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





Libby Larsen


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 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.



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