The Poet

The Poet

Recorded and Mixed by Bruno at Onix II Studio · Barcelona 2015
Piano: Bruno Sanfilippo
Cello: Julián Kancepolski
Violin: Pere Bardagí
Analog Mastered by Ian Hawood · Tokio

Release date: 29 April 2016 by 1631Recordings
CD limited to 999

CD available:
Denovali | Norman Records | P*dis | Amazon | Stashed Goods | White Noise

Also available digitally from:
iTunes | Amazon.com |co.uk|co.jp|.de|.fr
bandcamp | Spotify


1- The Poet
2- Before Nightfall
3- Silk Offering
4- Dead’s Hope
5- The Legend Of The Sailor
6- An Omen
7- The Book Without Words
8- Seventy-seven Years Later
9- Iron Horse
10- The Four Keys
11- Abandoned Carousel

Bruno Sanfilippo as “The Poet” paints 11 sonic canvas of exhaustively expressive modern classical minimalism at its most exceedingly exquisite and profoundly poignant. With luminary contributions of kindred souls, Julián Kancepolski (cello) and Pere Bardagí (violin), Bruno’s narrative piano wizardry significantly exhibits in awe-inspiring equilibrium with performing delicacies of his mates. The beauty of magnificently evocative quietudes is in full blossom, immerse yourself into the poet’s tremendously embracing palette of lyrical mastery and sensitive insignias as this might be his magnum opus.



