Giorgio Costantini | Universound

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Pop: Piano Easy Listening: Instrumental Pop Moods: Featuring Piano
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Universound

by Giorgio Costantini

Modern piano songs. A "trait-d'union" between classical and pop, easy listening but very emotional and evocative. If you love Eric Satie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ludovico Einaudi, Giovanni Allevi
Genre: Pop: Piano
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Alba Mundi
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3:17 $0.99
2. Life
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2:46 $0.99
3. Stardust
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3:16 $0.99
4. Perdutamente
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3:51 $0.99
5. The Emperor
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3:16 $0.99
6. A mon frère
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5:04 $0.99
7. Diario di un giorno perfetto
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1:57 $0.99
8. Oceano
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3:29 $0.99
9. Il respiro di un Amore
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3:17 $0.99
10. Tutto in una notte
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3:14 $0.99
11. Jellyfish ballet
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3:02 $0.99
12. Gio
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3:49 $0.99
13. La tua presenza in ogni cosa
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3:32 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Born in Venice and trained in electronics, Costantini has been a working musician since his early twenties, touring the world with Italian great artists the likes of Renato Zero, Fiorella Mannoia, and Michele Zarrillo. He played keyboard and synth in more than 1,200 concerts touring in Italy, USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, France, Germany and Turkey. Among the most important venues, the Royal Albert Hall Theatre, the Sporting d'Eté in Montecarlo, the National Theatre of Taipei, the "New Year Concert" in Piazza del Popolo in Rome (with an audience of 150,000 persons and TV live broadcast).
During his career, Giorgio Costantini has played and worked in Recording Studios as arranger, programmer and producer in more than 40 albums for various artists, that have won a total of 23 golden disc awards in Italy and Portugal. He has been also a member of the RAI Orchestra (National Radio and TV orchestra) and accompanied in Festivals and TV show such artists as Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, Michael Bolton and José Carreras.

Exposure to such a depth and range of artists have given Costantini a rich palette of experience to apply to his own music, which is evident in his concerts. Cited as compositions of "lush orchestral works with moody scores and distinctive sparking percussion", the journey through the Costantini' songs transcends merely listening to music and reaches into a listener's emotions with evocative grace. The 2009 tour for "PianoPianoForte" - the title of the first solo album - had the honor of opening at the National Theater of Taipei, the largest classical theater of Taiwan. The single "Elegia" secured the top download spot for iTunes in Italy in January 2009, and the entire album charted as high as number seven for Italian iTunes downloads at the same time.
On 2011 was issued the new album "Universound", that contains "Alba mundi", a song tuned on the orbital frequencies of the solar system planets.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
What a delight it is to start 2011 with my first CD review of the year qualifying as a “Pick”! Italian multi-instrumentalist Giorgio Costantini has released his second CD of original piano-based music, and it is an absolute beauty! Costantini’s 2006 "PianoPianoForte" was a favorite for that year, and "Universound" is of the same stellar quality. A multi-faceted composer, Costantini has written and produced music for films and television as well as for other artists. The thirteen tracks on "Universound" are made up of seven piano solos and six orchestrated pieces, some of which have a big cinematic sweep. Whether he is playing an intimate piano solo or a majestic orchestral work, the powerful emotions conveyed are clearly identifiable and ring true with nothing forced or overly-sentimental. Melodic, passionate, and haunting are words I would use to describe this album, and then I would give it my highest recommendation.

"Universound" opens with “Alba Mundi” (The Dawn of the World), which begins with a lovely piano solo and then becomes more orchestrated and rhythmic. This is a great piece to start with because it demonstrates Costantini’s sensitive piano touch and then expands into a more sweeping soundtrack. It reaches a peak and then ends abruptly. Exciting! “Life” is a gracefully flowing piano solo that leaves no doubt that Costantini is a master of his chosen instrument. “Stardust” begins as a piano solo that evolves into a gently rhythmic piece with strings and percussion. Love it! “Perdutamente” (Deeply/Madly) is one of my favorites. A piano solo that becomes orchestrated as it develops, it comes from the depths of a passionate heart. “The Emperor” is one of the “big” pieces with full orchestration, choir, and piano. Almost explosive in its grandeur, it also has delicate, stirring passages - a great piece! “A Mon Frere” (Dedicated to my brother), is another favorite. A tender piano solo that expresses a very special kind of love, it’s an emotional powerhouse. “Diaro di un Giorno Perfetto” (Diary of a Perfect Day) is a light and carefree solo that dances for joy. “Oceano” is breathtaking in its haunting beauty. A slow and almost mournful solo, it expresses deep longing and a sense of loss. As someone who becomes completely mesmerized watching jellyfish, I really appreciate “Jellyfish Ballet” and its gracefully undulating movement. “La tua presenza in ogni cosa” (Your presence in everything) closes the album with another gorgeous love song. It begins and ends as a piano solo, with passionate strings in the middle sending the melody heaven-ward, and then leaving the piano to continue speaking from the heart only to end suddenly. Gorgeous.

