Foglie di Beslan1
A perfect day4
Come sei veramente5
300 anelli (1ma parte)9
300 anelli (2da parte)10
Ten contemporary classical music compositions, lasting over fifty minutes, which promise to be “revolutionary”.
The album has been made with the much-valued assistance of the prestigious “I Virtuosi Italiani” (“The Italian Virtuosi”) Symphony Orchestra, with Giovanni in centre stage as composer, pianist and conductor.
“I am carried away by the music, and stop trying to resist. Fragile and emotional, I look at the world with a child’s heart. It is to this point of naive and delightful fascination that my evolution has taken me.”
GIOVANNI ALLEVI TALKS ABOUT “EVOLUTION”
Evolution is how my music inevitably evolves, and – at the same time – an arrival at a new stage of emotion.
At a precise moment the music which knocks at my head began to take on the shape and timbre of a symphony orchestra, and I, completely devoted to music – faithfully transcribed it into a score, just as it came to me, without even being able to choose. This continuous hard work has taken me four years, often causing me problems in relationships, because the music in my head just doesn’t let up, not even during solo recitals.
Following the music with my head and heart has created a situation in which anxiety and worry, which by now constantly inhabit my thoughts, can find their rightful place in the perception that I have of myself, transforming negative sensations into a deep joy in existence.
My Evolution takes me back to the spellbound little boy I used to be, and since my music has no words or glossary notes, it makes it possible that this “reverse” evolutionary path can be shared by everybody.
It so happens that the “Rebel Angel” that all of us has inside, when these notes come out, can take flight, freeing itself of the ties to a daily mundanity which slyly makes us forget about our wings; just as our heart is struck by the powerful sound of “Foglie di Beslan” (“The Leaves of Beslan”), provided that all resistance is abandoned and we make ourselves emotionally vulnerable to the music.
The evolution of the little boy reaches a peak in “300 Anelli” (“300 Rings”) a “science fiction fairy tale”, which is both the most complicated and simple of the tunes.
“EVOLUTION” is an act of bravery for someone who decisively opts for the present and the future, rather than living protected by the static complacency of a glorious past. I am aware and conscious of the fact that we now have new musical elements, which were inconceivable until the last century, and which nobody before our time had ever experienced. So it is for contemporary composers to ensure that our times can be interpreted through its art, just as all “the greats” of the past have interpreted “their own time”.
The music of “EVOLUTION” follows an idealised new beauty, which can be appreciated by everybody, which rises out of the ashes of the linguistic dissolution of the twelve-tone scale and of atonality with the use, in symphonic language, of rhythmic and melodic elements from our own times.
The symphony orchestra is the star of “EVOLUTION”, expressing itself in its multitudinous qualities of timbre, in intertwined rhythms and in its very varied counterpoint. In “EVOLUTION” the orchestra does not throw in the towel. It is not in thrall to pop music, but – with a great effort in technique – tests the boundaries of a new kind of Contemporary Classical Music. Using new vocabulary, it echoes traditional values, without adding instruments and technology which would be historically inappropriate. In “EVOLUTION” the Symphony Orchestra conquers the present using only its own strength as a “complex acoustic tool”.
The music of “EVOLUTION” is “sophisticated” because it cannot do without the complexity of the written word and the academic talents of its performers, but – since our age is searching for collective maturity – it is very probable that a lot of people will be able to appreciate it and feel that its “pop” feel takes it close to generally accepted sounds.
What the music from “EVOLUTION” is not (by Giovanni Allevi)
This is not “film music”, since it has emerged from the bravely-accepted need to be unrelated to any extra-musical element (above all film pictures, or narrative or descriptive contents). Even though it is very probable that, once it has been created, it can take on a wide range of shapes, with a life of their own, and in the future can move down paths which cannot be predicted. But – originally – the music from “EVOLUTION” finds its raison d’etre within itself, and has no need of anything else to become strong. It is music, plain and simple.
It is not “minimalistic” music, because it does not go in for excessive repetition, while it is the expression of a continuing internal change. Minimalism, originally from the USA, is the trend which is most strongly echoed in “EVOLUTION”, since it is the last musical world from which it distances itself and then strongly reasserts a European melodic and compositional style.
It is not New Age music, because it does not seek serenity, but finds its own driving force in conflict, in irregular rhythms and strong internal tension.
It is not “contaminated” or “crossover” music, since the horizontal structure of its language does not allow for the proximity of different genres, although it brings home the strength and compositional development of the musical ideas, following the patterns of sophisticated European music.
What is the music of “EVOLUTION” (by Giovanni Allevi)
It is new Classical Contemporary Music, which using instruments from the classical tradition – its writing style and its symphony – captures a modern, fresh and new feel.
The typical features of contemporary music, which are not envisaged in the pre-existing symphonic vocabulary, are primarily evident in the rhythm (“300 anelli” – “300 rings” part II), in the dynamic and percussive strength of the lower ranges (“A perfect day”) while the romantic streak and melodic intensity (“Foglie di Beslan”, “Angelo ribelle” and “300 anelli” part I [“The Leaves of Beslan”, “Rebel Angel” and “300 rings”]) have purely Italian and European roots.
The orchestral score is in counterpoint (in “Whisper”, in the playful multiple rhythms of “Keep moving” or in “Corale” [“Chorus”], which has five voices).
This is because “EVOLUTION” favours the multifaceted breakdown of musical language, with its countless rhythmic links, and looks for a sense of the beautiful in the tri-dimensionality of the melodic presentation, as it benefits from great varieties of mood. Listening to “EVOLUTION” is consequently a source of mental, rather than emotional, pleasure.
The music in “EVOLUTION” is new, with a new proposal, through novel movements, of the values of the past, because one cannot say anything of meaning about the future if our historical background is not completely understood. The new is the fruit of evolution and not of drastic revolution.
The music of “EVOLUTION” achieves serenity going through conflict and tension, reaching a feeling of inebriation through virtuoso force and rhythmic irregularity. The anxiety doesn’t disappear, but the music surrounds and overcomes it, turning it into passion and energy. It is emotional music.
“EVOLUTION” is a very ambitious project: it seeks to bring back the centrality of musical expression to Italy, after the Germanic twelve-tone colonisation in the twentieth century and the American minimalist hegemony. It is the hope that innate Italian and European musical talent can resist the everyday banalisation of ideas, which is where the world seems to be heading.
With “EVOLUTION” the contemporary composer of pure music once again has a role that is recognised by society, since his music is a bridge straight to the spirit of the age itself.