Reviews

  • 1631 Recordings pitches Bruno Sanfilippo's The Poet as his “finest work to date,” which, though it might appear to be nothing more than the usual hyperbole by a record label, might very well be close to the truth. At the very least, one could say that The Poet is right up there with Sanfilippo's finest releases. Strings are the first sounds heard on the forty-minute recording, a not insignificant detail in emphasizing that Sanfilippo's interest centers primarily on the music, not his own piano playing. It appears, too, of course, but with an elegant restraint that complements the strings rather than vies with them for attention. Sequenced first, “The Poet” inaugurates the recording on an emotionally charged note, the music filled with longing and sadness, after which “Before Nightfall” perpetuates the opener's elegiac tone with a melancholy lullaby that's again wondrously realized in an understated piano-and-strings arrangement. Even at this early stage, it's clear that Sanfilippo is intent on using technique in the service of emotional effect; he's certainly capable of impressing the listener with all manner of pianistic flourishes, but in a representative setting such as “The Legend of the Sailor” he keeps it simple by concentrating on wistful, single-note melodies and chords. Moods of varying kinds are featured on the recording. The haunting “Silk Offering” exudes mystery in the tentative wisps of melody that slowly usher forth from the piano and strings. The foreboding hinted at in “Silk Offering” moves more audibly to the forefront during “An Omen,” interesting also for being performed by strings alone, sometimes to nightmarish effect. The album's most dramatic change-up occurs in “Iron Horse” when Sanfilippo plays (I'm guessing) the piano's inner strings to generate an almost gamelan-inflected meditation that wouldn't sound out of place emanating from a Japanese temple. In a few cases (e.g., “The Book Without Words” and the brief “Dead's Hope”), he opts for a more elaborate, orchestral presentation that, while it does add extra colour to the recording, is less effective when heard alongside the quieter settings, more powerful despite their lower decibel level. Sanfilippo's music might warrant the minimalism label with respect to its uncluttered presentation, but it's hardly minimal in its emotional effect. His gift for imbuing chamber classical settings with deep feeling is perhaps his greatest one; with that in mind, it would be hard to think of anyone better qualified to compose the film soundtrack for a literary adaptation than Sanfilippo.
    Textura.org
  • Già il titolo “The Poet” sottende come Bruno Sanfilippo si sia prefisso una declinazione particolarmente lieve e romantica della sua ricerca di timbri e sospensioni armoniche applicate al pianoforte. Negli undici brani del lavoro il prolifico artista di origine argentina conferma appieno tale traccia espressiva, espungendo del tutto dalle proprie composizioni i minuti frammenti elettronici presenti ad esempio nell’ultimo “Inside Life” (2015). In “The Poet” il suo pianoforte dialoga infatti soltanto con gli archi, prediligendo di gran lunga gli aspetti emozionali di raffinate sinfonie in miniatura, costellate di aperture e progressioni armoniche, che pennellano paesaggi di coinvolgente grazia cameristica.
    music won't save you
  • Following on from the success and splendour of previous albums ‘Inside Life’ and ‘Upon Contact’, Barcelona Based composer Bruno Sanfilippo has returned with a new collection of instrumentals set to entertain and astonish. Titled ‘The Poet’, the new album has the same beautifully expresses qualities as his previous endeavours, opening almost instantly with the title track, a fragile composition that blossoms into a heavily emotive, and entirely tactile piece. It’s a gentle melody that remains constantly unassuming, creeping into life on a wave of evocative notes and expresses sounds, capturing a moment and a feeling like only Bruno can. These moments of glorious serenity spread quickly from ‘The Poet’, appearing in droves through ‘Before Nightfall’, ‘The Legend of the Sailor’, and ‘Abandoned Carousel, while elsewhere the album stirs, rising its voice and speaking loudly of a narrative previous hidden from the listener. Compositions such as ‘Seventy Seven Years Later’, ‘The Four Keys’, and ‘Dead’s Hope’ dance upon tender melodies, vibrating with vivid imagery an conjuring up images from an infinite world of potential. Between the two moments lies ‘Iron Horse’, a minimalist piece that speaks through an absence of sound and allows for almost complete reflection. It’s the smallest of worlds tucked between two opposing sides, but it’s inclusion never once goes unnoticed. Another masterpiece of texture, sound, and composition, ‘The Poet’ draws the listener further into Bruno’s creative space than ever before, and once the colours of the album finally wash from your skin, you’ll feel all the better for it.
    Anthem Review
  • Classically trained in Buenos Aires and now living, composing, & recording in Barcelona, Bruno Sanfilippo returns with his third studio album in as many years in The Poet and it is perhaps his most expansive and imaginative work to date. Joined by Julián Kancepolski on cello and Pere Bardagí on violin, Sanfilippo delivers all the captivating resonance, stark counterpoint, and expressive minimalism found in ClarOscuro and Inside Life, especially on pieces like “Before Nightfall”, “Iron Horse”, and “Abandoned Carousel”, but there is fresh infusion of energy and a new-found sense of compelling narrative here as well. You can here it in the title track, “The Book Without Words”, and “The Four Keys”, and the resounding brass in “Dead’s Hope” sounds positively cinematic. We also know we can expect moments of effusive, heart-rending beauty which we certainly get in “The Legend of the Sailor” and “Seventy Seven Years Later”. IfThe Poet was a soundtrack, one would imagine it to be an absorbing historical epic and a grand film indeed.