"Universound" is truly an amazing album! Do your ears and your heart a favor and check it out!

Heath Andrews

From Review You
Italian musician and composer Giorgio Costantini has been meeting with some musical success in his native country for the last few years, thanks to the proliferation of his music over iTunes and the internet. Having spent time playing in orchestras as well as the recording studio, Costantini's tastes and abilities lend themselves very well to creating his own style of neoclassical work. Costantini states some of his work is reminiscent of artists like Bach and Chopin as well as modern artists like Tony Banks (keyboardist from Genesis) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboardist from Yellow Magic Orchestra). The comparison to the latter of these musicians is particularly apt, since not only do they have a strong history of performing popular music, but both have recorded classical orchestra pieces as well. This is where Costantini's album, Universound, finds itself, blending the sounds of classical music's grandeur with the condensed thrill and structure of popular music.

Universound is divided into very distinct song formulas where each song is either performed on solo piano or centered on piano and accompanied by orchestration. Costantini chooses wisely to alternate between these two styles every one or two songs. This format helps greatly in creating a better flow for the album, allowing the pieces to distinguish themselves better and avoid sound-a-likes. Costantini also performed, mixed, and arranged each song himself, so if there's any problem with the songs, the blame can be laid primarily upon him. Fortunately, Costantini's talent is very impressive, and is witnessed as early as the first track, "Alba Mundi."

"Alba Mundi" begins with a soft piano intro and at thirty seconds in, introduces a simple drum beat and the beginnings of a synthesized string section. As the song continues, the drum fills get heavier, the sound of the strings expand, and the piano playing becomes more intense. Just as the song reaches its fullest, it condenses back down to its piano core and starts to expand again, all within three and a quarter minutes. The next track, "Life" is the other type of song, a slow, piano based classical ballad. Despite these songs lacking the lush sounds of the other style, there's a legitimate sense of intimacy as Constantini plays emotionally throughout, hether it be the quiet passages where each note feels emotionally weighted, or when his hands are quickly playing through scales.

Of the more symphonic instrumentals, "The Emperor" is particularly riveting. As in "Alba Mundi," the driving drum fills do wonders in adding a sense of urgency to the music and the vocal choir effects are chilling. During the sections when the backing instrumentation is subdued, Constantini's piano playing chimes through with exceptional soloing that demonstrates his talent for playing as much as it does his talent for composition. If there's anything negative about these tracks, it's that their grand arrangements sometimes overshadow the stripped down, solo piano pieces.

But, many of these solo instrumentals have a unique atmosphere as well. "Jellyfish Ballet" has about as much atmosphere as a three minute piece could possibly allow. The melody that permeates the song is rich and just dark enough to simulate the ocean depths, while being simultaneously uptempo enough to convey the majestic movements of jellyfish dancing in a current. In this respect, the earlier track, "Oceano" feels like a companion piece. The tone of both is quite similar though the former feels more elegant and the latter more bleak, like the ocean itself. The simplicity of pieces such as these convey emotion in ways that a fuller sound can not do, and Constantini recognizes this ability in his music

"Gio" is another piece, though more lighthearted than "Jellyfish Ballet," that has a simple melody which conveys more in its single piano structure than it could with more. Constantini establishes the melodic theme from the beginning and continues to revisit it as the piece continues. As ornate as the sections are that follow, the music never strays too far from its base as to sound unfamiliar. Another fine example of this is "Tutto in una Notte" which begins and ends with the same notes, yet goes through a tremendous build into a lifting orchestral section during it's middle section. This feature of Costantini's music is perhaps what makes it so accessible and enjoyable

Universound is an incredibly majestic album of instrumentals that helps define classical music in a modern sense. Giorgio Costantini has studied the works of some of the best composers in classical and popular history, and what's more, has the ability to do them justice with his exceptional abilities as a musician, and composer. The album title is a wonderful apt name, as it’s this kind of music that can have a degree of universal appeal with its fascinating blending of influences, and exceptional performances.


Review by Heath Andrews
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)