Review of Primes by Simone Beneventi and Flavio Virzì, Stradivarius 2015
Those who follow my blog know that one of my favouriet questions that I most like to appeal to those who play contemporary music is about the famous phrase … “is still valid: to compose music for guitar is really necessary to be guitarists?”
I often thought this was no longer true in regard to the classical guitar, an instrument which I think now every contemporary composer knows well enough to be able to write new scores for it. Unlike about electric guitar: a very complex instrument, the sound of which depends on a number of factors (amplifiers, effects, use of computer processing tools) radically away from the classical guitar and also known to be allergic to any easy and rigid categorization and about how many ways and with how many different styles it can be studied and played in relation to its nature of folk instrument.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised to listen to this excellent Primes, a record effort of the always excellent Italian label Stradivarius, produced and recorded in 2015 by the talented Simone Benevenuti on percussion and Flavio Virzì on electric guitar. I would like to clarify one thing: none of the five composers present here has studied, in the course of their professional training, the guitar, much less electric. Yet, this CD is one of the best works of 2015 and I think it will remain a long time as a reference point for the following electric guitar in contemporary music. Roberto Fabbi rightly writes in the booklet that accompanies the CD “Far in many ways, percussion and electric guitar share the condition not only of the newcomers in the realm of classical music, but also carrying some diversity”: all very true.
These differences appear to be the factors that have attracted the attention of Luigi Manfrin (Embodying surfaces (2013 to 2014 for electric guitar and percussion), Giovanni Mancuso (George, Nick e il mistero del nastro distrutto (2014)), Gabriele Manca (Modello di coincidenze II (2014) for electric guitar, percussion and tape), Riccardo Nova (Primes seventeen (2010-2014) for percussion, electric guitar and tape) and Mauro Moltalbetti (La nostra rabbia intatta (2014) for electric guitar and percussion), producing the result of an excellent album, in which not only music is performed so just perfectly but that in end it will give us the oppurtunity to think about several interesting questions to resolve, about music, about guitar about our society, becoming an open drive to find new experiences. Highly recommended. This record is an excellent response to everyday banality surrounding us.