    Stationary Travels
  • Honestly, we have lost count, but The Poet is probably the 21th (!) album of the Argentine-Spanish neo-classical composer and musician Bruno Sanfilippo, with again 11 wonderful compositions that give us goose bumps more than once. Title track The Poet is an instant success: a fragile composition for piano and cello, followed by the equally beautiful Before Nightfall, in which the sun goes down and a flaming wisp of stars is displayed. Another composition for piano and cello: andante, musing, melancholic... a perfect dialogue between two great classical instruments. In Silk Offering, the piano notes trickle out of the speakers like raindrops. The cello creates soft accents with high and humming tones, which sing along with the piano. A ballad in which sound and silence are in balance. Dead's Hope is a symphonic composition for strings, organ and trumpets. After a repetitive introduction, the theme is repeated. It is not clear whether we hear real instruments, but it sounds natural. In The Legend of the Sailor, the piano takes the lead. Small miniatures resound against a quiet and dark background, then a violin is added as a solitary monologue: the story of a little man in a big sea, caught between loneliness and melancholy. Very nice. An Omen sounds dark and threatening with a humming violin in the lead, supported by repetitive electronic percussion in the background. A stunning track with cinematic qualities. A favourite. In The Book Without Words all the stops are pulled out: the piano plays an emphatic melody, the violins float gently through the soundscape and an explosion of wonderful sounds follows. Seventy Seven Years Later may refer to historical facts of that time: the end of the Spanish Civil War. The darkness still hangs in the melody, but between the humming strings we hear a tingling piano as the hope for a better future, while high violins suggest peace and quietness. Again a wonderful composition. In Iron Horse, we hear piano sounds and bells; it would not surprise us if this was a composition for prepared piano. You can imagine that a mechanical horse produces this kind of noise when it moves, metallic and uneven in tempo, but still melodic in some way. Very special. The Four Keys is another broad composition, this time for dark strings and high violins (or synths) with a high cinematic character. The cellos sound wonderful, high violins provide a stunning contrast. Final Track Abandoned Carousel is a charming piano track that suggests loneliness and abandonment, and closes the album in a quiet way. After the beautiful and rather minimalist album Inside Life, The Poet is a much more cheerful and more vibrant successor in which the electronics remain more in the background. Piano and strings take the lead in 11 stunning compositions that we situate between Ludovico Einaudi and Federico Albanese. But actually we should not compare Bruno Sanfilippo with other musicians, because he is an outstanding and original talent with a versatile and fascinating repertoire. Buy this record!
    Peek a boo Magazine
  • "Argentinian virtuoso piano composer Bruno Sanfilippo, based in Barcelona, is back with his newest album "The Poet",by 1631Recordings, This is an emerging and blooming Swedish label, established in the summer of 2015 by Mattias Nilsson and David Wenngren. Back to "The Poet", on this album Bruno Sanfilippo joins his creative forces again with kindred performer souls like violinist Pere Bardagí, already known from "clarOscuro" CD (May 2014), and cellist Julián Kancepolski, introduced on "Inside Life" CD (February 2015). I really enjoy gorgeous drawings on the front and back cover of the 4-panel digipak, layout credit goes to Mattias Nilsson, although I don't know if he is also the artist behind these evocative drawings. If so, another kudos to him!!! I also should mention Ian Hawgood, who is the mastering expert behind "The Poet". Profoundly weeping interplay of cello and violin strings reveal this intensely cinematic splendor. During the second third of title composition "The Poet", which clocks to 3 and a half minutes, Bruno Sanfilippo joins this pensive sadness with his sparse, yet utterly embracing piano expressions. A truly gorgeous symmetry between all participating artists immediately unfolds in all its intimate authenticity. "Before Nightfall" keeps on exhibiting the virtuosities of their protagonists, again rather minimal, eloquently evocative and lullingly calm at the same time, with piano and violin infused. "Silk Offering", only slightly longer than its predecessors, awakes long buried memories, where longing cello and violin coalesce with subtly permeating piano drama. Nuancing, crescendoing and evanescing through consistently immersing glimpses of stillness. What an exquisitely painted beauty!!! Short "Dead's Hope" reaches pinnacling magnitudes with its fanfarade-like orchestrals. "The Legend Of The Sailor" meticulously counterpoints richly poetic piano subtleties with sweepingly saturating tearful strings. A sonic equilibrium at its most engrossing!!! "An Omen" with its droning cello, hidden dramatic piquancy, ephemeral rumbles, peculiar strings and lachrymose traceries shifts into astonishingly ambiguous terrains, sculpted with awe-inspiring singularities. Bravo!!! The next composition, "The Book Without Words", returns quickly to enticingly poetic paths, where soothing piano blankets masterfully commingle with fully blossoming and impressively undulating textural orchestrations. A triumphantly intense listening experience and an epic chef-d'oeuvre!!! "Seventy Seven Years Later", with 5:17 the longest piece on the album, opens with tranquil piano lyricism, while evocative stringed textures smoothly join the stage and continuously keep on emerging, meandering and climaxing. Textural palette of this narrative composition is stunningly