Italian pianist Stefano Battaglia is known for his excellent technique and sensitive touch. So is percussionist Pierre Favre. It comes as no surprise that these two would someday find each other and record a duo album. The results are often slow and pretty, sometimes bordering on new age fluff, but never crossing the line. Battaglia is a master of discovering the essence of single notes, as he lets each tone resonate with near-perfect clarity. Favre, too, eschews the bombastic, treating each sound with delicate precision. Often he whispers his thoughts through his instruments, shading and complementing his partner. The nine pieces, all composed by the pianist, lack conventional melody, but each is architecturally sophisticated. At times Battaglia takes it outside, with blinding speed, reminding the listener that his light touch is by choice, not limitation. At those moments, Favre follows, though he is more restrained, never overpowering his partner. While not all of it is successful, this recording, recorded in Switzerland, should satisfy admirers of both Favre and Battaglia and attract some new fans.
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