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Bruno Sanfilippo "The Poet" CD
Argentinian virtuoso piano composer Bruno Sanfilippo, based in Barcelona, is back with his newest album "The Poet", this time the usual ad21 label, he used to co-run with Max Corbacho, is now replaced by 1631 Recordings. This is an emerging and blooming Swedish label, established in the summer of 2015 by Mattias Nilsson and David Wenngren. Yes, Bruno Sanfilippo has been releasing his music, since his move from Argentina to Spain in 2000, mostly through ad21, with some exceptions like Neuronium Records, Spotted Peccary Music or Hypnos Recordings. Back to "The Poet", on this album Bruno Sanfilippo joins his creative forces again with kindred performer souls like violinist Pere Bardagí, already known from "clarOscuro" CD (May 2014), and cellist Julián Kancepolski, introduced on "Inside Life" CD (February 2015). I really enjoy gorgeous drawings on the front and back cover of the 4-panel digipak, layout credit goes to Mattias Nilsson, although I don't know if he is also the artist behind these evocative drawings. If so, another kudos to him!!! I also should mention Ian Hawgood, who is the mastering expert behind "The Poet".
Profoundly weeping interplay of cello and violin strings reveal this intensely cinematic splendor. During the second third of title composition "The Poet", which clocks to 3 and a half minutes, Bruno Sanfilippo joins this pensive sadness with his sparse, yet utterly embracing piano expressions. A truly gorgeous symmetry between all participating artists immediately unfolds in all its intimate authenticity. "Before Nightfall" keeps on exhibiting the virtuosities of their protagonists, again rather minimal, eloquently evocative and lullingly calm at the same time, with piano and violin infused. "Silk Offering", only slightly longer than its predecessors, awakes long buried memories, where longing cello and violin coalesce with subtly permeating piano drama. Nuancing, crescendoing and evanescing through consistently immersing glimpses of stillness. What an exquisitely painted beauty!!! Short "Dead's Hope" reaches pinnacling magnitudes with its fanfarade-like orchestrals. "The Legend Of The Sailor" meticulously counterpoints richly poetic piano subtleties with sweepingly saturating tearful strings. A sonic equilibrium at its most engrossing!!! "An Omen" with its droning cello, hidden dramatic piquancy, ephemeral rumbles, peculiar strings and lachrymose traceries shifts into astonishingly ambiguous terrains, sculpted with awe-inspiring singularities. Bravo!!! The next composition, "The Book Without Words", returns quickly to enticingly poetic paths, where soothing piano blankets masterfully commingle with fully blossoming and impressively undulating textural orchestrations. A triumphantly intense listening experience and an epic chef-d'oeuvre!!! "Seventy Seven Years Later", with 5:17 the longest piece on the album, opens with tranquil piano lyricism, while evocative stringed textures smoothly join the stage and continuously keep on emerging, meandering and climaxing. Textural palette of this narrative composition is stunningly emotive, magnífico, señores!!! "Iron Horse" invites the listener into a deeply contemplative garden, where the still of surrounding sceneries blends with some, I believe, inside-the-piano technique, maybe hitting the strings with some mallet, maybe some manual muting of the strings as well... In any case, this piece is a very refreshing addition to already richly abundant wizardries on "The Poet". Well-done, Bruno!!! "The Four Keys" composition brings back Julián Kancepolski and Pere Bardagí with their powerful expressions, precisely melting sorrowful cello with scenically textured violin. On 2-minute, nostalgically entitled "Abandoned Carousel" excels again Bruno Sanfilippo with his minimal piano poignancy and guides the album into its soothingly enveloping conclusion.
Being a sound architect since 1991, when debuting with "Sons Of The Light" album, Bruno Sanfilippo certainly belongs to the most multifarious composers within ambient and modern classical driven styles. And hugely talented, potential and consistent as well, because with his piano sculptings, on which he focuses since 2007, when returning to his roots, he constantly enriches the scene with his emotive insignias, no matter if solo or coupled with creative contributions of his kindred spirits. Few months ago, when exploring 40-minute "The Poet" for the first time, I wrote this album might be Bruno Sanfilippo's magnum opus. After many spinnings, I still fully stand behind my words!!! Sure, as an aficionado of electronic charged ambient soundscaping, I will always miss gems like "Urbs", "Subliminal Pulse", "Auralspace", "InTRO", "Indalo" (with Max Corbacho) and many others, but who knows, maybe some electronic driven ventures will be resurrected one day. However, jewel like "The Poet" deserves to be experienced, cherished and celebrated!!! Hats off to Bruno Sanfilippo and his guests, Julián Kancepolski and Pere Bardagí, muchas gracias!!! And last but not least, huge thanks also to 1631 Recordings for inviting this crafted composer to their growing roster!!!
Richard Gürtler (Jun 26, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)