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Stefano Battaglia : Re: Pasolini

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In the accompanying notes to Re: Pasolini, pianist Stefano Battaglia clarifies his ingenious musical interpretations of the works of Italian film auteur, poet and political gadfly Pier Paolo Pasolini with eloquence and obvious enthusiasm. But as in all programmatic music, the composer’s own finished project must stand on its own apart from the reflected glory of its inspiration.

Each of the album’s two discs sports its own personality and distinct instrumentation. Disc one finds Battaglia merging, in various configurations, with a small group. His quietly stated themes-an apt designation for strikingly melodic pieces that often seem only to miss film credit sequences to accompany-find room for improvisation, but of a conspicuously integrated nature. Strong statements from trumpeter Michael Gassmann and bassist Salvatore Maiore, not to mention the leader’s own ringing piano work, emerge organically from Battaglia’s reflective melodies yet stay firmly grounded within his refined scores.

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