Friday, 28 March 2014

Album review: BRUNO BAVOTA - The Secret Of The Sea

Highlights: Me And You, Les Nuits Blanches, Plasson, The Secret Of The Sea          


This is the bright side of modern classical.

Rainy, too, but mostly bright. Bruno Bavota is an Italian composer who is like a breath of fresh air after Hauschka’s latest exploits. It’s what you get after spending too much time sitting at home in a stuffy, cluttered room. It’s what you see on the cover. I would call it unabashedly beautiful.

The Secret Of The Sea, Bruno’s third album, has a lush and opulent sound that is sentimental and never cheesy. What makes it good is the fact that it has impressive melodic substance. What makes it distinguishable is the extensive use of classical guitar (rather reminiscent of what you might hear on one of those mood-setting ‘tranquility’ records). The guitar is good and adds to the sound, but it is primarily an embellishment. It’s these thoughtful, elegiac piano lines that carry Bruno’s tunes. “Les Nuits Blanches”, my favourite piece here, is completely guitar-free. The buildup is lovely, and the intense rain-dropping climax is what I will surely come back to again and again this year. 

What a genuinely beautiful modern classical record. Painstakingly created and seemingly effortless. All sweet rain, gently whooshing sea waves and charm. May lack that vital wrong chord on occasion, but I guess that’s irrelevant. This album’s prettiness is its edge. Something you can understand when you learn that Bruno Bavota is from Naples. 

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