Well, I’m a bit late with this review. The album has been released earlier this year and I’ve been able to listen to it even before. But at first I didn’t find the words, then I didn’t find the time to write something about ‘Piano Textures 3′ by Bruno Sanfilippo. Finally today I find both, words and time.
There are many solo piano releases that were presented to the audience in 2012. Most of them claim to be improvised completely. Most of them certainly are. But while Nils Frahm’s ‘Felt’ was the most fabulous and intimate one that made you feel like sitting inside the piano during the recordings, Bruno Sanfilippo’s ‘Piano Textures 3′ is a beautiful contrast that makes you feel like sitting far far away from the piano. Maybe even far above. Sometimes it seems to be a dedication to Frédéric Chopin, but the year of Chopin was in 2010 already so that I guess that it’s just the favourite tonality that Bruno shares with Mr. Chopin (and maybe – like most pianists – he used to play many of Chopin’s Nocturnes, Impromtus and Préludes). Then, suddenly, Débussy-esque pentatonic elements and consecutive fourths and fifths appear and build beautiful clouds of piano textures and echoes. ‘II’ definitely is the highlight of the album, the best considered and also – from my point of view – best played improvisation that I could find on ‘Piano Textures 3′. Again reminding me a lot of Débussy Bruno uses the complexion and scales of old spanish dances. Skillful additions of dissonances bring that certain variety and denseness that catches at least my attention. Definitely the most outstanding piece.
Some elements of it return in beautiful variations on track ‘VII’. Besides, ‘VI’ creates a very special atmosphere due to the field recordings and the feeling of sudden closeness to the piano and pianist. The epilogue is sort of a meditation in b flat and gives this beautifully calm album the finishing touch.
Bruno has a pleasantly discreet behaviour at the piano as far as I can imagine from listening to the recordings and I really like this.
‘Piano Textures 3′ is a hibernal album, not just because I listened to it again today while looking at the snow-covered streets here in Berlin.