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Imago (Image): Works by Moira Lo Bianco, Kurt Cobain, Louis Couperin, Cathy Dennis, Stefani Germanotta, Nadir Khayat, Arvo Pärt, Erik Satie / Moira Lo Bianco, piano

Album Summary

>Couperin, Louis : Prélude for harpsichord in D major (Pièces de clavecin, no 2)
>Satie, Erik : Véritables préludes flasques pour un chien (Truly Flabby Preludes for a Dog), for piano
>Bianco, Moira Lo : Toxic/Come As You Are, for piano
>Bianco, Moira Lo : The Dancing Cat, for piano
>Bianco, Moira Lo : Re-imagination of Gnossienne no 4, for piano (after Satie)
>Bianco, Moira Lo : Sketchbook, for piano
>Bianco, Moira Lo : Bloom, Orange Tie, for piano
>Bianco, Moira Lo : Improvisations on Véritables préludes flasques, for piano (after Satie)
>Bianco, Moira Lo : Gregorian Effects, for piano
>Khayat, Nadir : Bad Romance
>Pärt, Arvo : Für Alina, for piano
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Moira Lo Bianco weaves together a beautiful musical tapestry in her solo album, Imago. Presenting varied musical forms, including unmeasured preludes, free-form pieces, suites, and song forms, Lo Bianco fuses together popular and unknown, and notation and improvisation to display her masterful artistry. A strong advocate of improvisation, Lo Bianco, through her teachings and live performances, promotes the idea that improvisation is fundamental to music and belongs in the classical tradition.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia (03/06/2015); Steinway Hall, NY (03/06/2015); Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia (04/30/2015); Steinway Hall, NY (04/30/2015); Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia (06/29/2015); Steinway Hall, NY (06/29/2015); Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia (09/17/2015); Steinway Hall, NY (09/17/2015); Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia (11/24/2015-11/25/2015); Steinway Hall, NY (11/24/2015-11/25/2015).

The program of this release by Italian pianist Moira Lo Bianco is nothing if not experimental. Exclusive classical listeners may wonder about the identity of the composer Germanotta listed for track 21 (sample this one and see if pop fans can identify it); it is none other than Lady Gaga. Kurt Cobain also makes an appearance, paired with Britney Spears, with the music of all these rock/pop artists boiled down to Lo Bianco's own distinctive piano style. That style is influenced by Satie, who appears near the beginning as a descendant of François Couperin, the program opener. All this frames a series of Lo Bianco's own compositions, which take off from Satie in a variety of different directions including Middle Eastern music, jazz, and freeform improvisation. These pieces are never dull, and Lo Bianco presents a distinctive way of incorporating pop compositions into a classical piano language: the pop pieces are not "crossover" items. The overall structure of the program, with relatively brief introduction and conclusion framing a substantial utterance from the composer-pianist herself, is also novel. It may also be that the whole thing doesn't quite hang together, a feeling underscored by the concluding Für Alina of Arvo Pärt. This work seems to come out of nowhere. Steinway's engineering, at Steinway Hall in New York and Sono Luminus studios in Virginia, is a major plus: Lo Bianco's piano has a distinct velvety sound. An attractively fearless even if not entirely successful project. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Couperin, Louis : Prélude for harpsichord in D major (Pièces de clavecin, no 2)
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Satie, Erik : Véritables préludes flasques pour un chien (Truly Flabby Preludes for a Dog), for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1912

>Bianco, Moira Lo : Toxic/Come As You Are, for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bianco, Moira Lo : The Dancing Cat, for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bianco, Moira Lo : Re-imagination of Gnossienne no 4, for piano (after Satie)
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bianco, Moira Lo : Sketchbook, for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bianco, Moira Lo : Bloom, Orange Tie, for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bianco, Moira Lo : Improvisations on Véritables préludes flasques, for piano (after Satie)
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bianco, Moira Lo : Gregorian Effects, for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Khayat, Nadir : Bad Romance
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Stefani Germanotta.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Pärt, Arvo : Für Alina, for piano
  • Performer: Moira Bianco (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1976