Award winning guitarist and composer Peter Xifaras has completely exploded the music spectrum with this totally stunningly, amazing double CD album, blending classical, symphony, ambient, and electronica together to create something magical, inspiring and all enveloping.
Beginning with Disc 1, which in this situation is a great place to begin, he entices you into what could be considered as your own night in listening to seriously good symphony orchestra; But then the entire musicscape changes to an up-tempo perspective; music telling a story, what a story.
The first segment Dreams in Bloom consist of six pieces which form the basis for Disc 2 and provided the inspiration of the written story created by Blu DuBois of The Living Pen, a story of love, dreams, melancholia and so much more.
The final piece in this section is Dinner with Friends, inspired by the very real reunion of friends who had not enjoyed each other’s company for more than 25 years. When they came together once again, over a good bottle of wine and food, it was as if it was only yesterday they were together, making music, sharing stories, living life.
Variations on a Theme of Tromboncino is a contemporary visitation to music composed in circa 1500 by Italian Composer Bartolomeo Tromboncino, which is based on the Frottola, a secular song style popular in Italy throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. The four part style is beautifully revisited with the haunting sound of violins introducing the beautiful vocals of Felicia Farerre. The words are sung in Italian making this a poignantly beautiful tribute, presented in modern meter, to those composers of yesteryear whose music lives on into modern times.
Gymnopedie Variations is another revisitation of two piano pieces composed by French composer Erik Satie, a pioneer of the ambient style of music; relaxing and unobtrusive. Piano played with precision introduces the segment creating a change of style, direction and emotion, which when followed by a compilation of strings underpinning the piano, is a pleasure to enjoy. Blu has the comfort of being a familiar piece, until the elements change pace, just before they slide back into that comfortable zone once again. Fabulous!
The final component to Disc 1 is Hevene Quene which is based on the 13th century composition of an unknown person. Introduced with a flurry of well-engineered percussive sound, the two track section then moves into the olde English sound of a stringed instrument being plucked and strummed, before once again Felicia Farerre adds her elegant vocals to the mix to give a unique perspective to this time old composition.
All this before the second disc is begun, is a bit like being introduced to too much beauty in one sitting. Disc 2 is glorious as it presents the story Dreams in Bloom, narrated by Joan Jacobs, telling the story of love, laughter, desire, romance and then the letter. Sadness, fear and acceptance of things passed and things to come: Reunion, presents, gifts and renewal in the Garden by the Sea. Jacobs’s beautiful English voice balances out the beauty of both the story and the song cycle of music.
This is more than an album, composed by a fearsomely talented composer; it is a work of love, of understanding and inspiration, as Xifaras has taken the concept that music tells a story, which it indisputably does, adding a gentle tale written to compliment the strands which are all presented in the ‘instrumental order they are meant to be heard’.
This is indeed something special and showcases Peter Xifaras’s versatility and ability to blend a wide a range of music and influences into a living work of art.
|Artists||Symphonex Orchestra - Peter Xifaras|