Review of Claudio Ambrosini Song Book for Guitar by Alberto Mesirca, Kairos, 2016
Alberto Mesirca signs this CD, publishing a truly remarkable work, an amazing job under different points of view: let’s try to analyze them together.
The Viennese record label Kairos, founded by Barbara Franzen and Peter Oswald in 1999, that has always been dedicated to contemporary music, releases for the first time a CD entirely dedicated to the guitar, a solo guitar CD. This is not an easy thing, if we consider that in its history this record company has pubblished in its catalog other things for our favorite instrument with CDs dedicated to Helmut Lachenmann, Luca Francesconi, Dai Fujikura, Elena Mendoza, Brian Ferneyhough and Ming Tsao, but had never published an entire CD for solo guitar before.
I had already listen to some guitar compositions created by the Venetian composer Claudio Ambrosini, an artist with a long and refined curriculum, founder of the Ex Novo Ensemble, but I was not aware of such a vast and interesting repertoire: this CD has 21 tracks of which only three, Ciaccona in labirinto, Notturno (Tombeau per Jimi H. e Canzone Curva detta “dell’occhiolino”, are not world premier recordings and most of the other passages have never been performed in concert. So there is therefore a great mass of unpublished “musical material”, composed between 1973 and 2013, a sort of a very “intimate”musical journey and an extremely interesting staff.
Another very interesting thing is that I do not feel a time lapse, I do not feel in the music a sort of stylistic evolution: between the Canzone Curva detta “dell’occhiolino”, composed in 1973, and the Tre Studi “en plein air” in 2013 we have forty years but I can not feel this timeframe. All tracks have a refined idiomatic writing, which demonstrates a thorough understanding of the intrinsic qualities of classical guitar and a wise use of its sonic possibilities. In some senses and with some differences, Ambrosini’s compositions remind me of Takemitsu’s music attitude towards the relationship between sound, space and silence: Ambrosini’s music is not in contrast with silence but it seems to spring from it, to enter in space, move around inside of it without ever really occupy it and then leave, leaving behind itself an indefinite sound eco.
I would also like to draw attention to an aspect which in recent years is given trivially for granted: the recording quality. Years ago it was customary in the reviews give an opinion not only on the artistic quality of what you listened to but also on how you listened to, that is the way the CD was recorded. In this CD the beauty of the recording is a major player: Ambrosini’s music need a special “breathing”, a particularly ambience in which better express all its colors and shows the qualities of an interpreter, able to run them at the peak of his concentration and ability to enter into a tight symbiosis with his instrument.
So this CD sees promoted a lot of diffent things: the record company, Kairos, the composer, Claudio Ambrosini, the interpreter, Alberto Mesirca and the Treviso (Italy) recording studio Virtual Studio’s technicians, Andrea de Marchi and Matteo Costa who were able to create the “perfect chain”, creating a real masterpiece. Bravi.
1. Arie e danze
Tre Studi “en plein air”
3. I. Notturno
4. II. Aube
5. III. Bus Stop
6. Canzone d‘ombre
7. Nulla nox sine linea – Notturno I
8. Nulla nox sine linea – Notturno II
9. Notturno con sogno
10. Priapo assiderato
11. Ciaccona in labirinto (called Ciaccona del giglio)
12. Tantalo sorridente
13. Notturno (Tombeau per Jimi H.)
14. Canzone molle
16. Canzone a perdere
17. Song of Innocence, Song of Experience
Tre Studi sulla prospettiva
18. Nr. 2 Canzone curva, detta “dell‘occhiolino”
19. I. Janus ipse, dixit
20. II. Rabdomante (Mosè?)
21. III. Arcimboldo docet