Friday, March 13, 2009

Fabio Biondi (Europa Galante), classical virtuoso

Today I'll take you a bit away from the usual electronic, synthesizer, soft-synth stuff.  We stay well inside the musical domain, but in a different area.  Classical.

I was surfing on YouTube this evening and listened to some Jordan Rudess stuff.  I'll probably make a blog entry alter about Jordan Rudess, but for the moment let's say that, although I appreciated very much his technical skills, I had to admit that musically speaking, we were not connecting.  Don't get me wrong: I liked what he was playing.  It was just not my cup of tea artistically.

I don't know how many of you are like me, but after listening to music that I'm not "that much" into, I need to compensate by listening to material that I feel more connected to.  The problem is, Jordan Rudess is a very skillful player, so I needed to listen to material that was at least as challenging technically speaking.

Spontaneously, my finger wrote the name: Fabio Biondi.  It was the first time I ever looked up Mr Biondi on the net, and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few descent videos of him and his formation Europa Galante.

To me, Fabio Biondi is a great source of inspiration.  The first time I ever heard Fabio Biondi was in a Quattro Stagioni interpretation ... that literally blew my hat off.  I mean, wow.  He picked a composition that everybody knows, and interpretated it in a way that took it in a whole other level.  It felt like I heard this piece for the first time.  It revealed aspects of the material in bright new light.  Some of you might think: OK, so the guy got impressed because he  heard too few "contemporary" versions of Vivaldi's stuff.  It's not the case.  Although I'm very much into electronic music when it's time to compose, I'm much more into classical and jazz when I listen to music.  And I've heard my share of fair, and bad, interpretations of the Quattro Stagione - or of the full Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione.  Would I go as far as to say that the guy is a genius?  Well time will tell, but as far as I'm concerned, yes.  If you disagree, you'll have to at least admit he is, at the very least, a virtuoso.

So I invite you to get a listen to the man's work.  I've find this Scarlatti video that will enable you to hear his skill, with a descent audio quality:

And also:

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