Dear friends, it’s been almost two years since I released my last album ‘Essere’ and now I am happy to announce that it has been reviewed by Maria Nockin in ‘Fanfare Music Magazine’. I really appreciate what she wrote about my works and I hope you will like it too! Here you can find the full review:
Stefano Semprini’s 2014 compact disc Essere (To Be) contains very little information about the Italian violinist and composer. He is originally from Gorizia and he graduated from the Steffani Conservatory in Castelfranco in Veneto. He now teaches in Ladispoli and Rome. His compositions were first heard in his home city in 2009.
Since then, he has presented his works at the Villa D’Este in Tivoli and Scuderie Aldobrandini in Frascati. Origini (Origins), Noi (We), and Cambiamenti (Changing) were written in 2006 and 2007. Origini has a Bach-like opening that is soon overtaken by a Schubertian accompaniment. The piece progresses into a fascinating world of 21st-century Romantic music a bit reminiscent of Brahms, but with a modern attitude.
This composer can take several compositional threads and weave them into a new and colorful tapestry.
In Noi (We), the instruments represent a couple whose love story is positive and continuing. Unlike many operatic duos, the bond between these lovers strengthens as the piece reaches its final chords.
Semprini’s playing is a bit lean and I wish he had some darker tones here, but that is simply a personal preference. True to the title Cambiamenti (Changes), Semprini frequently varies the musical colors and themes in this interesting piece. Sometimes the violin decorates the piano line and at other times the reverse is true. Since both instruments are presented equally, the reversal works well. Semprini wroteInstabile (Unstable), Essere, and Scherzo in 2010.
Instabile is the most modern-sounding piece on this disc, but I get the feeling Semprini cannot help himself as it morphs into a singable melody and reaches stability at the end. The composer tells us that Essere shows music as “a universal language that can go beyond linguistic, physical, social and cultural obstructions.” Scherzo is a
fast, rhythmic selection that forms a lively finale for this fascinating group of short pieces.
The six dialogues on this disc describe paintings, but the listener has to decide on the subject of each picture and the story told by the collection. Semprini only hints at them with the colors and dynamics of his music. I suggest that the pictures are portraits of a young and beautiful lady and her lovers who lived in 1800. First we see her with the beau her family wants her to marry.
Viewers who look closely can see that she is bored with him. In the second picture she is with an unknown man whom she has admitted to her boudoir at night. Is he a devil or a vampire? His portraits only show his handsome visage by candlelight. She spends her days dreaming of him. For six nights, he has scaled the wall to her balcony as soon as it was dark. The listener will have to decide on the ending. The composer notes that members of his audience often point out aspects of his music that are new to him. Violinist Semprini plays his music with
finesse and a perfection of interpretation that only the composer can accomplish.
He and pianist Stefano Tomassoni are obviously accustomed to working together, so their spontaneity and speed of response seem effortless. The recorded sound is excellent and each artist is heard in pristine clarity. I really enjoyed this disc and think fans of new music will want to hear it.
This article originally appeared in Issue 39:3 (Jan/Feb 2016) of Fanfare Magazine.