Riccardo Zegna

Piccolo Valzer

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Italian pianist/composer Riccardo Zegna leads a ten-piece strings and horns ensemble on this production issued in 2000. Saxophonist Pietro Tonolo and clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi are presented as the featured soloists in a set brimming with symphonic opuses and chamber jazz-style tendencies. Zegna's arrangements flow rather nicely here, supplanted by equal portions of wit, whimsy, lush romanticism, and an altogether sunny outlook. The artist also intersperses his compositions with cheery passages and cordial string arrangements. Zegna and Mirabassi engage in a delightful duet on the piece titled "Tjango," while the ensemble interjects sequences of free-form dialogues and jazzy horn parts on "Dualisme." Moreover, the pianist and his musical associates render quaintly organized interludes along with elements of stride and ragtime on "Rag-A-Menuet." Quite simply, Zegna's shrewd compositional skills hit the mark in a rather prolific way, with the musicians rummaging through quite a bit of musical terrain, as it all seems like it was meant to be.

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