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One of the finest versions


Roberto CACCIAPAGLIA (b.1953)
Quatro Tempo (Deluxe edition)
Roberto Cacciapaglia (piano)
Nuria Rial (voice)
Alexander Zioumbrovsky (cello): Francesco Quarabta (oboe): Gianpiero Dionigi (keyboards): Gianmaria Serranò (live electronics)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
No recording details provided.
Private release [45:00 + 41:36]

There’s a real lack of information about this slim-line twofer, but it’s essentially a reissue of the 2007 recording of Quarto Tempo, with the addition of a solo piano version of the piece (with one small addendum, to be noted later). Quite what elevates this tenth anniversary release to the status of a ‘Deluxe Edition’ is anyone’s guess; it’s perfectly attractive but rather lacking in features normally to be expected of deluxe: like notes, for a start, and dates, though the mastering is by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road, for the orchestral version.

Cacciapaglia’s Quatro Tempo is played by a contingent of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – they’re listed by name - and solo responsibilities are largely assumed by Italian musicians. The orchestra was recorded in London, the instrumental solos to be mixed into the orchestral fabric in Milan and the solo piano track at a different Milan studio. The music is a compound of Einaudi, Nyman and Morricone - and exudes romantic reverie and indeed fervour throughout the twelve tracks that make up Quatro Tempo. The piano ripples away nourishingly – it’s played by the composer – or else chords pragmatically, as in Oceano which is doused in romantic earnestness. There are deft percussive gestures in Atlantico, with strong hints both of Nyman and Irish folkloricism.

The wordless soprano vocals add their Morriconian gloss on proceedings and his use of the soprano voice as an instrument in its own right is certainly welcome given the attractive but rather repetitious nature of the music, though Floating is an eminently communicative, and essentially undemanding, example of his art with its hefty filmic allusions. Nuria Rial’s vocal in How Long vests this piece with a lullaby-like gentleness though the second half ratchets tempo and tone, generating a rolling, swaggering gait, albeit briefly. One of the most charming of the pieces is Seconda navigazione and there’s instrumental finesse to be savoured in the shape of Francesco Quarabta’s oboe playing on Ancient Evenings.

The composer’s solo piano rendition – in which the final track of Quatro Tempo is replaced by an unedited version of Il Ragazzo che Sognaba Aeroplani (The Boy who Dreamed Aeroplanes) – offers a sparer look at his work. Indeed, in its abjuring of the trappings of string wash and soaring vocal it offers a distillation, a more crystalline approach than the souped-up orchestral version.

If you’re in the market for such a confection, this not-especially-deluxe twofer will appeal.

Jonathan Woolf

Track listing
Tema Celeste
Nuvole di luce
How long
Seconda navigazione
Ancient evenings
Viaggio di note
Il Ragazzo che Sognaba Aeroplani

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