author: Kathy Parsons
“Pianopianoforte” is a gorgeous collection of piano-based pieces by Italian composer/arranger/pianist Giorgio Costantini. Costantini has toured extensively with Italian and international artists, worked on Italian television, produced an Italian rock band, and also works as a trainer at The Michel Hardy University of Psychology where he creates music for health, meditation, and relaxation. A native of Venice, Costantini has been based in Rome for close to twenty years. He has been researching the depth of emotions in the human soul and looking for a piano language that could be a “trait-d’union” between classical and pop music - “easy listening but very evocative.” Costantini sites Michael Nyman, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Erik Satie, Debussy, and Ludovico Einaudi as influences - a heady blend! I also hear a bit of early Yanni here and there, but that could be the Mediterranean influence. Most of the tracks are well-orchestrated using keyboards, but this is primarily a piano album. Lyrical and melodic, several of the fourteen pieces have the dramatic sweep of a soundtrack. The opening track, “Tutto l’amor perduto,” is one of those pieces. Using a catchy rhythm and a soprano voice, this piece is both hauntingly beautiful and uplifting with guitar, strings, and piano. A great beginning! “Elegia” is an elegant piano solo with a mood of sadness and longing. “Adagio” is more symphonic, with a simple melody line on piano and lots of strings. It feels very classical, but the background rhythm brings it into the present - a very effective approach! Satie’s influence is clear in the simple grace of “Desert,” a piano solo for about half of the piece and then a full orchestration. “Nero” is one of the “big” pieces that sounds a bit like Yanni. Piano, voices, strings, and a crisp rhythm make this piece a standout. “Rain” is another favorite. Kind of a duet for piano and guitar, background strings add a wash of color. The piece begins and ends with a melancholy melody, and has a gently flowing interlude in the middle - a great piece! “La Tempesta” begins with a strong sense of turbulence, becomes calmer, rebuilds, quiets, and just ends - I really like this one, too! “Arcobaleno” is a graceful, introspective piano solo that truly comes from the heart. Strong and evocative from start to finish, there isn’t a weak track on “Pianopianoforte.” I’m thrilled to be introduced to the music of Giorgio Costantini, and this CD is sure to be on my “favorites” list! Sheet music is available from Giorgio’s website as a download. Very highly recommended!
Born in Venice and trained in electronics, Costatini has been a working musician since his early twenties, touring the world with Italian artists the likes of Renato Zero , Fiorella Mannoia, and Michele Zarrillo . For seven years, he was also a member of the RAI Orchestra, and accompanied such artists as Lenny Kravitz , Elvis Costello , and José Carreras. Exposure to such a depth and range of artists have given Costatini a rich palette of experience to apply to his own music, which is evident in PianoPianoForte. Cited as compositions of "orchestral works with moody scores and distinctive sparking percussion", the journey through PianoPianoForte transcends merely listening to music and reaches into a listener's emotions with evocative grace. The 2009 tour for PianoPianoForte had the honor of opening at the National Theater of Taipei, the largest classical theater of Taiwan.
Costatini's work has been gaining international notoriety for its use in European ad campaigns and also Costatini's fervent fan base helping to spread his music via the Internet. In 2008 PianoPianoForte reached the Top Myspace Artist Charts in UK for all genres, and stayed at number one and in the top 10 for over eleven weeks. It climbed to number one on the Italian MySpace charts, and reached number five on the Top MySpace Artist charts in the United States. 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.