emotive, magnífico, señores!!! "Iron Horse" invites the listener into a deeply contemplative garden, where the still of surrounding sceneries blends with some, I believe, inside-the-piano technique, maybe hitting the strings with some mallet, maybe some manual muting of the strings as well... In any case, this piece is a very refreshing addition to already richly abundant wizardries on "The Poet". Well-done, Bruno!!! "The Four Keys" composition brings back Julián Kancepolski and Pere Bardagí with their powerful expressions, precisely melting sorrowful cello with scenically textured violin. On 2-minute, nostalgically entitled "Abandoned Carousel" excels again Bruno Sanfilippo with his minimal piano poignancy and guides the album into its soothingly enveloping conclusion. Being a sound architect since 1991, when debuting with "Sons Of The Light" album, Bruno Sanfilippo certainly belongs to the most multifarious composers within ambient and modern classical driven styles. And hugely talented, potential and consistent as well, because with his piano sculptings, on which he focuses since 2007, when returning to his roots, he constantly enriches the scene with his emotive insignias, no matter if solo or coupled with creative contributions of his kindred spirits. Few months ago, when exploring 40-minute "The Poet" for the first time, I wrote this album might be Bruno Sanfilippo's magnum opus. After many spinnings, I still fully stand behind my words!!! Sure, as an aficionado of electronic charged ambient soundscaping,However, jewel like "The Poet" deserves to be experienced, cherished and celebrated!!! Hats off to Bruno Sanfilippo and his guests, Julián Kancepolski and Pere Bardagí, muchas gracias!!! And last but not least, huge thanks also to 1631 Recordings for inviting this crafted composer to their growing roster!!!"
    Richard Gürtler
  • Over the last several years, Bruno Sanfilippo has been making a focused move toward establishing himself in contemporary or modern classical composition. With The Poet, I feel he has found his current apex, and is rapidly becoming a composer who, although perhaps noted as a “New Age” artist, is breaking well beyond the borders of that delineation. The Poet is minimalist chamber music, with Sanfilippo joined by cellist Julián Kancepolski and violinist Pere Bardagí. Each piece feels delicate and flawlessly sculpted, the kind of thing you want to gingerly hold up to the light and turn over and over to see every facet. To me, the work here is lightly glazed with just a touch of sadness that never crosses into a less desirable tone of melancholy. It’s pensive and true. The title track, the moving “Before Nightfall,” and”Silk Offering” all pull the listener into that introspective cocoon while also giving us a feel for the easy chemistry between the players, the balance of the instruments’ tones. Bardagí’s lines reach straight for the heart on “Before Nightfall,” and Kancepolski’s counterpoint helps drive it home. “Silk Offering” is a beautiful blend where Sanfilippo’s patient phrasing lays down a bed for the pleading voice of the violin and the more stringent tone of the cello to work out their conversation. The pace is slow, underscored with drama, and the piece is vivid. The more minimalist side of the work comes out later, with  “Dead’s Hope” and “The Four Keys” both opening with repeating arpeggios that speak of the influence of Glass and Reich. “Dead’s Hope” is short, more like an exercise in building intensity. It reaches constantly upward, then simply stops. “The Four Keys” is a true showcase for the strings and the potency that can come from repetition. We hear the same phrases, yet they seem to rise up in meaning with each new pass. It seems like Sanfilippo wanted to roll out as many different approaches as practical on The Poet. “Iron Horse” goes strong on theme with Sanfilippo playing alone on what I assume from the sound is a prepared piano. Its notes have a metallic ring and resonance to them, and  the piece jerks along like rusted machinery, its awkward pauses creating very strong mind’s-eye imagery. “The Book Without Words” seems to grow beyond the small trio feel in places, reaching for something more symphonic with tympani rolls and layers of strings. Sanfilippo’s music-box playing keeps it anchored in a glistening simplicity. And if you’d like your heart broken, the short solo piano piece “Abandoned Carousel” will do it for you in exactly two minutes. It’s the closing piece, and whether Sanfilippo meant to do this or not, it dovetails seamlessly back into the first piece. It is about as perfect a continuation of feeling as I’ve ever heard. So if it’s on purpose, bravo. The Poet is an exquisitely beautiful set of works. While minimalist in compositional approach, the pieces here are full in ways that utterly belie that tag. The effect on the listener is maximal, certainly. These are pieces that land with emotional impact and demand focused attention. They may be delicate, but they are strong. Sanfilippo grows almost exponentially as a composer with each new release. The Poet is amazing, it is a must-hear, and it has become a personal favorite of mine.
    HYPNAGOGUE
  • Известный аргентинский композитор Бруно Санфилиппо занимается музыкой на протяжении уже двух десятилетий. В конце апреля этого года вышел его 21-й по счету релиз, традиционно совмещающий выдержанную академичность звучания с электроакустической реверберирующей атмосферой. Минималистичность партитур, вероятно, унаследованная от вдохновителя композитора — Гарольда Бадда, в одиннадцати композициях воплощается в поэтические зарисовки неизвестного автора. "The poet" напоминает личный дневник, написанный старым художником где-то в Венеции. Это снимок чувств, снятый с высоты птичьего полета: грациозность мелодики подобна правильным взмахам крыльев, а звуковой холст — пейзажу, расстилающемуся в перспективе на мили и рисующему фортепианную гравюру гармонии.
    E:\music\neoclassical