Title - 'In The Morning - Music of Alec Wilder'
Artist - Stefano Battaglia Trio
Stefano Battaglia (born 1965 in Milan) first made waves as a classical pianist, playing music from baroque and early music to 20th century composition touring the European festivals in this capacity, before making the transition to music that incorporated improvisation. A strong feeling for structure, a legacy from the `classical' years, continues to inform all his work.
On his sixth album for ECM the Italian pianist and his trio reflect on the work of American composer Alec Wilder (1907-1980). "I first came into a more direct contact with Alec Wilder's music in the early 90s," Battaglia explains, "when I was performing his Sonata for Oboe and Piano and his Sonata for Horn and Piano. I had already known some of his popular songs like While Were Young, Blackberry Winter and Moon and Sand through the intense versions Keith Jarrett has recorded. But after working on Wilder's chamber music I wanted to develop a deeper connection with his intriguing musical universe, and I've discovered an immense hidden treasure."
There are some mighty fine compositions on this wonderful, truly delightful new album. Tracks such as both 'Moon and Sand' and 'When I Am Dead My Dearest' are deep, meaningful works of musical art, whereas something like the highly impressive 'The Lake Isle Of Innisfree' is somewhat of a mini opus. The longest cut on the album, is begins slowly, quietly, passively, builds, and builds, until some extraordinary textures come to the fore to bring it home.
1. In The Morning
2. River Run
3. Moon And Sand
4. When I am Dead My Dearest
5. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree
6. Where Do You Go?
7. Chick Lorimer
And so almost three years after their last ECM album Songways, Battaglia and his partners Salvatore Maiore (bass) and Roberto Dani (drums) develop an almost telepathic rapport on In The Morning, a live recording from April 2014 at Teatro Vittoria in Torino. "My take on Alec Wilder is completely focused on the melodic aspect ... after twenty years of study I can totally identify with this music," Battaglia adds." And with that, the last track on this must-have album, 'Chick Lorimer' brings the whole experience to a most abstract, and yet truly uplifting ending.