Monday, May 15, 2023

Ritratto By Carlo Matti




Carlo Matti

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I found this new album by Carlo Matti very compelling, it is music I could listen to all day whilst in my own sanctuary and hidden away from the world, perhaps watching sun rays filter in through a half open curtain, creating ambience as every second and every moment ticked off the clock; this release for me was one of the most ambient, yet reflective musical manifestations I had heard for a while, and I adored it.

Ritratto means Portrait and the five pieces contained within, each gave us their own personal reflections on life and its rich tapestry of memories. Qualcosa che riguarda l'Universo was stunning, it reminded me a lot of Keith Emerson’s desire to perform more music of a classical nature in the early 70’s, here Matti manifested music for another reality entirely, and as the title translates to English, Something About The Universe, I think the composer has succeeded in creating an alternate one for us to enjoy its narrative over and over again with.

The classical nature of the first track created a wonderfully interesting juxtaposition to the following composition entitled Contrappunto della Mente or as translated in English, Counterpoint of the Mind. This is a deeply thoughtful musical prose, which I very willingly submerged myself into, a creation packed with energies of yesteryear, and times long since passed; the performance by the pianist was a touch of nothing less than introspective genius.

Valzer della Principessa is our third of five tracks, and one could with ease see a beautiful young monarch waltzing to this manifestation, perhaps as a ghost of a long lost love, and across the dance floor of some ancient palace in a far off time, this was a spectacular presentation by the artist, the build and progression was sublime too, and to hold the tenderness in balance doubly so was truly splendid.

The penultimate offering from the album is Pedanterie Poetique or translated Poetic Pedantry. This composition is a fine example of the artist’s expertise; once more a juxtaposition of brilliance is illustrated by the pianist here, bringing a sense of abandon versus pedantry into the manifestation, in an arrangement that was quite liberating to listen to.

The concluding musical moment is entitled Dov'eÌ l'Orsa Maggiore, or translated, Where is Ursa Major? A sublime performance can be heard here by Matti, he is at his artistic best, utilising all of his talents as he brings to us one of the finest concluding creations you could wish for, explorative, expansive, meticulous and meditative, and in doing so he has manifested a piece that drifted into many musical harbours, ambient, classical and minimalistic, in a superb ending opus.

Ritratto by Carlo Matti is one of those albums that I come across rarely, one that for me was a timeless cascade of ambient bliss, wrapped up in classical overtones, and housed in a memory palace so vast that one could easily get lost within its structures, this must be one of the most intelligent and beautifully performed piano based albums I have heard for quite some time, it is without doubt a must have for any ultra-serious musical aficionado. 

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