, too! “Arcobaleno” is a graceful, introspective piano solo that truly comes from the heart.

Strong and evocative from start to finish, there isn’t a weak track on Pianopianoforte. I’m thrilled to be introduced to the music of Giorgio Costantini, and this CD is sure to be on my “favorites” list for 2006! It is available from www.pianopianoforte.com and iTunes as a download, and cdbaby.com. Sheet music is also available from Giorgio’s website as a download. Very highly recommended!
May 29, 2006
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Kathy's Favorites: 2006
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