Being a cinephile such as I am, music forever conjures up a setting. The place, the furniture, the inhabitants, its state of disrepair and most importantly the characters that inhabit this place. Italian born Emanuele Cintura Torrente is a serious full on intellectual when it comes to the reason of music. He has written a manifesto stating how it should be interpreted. This is what interested first hooked me about Maestro Torrente. It read partly as a defiant political statement, by a classicist no less, and a statement of intent, by a classicist no less. It told me a lot about of the character of Maestro Torrente. Music and cinema sit next to each other. Both, when the intent of the artist is pure represent “the logic of the infinite,” meaning that good music (and for that matter cinema) has something for everyone. There is a dance, a kiss, a tear for each of us. It matters not what its genre is, only that it “makes better the human condition,” to quote Maestro Torrente.
It is a heavy burden that Maestro Torrente carried as I sat down to listen to his 2 CD collection entitled Recordings 2004-2014 Vol. 1 & 2. His wisdom intrigued me but could he translate that into album form? As well, being a musical theorist, could he make the music interesting, engaging and passionate and not academic? Could I feel his passion for the creative endeavor? I know what it feels like so I feel I know when the performer or the actor is simply going through the motions and let me say, Maestro Torrente is the an artist of the highest caliber.
The problem with classical music, for me at least, is it has to reach out and grab me. It has to tell me, “You are going to sit there and pay attention to me.” From the opening track, the 15 Min. Invenzione Continua, Maestro Torrente surprises with both an intensity and impish sense of mischief confined within almost every piece. Invenzione Continua set the tone for what was to come and at no point does he let the listener down. The first five tracks of Vol. 1 focus on string arrangements. The music is small and contained. At no point is Maestro Torrente not in control of his world, even when he switches focus to the piano on track six, apply entitled, Swing Piano.
Suite Jazz, played out in seven movements, takes up most of CD 2 and the Maestro takes up the instrument for which he is probably best known for, the guitar. Still, what pleased me most about this suite of songs is the nimbleness with which the violin, guitar, cello trio danced through the proceedings, unencumbered and free, light and intense. Beautiful music for a lazy summer day. Too bad it is dark and drab outside my window.
On the last two compositions of Vol 2 JS Bach’s Ciaccona and J. Dowland’s Farewell, Maestro Torrente shows off his adeptness with the guitar and takes us first through the Bach landscape, before ending in Dowland’s Farewell, with a care and precision that the composer would no doubt be proud of.
If you are looking for a last-minute gift for the music lover on your list, I would definitely recommend Emanuele Cintura Torrente’s Recordings 2004-2014 Vol. 1 & 2. It will be a gleam of sunlight on otherwise dreary winter’s day.
Interested in picking up your own copy? Go HERE. You won’t be disappointed. Maestro Torrente is not only an artist of the highest caliber, he is also a human being of the highest order.