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(20 min, 'Do-Re')
TRACK LIST: 1. Sonata in Am 10:10 2. Concerto in C 3:14 3. Flamenco Variations 3:17 4. Back in Time 1:34 5. Trotto 1:33 PERSONNEL: Eva Rosa - alto & soprano recorder Enrico Rosa - acoustic & classical guitar
Prolusion. ROSAE is a married duet of Eva and Enrico Rosa and is that very principal 'Danish' project of the latter musician which I've mentioned in my article of Link XII, where there are also listed all the other bands and outfits directly concerning Enrico's work, with links to corresponding reviews. The duo has two official CD releases to date, namely "Classico Atipico" and "The Incredible Journey".
Analysis. Did you ever experience a feeling when, having concentrated on some phenomenon, you find yourself beyond reality - perhaps just for the twinkling, which yet is enough for you to feel a different breath? Personally I do, from time to time - sure, when listening to some musical creations. And then a softly vibrating field wraps up around me, around melodies and harmonies, creating that very magic, which, well, just exists, defying any musicologist analysis. Since "Classico Atipico" is just such a case, I have no idea how to present this recording otherwise except by saying that this is a permanent, yet ever-changing pleasure. Unlike music, any words about it remain cold, at least unless they're expressed aloud. Inasmuch as I have no other mouthpiece but this online magazine, please, dear readers, take this material as it is or, rather, as it turns out to be. So, what we have here are five instrumental pieces, all of which, excluding Flamenco Variations, are little chamber concertos for acoustic/classical guitar and alto/soprano recorder. It is difficult for me to comment on the matter whether this is atypical Classical music as the album's title suggests, so I will not go beyond my personal, perhaps narrow but honest, vision of it. The 10-minute opening track is a rendering of Sonata in A-m (Opus 1, No 4) by Handel and consists of four parts: Larghetto, Allegro, Adagio and another Allegro. The unhurried Larghetto is the only of these that has a dramatic feeling, whilst the others are light in mood. Allegros vary in their paces, but the up-tempo movements are predominant. Allegro-II reminds me a bit of improvisation (meaning those relatively free-form harmonic constructions that are adopted exclusively in Classical music), whereas Allegro-I seems to be much stricter. Adagio is slow and serene throughout and is a sort of romantically passionate confession, which (if really so:-) is definitely linked with sentimentalism. Apart from its historical solemnity, the sonata in the hands of this gifted, innovative duo opens anew to us the brilliant composer, Handel. The same words are relevant regarding the next track, which is a variation on Vivaldi's Concerto in C (Largo). By the way, the first half of this composition is quite vividly reminiscent of Firth of Fifth from "Selling England By the Pound", some fragments from the other classic Genesis albums - those featuring only Steve Hackett on acoustic guitar and Peter Gabriel on flute, as well as some pieces from Steve's first (and undoubtedly best) solo release, "Voyage of the Acolyte". Wonderful stuff. Two compositions penned by Enrico Rosa, Flamenco Variations and Back in Time, follow that tune, strongly differing from each other. The former is the one without Eva's participation and, hence, is an acoustic guitar piece. The music is mostly rapid, sounding usually in a full accordance with its title, though at times the flight of Enrico's fantasy leads him slightly away from that style. This is by no means an ostentatious demonstration of the player's technical skill. Above all, Flamenco Variations brightly shows its maker's ability to widen the palette of an acoustic guitar, revealing a really striking diversity of polyphonic possibilities of that instrument. Eva returns on Back in Time. This moderately slow tune reveals new verges of the duo's talent - their delicate sense of music's poetry and emotionality. The closing opus, Trotto, is credited to an anonymous composer from the XII Century. Therefore it is no surprise that the music is full of cues to the Middle Ages and has additionally some folk feeling.
Conclusion. Rosae's "Classico Atipico" is definitely a must have for all lovers of acoustic progressive music of any kind. Personally, I am just astonished with this recording, and I didn't add an exclamation mark to its rating just because it's quite brief, while I'd been much happier had it been at least twice as long as it is. But then the recent offering from Rosae, "The Incredible Journey", is a full-length CD, being subtitled as both simply and expressive as "Chamber Prog". Look forward for a review of it.
VM: November 8, 2006
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