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Lucio Lazzaruolo - 2006 - "My Favourites"

(40 min, Mellow)

TRACK LIST:                    

1.  Tarantella 4:00 
2.  Andante Allegro 1:04 
3.  Marcia & Flauta Magico 3:15 
4.  Scarborough Fair 0:47 
5.  Andante Opus 35 1:32 
6.  Liebeslied 3:11 
7.  El Negrilo 1:55 
8.  Tales of the Intervals 1:15 
9.  Life of Agony 1:53 
10. An Malvina 3:21
11. Horizons 1:42 
12. Romanesca 3:42 
13. Allegro Moderato 1:14 
14. A Pagan Place 2:19 
15. Priere Redigieuse 3:08 
16. Andante Opus 31 1:44 
17. Andante Opus 45 2:47 
18. Moderato 1:34 
19. Andante Opus 6 1:02 
20. Half-human Town 1:50 
21. Andante Opus 60 2:18 
22. Grotesque 2:03 


Lucio Lazzaruolo - classical guitar
Danilo De Luca - flute (9)

Prolusion. "My Favourites" is the first solo effort by Lucio LAZZARUOLO, who is known to many as the primary mastermind behind the Italian band Notturno Concertante.

Analysis. The album contains twenty-two tracks and, just as its title suggests, is a collection of Lucio's all-time favorite musical pieces. Almost all of them represent the maestro's solo performances on classical guitar, the only exception to this rule being Life of Agony, on which he is joined by the flautist Danilo De Luca and which is definitely the most sonically saturated. Fifteen tracks are covers (rather, precise reproductions) of the creations of Classical composers from the XVIII and XIX centuries, ten of them written by Fernando Sor, that fact immediately disclosing Lucio's secret:-) concerning his most beloved composer. Three more pieces from the said category issue from Johan Kasper Mertz's pen, and the remaining two being credited to Antonio Lauro and Napoleon Coste. Marked with distinct signs of European classicism, all fifteen of these surely remain nothing else but pieces of Classical music - only executed on classical guitar (a style and repertoire itself 'invented' by the maestro Segovia in the early 20th century). The only representatives of the present on this recording are Steve Hackett and signor Lazzaruolo himself. The two compositions by Mr. Hackett, Tales of the Intervals and Horizons, and the four by Lucio, Life of Agony, A Pagan Place, Half-human Town and Grotesque, all follow the traditions of acoustic guitar music established in the Art-Rock genre. Finally, there is also a rendering of a traditional English song, Scarborough Fair, which is the one somewhat-catchy tune in the collection, undoubtedly owing to its folk origin. I am sure that the process of making the album as such wasn't long, and that the prepared material could've been recorded very quickly. In reality however, the recording sessions stretched out from 1998 and 2004, so it's clear that Lucio didn't have the opportunity, say, to do it all at one sitting, but was forced to visit the studio only when time permitted. In any event, I was not entirely surprised by this material. Having always respected Lazzaruolo for his ability to free-and-easily manage any kinds of guitars and keyboards, I took "My Favorites" as just another example of the stunning mastery of this classically trained musician.

Conclusion. If you are an experienced Prog head, this stuff will not be something sealed with seven seals for you. The specificity of the compositions, Lucio's filigree performance and the excellent sound quality of the recording make his "Favouites" one of the most remarkable efforts in the field of acoustic guitar music today. Recommended to those liking Steve Hackett's "Momentum" and "Bay of Kings", similar creations by Anthony Phillips and, of course, Classical music.

VM: November 12, 2006

Related Links:

Mellow Records
Lucio Lazzaruolo


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