The program of this release by Italian pianist Moira Lo Bianco is nothing if not experimental. Exclusive classical listeners may wonder about the identity of the composer Germanotta listed for track 21 (sample this one and see if pop fans can identify it); it is none other than Lady Gaga. Kurt Cobain also makes an appearance, paired with Britney Spears, with the music of all these rock/pop artists boiled down to Lo Bianco's own distinctive piano style. That style is influenced by Satie, who appears near the beginning as a descendant of François Couperin, the program opener. All this frames a series of Lo Bianco's own compositions, which take off from Satie in a variety of different directions including Middle Eastern music, jazz, and freeform improvisation. These pieces are never dull, and Lo Bianco presents a distinctive way of incorporating pop compositions into a classical piano language: the pop pieces are not "crossover" items. The overall structure of the program, with relatively brief introduction and conclusion framing a substantial utterance from the composer-pianist herself, is also novel. It may also be that the whole thing doesn't quite hang together, a feeling underscored by the concluding Für Alina of Arvo Pärt. This work seems to come out of nowhere. Steinway's engineering, at Steinway Hall in New York and Sono Luminus studios in Virginia, is a major plus: Lo Bianco's piano has a distinct velvety sound. An attractively fearless album, even if not an entirely successful project.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Véritables préludes flasques (pour un chien)|
|The Dancing Cat|
|Improvisations on Véritables préludes flasques (After Satie)|