Global guitarist and composer Giovanni Piacentini’s talents as a dual-threat musician are on full display on CHIAROSCURO, his debut album. He wrote all these works themed around his instrument of choice, and his playing appears on two pieces – Miniatures, for guitar and chamber ensemble, and a solo guitar performance on the title track. Yet, even on the tracks where he does not perform, the composer’s voice remains ever-present, namely in each work’s reverberant use of space.
Piacentini describes himself as highly attuned to the “overall sound and impact” of classical guitar. The album’s three works affirm this assertion, and indicate this sensitivity also applies to pieces which pair guitar with an ensemble (Miniatures) as well as compositions written for a different set of instruments entirely (Chasing Shadows). Throughout CHIAROSCURO, the guitarist’s musical mindset as a solo performer remains a central influence on the album’s compositional personality.
The title track’s five movements feature a distinguished improvisatory style, which develops with enthralling spatial characteristics that blend the guitar’s various timbres with added reverberation. Under Piacentini’s virtuosic hands, Chiaroscuro beautifully mixes harmonics, tremolo, and other techniques that yield a detailed musical landscape rich with naturalistic imagery.
Miniatures expands the guitar-centric color palette of Chiaroscuro, with an accompanying ensemble accentuating the six-string’s timbres with flavors of bass clarinet, vibraphone, percussion, viola, and violin. At points, the strings and bass clarinet seemingly emerge from the sound of the guitar, illustrating the connection between Piacentini’s perspectives as a composer and performer. Chiaroscuro and Miniatures share similar structures; each work has multiple movements based on specific images – seasons and times of day in Chiaroscuro, and paintings in Miniatures – and tend to present musical snapshots more than transforming narratives.
In addition to its absence of guitar, Chasing Shadows – for violin, bass clarinet, vibraphone, and harp – is a distinct work on the album. Here, the violin is the primary soloist, and leads the listener on an exciting and beautiful musical journey. Accordingly, Piacentini designs an exquisite violin part that traverses a range of moods and energies, from determined athleticism to yearning lyricism.
Since first picking up the guitar at age nine, Giovanni Piacentini’s studies as a composer and musician have led him across the globe, furthering his craft with mentors and universities in his native Mexico as well as Italy, Switzerland, and the U.S.
Piacentini identifies instrumental sound – particularly that of his guitar – as one of his compositional and performative focuses, which adds the unique perspective of a dedicated musician to his compositions
His versatile compositional style has produced works for a diverse range of musicians, including violinist Tim Fain; harp group Duo Scorpio; and sTem Trio, which features piano, clarinet, and voice
The three compositions on his debut album differ in their structure: Chiaroscuro and Miniatures are sets of short, self-contained movements, while Chasing Shadows is more narrative and transformative
ALSO ON NAVONA
Release Date May 12, 2017
Catalog #: NV6097
CHIAROSCURO Suite in five movements for solo Classical Guitar
Giovanni Piacentini guitar
01 I. Spring Light (Mono no Aware) 物の哀れ
02 II. Summer Light
03 III. Night Sounds
04 IV. Autumn Light
05 V. Winter Light
06 CHASING SHADOWS for Violin and Chamber Ensemble
Tim Fain violin Mike McGinnis bass clarinet Jane Yoon harp Chris Graham vibraphone
MINIATURES for Chamber Ensemble (Based on paintings by Odilon Redon)
Brian Walsh bass clarinet Matt Cook percussion Derek Tywoniuk vibraphone
Giovanni Piacentini guitar Andrew Tholl violin Andrew McIntosh viola
07 I. Apparition
08 II. The Cyclops
09 III. Leda and the Swan
10 IV. Melancholy
11 V. Mystère
12 VI. The Smiling Spider
13 VII. The Raven
Recorded 04/09/2016 at Avatar Studios (studio G) in New York City NY
Recording Engineer Kevin Killen
CHASING SHADOWS (Commissioned by Tim Fain)
Recorded 07/25/2015 at MSR studios (studio B) in New York City NY
Recording Engineer Alejandro Venguer
MINIATURES for Chamber Ensemble
Recorded 07/01/2016 at Citrus College Studios in Glendora CA
Recording Engineer Nick Tipp
Photography Sergio Granados Saldaña
Concept Design Pablo Davila
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette
Mastering Levi Brown
Art & Production Director Brett Picknell
Graphic Design Emily Roulo
Marketing Samantha Granville, John Higgins
© NAVONA RECORDS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.
223 Lafayette Road
North Hampton NH 03862
603.758.1718 x 151