Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: An Image of Eternity
Raffaele Grimaldi and Blue Spiral Records
Cover image of the album An Image of Eternity by Raffaele Grimaldi and Blue Spiral Records
An Image of Eternity
Raffaele Grimaldi and Blue Spiral Records
2016 / Blue Spiral Records
74 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
An Image of Eternity is the debut solo piano recording by Italian composer/pianist/conductor Raffaele Grimaldi. The fifteen original pieces on this album were composed over a sixteen-year period and the album marks the beginning of a new musical journey for Grimaldi. Classically-trained from a young age, Grimaldi has studied, performed and taught at a wide variety of locations all over Europe, and his music has been performed throughout the world. Grimaldi performs regularly as a soloist and with various ensembles, playing classical, contemporary, and original music. He has collaborated with writer/philosopher/poet Diego Giordano since 2009, producing works for musical theater. Grimaldi’s lyrical and masterful music expresses everything from deep emotions to experiences in nature and more with sensitivity and power. There are strong classical influences, but this music is contemporary and should be accessible to anyone willing to take the time to really listen. Although I don’t usually like to compare artists, I think fans of David Hicken’s classical crossover music will really like Raffaele Grimaldi’s music, too.

An Image of Eternity begins with the title track, a beautifully-flowing piece that expresses the quote from Blaise Pascal that graces the liner notes of the CD: “Our imagination so magnifies the present, because we are continually thinking about it, and so reduces eternity, because we do not think about it, that we turn eternity into nothing and nothing into eternity.” I’m not sure what inspired “Endless Lines,” but I don’t think it was shopping at the local mall or Disneyland! The left hand plays a series of flowing broken chords behind an elegant melody that builds to a powerful emotional climax and then relaxes a bit - a favorite! “Dans L’horizon” is much more spare and open, expressing poignant emotions that touch the heart while soothing the spirit. “Love Signs” would be a gorgeous closing theme to a romantic film - very tender yet passionate. “An Ocean Beyond Your Secrets” is an almost ten-minute tour de force that is sometimes a bit darker and more experimental. It also very effectively displays Grimaldi’s extraordinary playing abilities and expressive touch. This one has a very big “wow!’ factor without compromising the emotional quality of the music. “In Me” has a more romantic “pop” feeling with a melody that could easily support lyrics (but doesn’t need them!). “Traces of Sunlight” is another favorite with its gentle melody and peaceful feelings of contentment. “Nuvola Fragile” translates as “Fragile Cloud,” and describes the piece with that title beautifully. The cloud feels delicate and wispy, being moved around the sky by a gentle breeze that sometimes becomes a stronger wind - lovely images that come to mind while listening to the music. “Vertigo” is my favorite piece on the album, and again shows both Grimaldi’s breath-taking piano technique and his deep emotional attachment to his music. Here is a link to the video that goes with “Vertigo.” I also really love “Blue Nightfall,” which manages to be both peaceful and turbulent at the same time. “The Last Station” brings this excellent album to a close with a composition that is very calming and free.

What an exciting discovery Raffaele Grimaldi’s music is! I can’t wait to hear more of it and possibly find some of his sheet music as well! An Image of Eternity is available in the US from Amazon and iTunes. Very highly recommended!
June 6, 2017
This review has been tagged as:
Kathy's Picks