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VITUS

Music composed by Mario Beretta

17 Tracks (Playing Time = 61:48/ 6 score tracks = 9:05)

 

Album produced by Christof Neracher, Corinna Fueter, and Fredi M. Murer; and Domenico Ferrari, Co-producer of the score. Featuring Teo Gheorghiu, pianist, in classical selections by J.S. Bach, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Domenico Scarlatti, and Robert Schumann. Score tracks recorded by Mario Beretta, Bianca Mayer, and Domenico Ferrari. Sound mix and sound design by Jürg Von Allmen. Graphic design by Elisabeth Ludwig. Artwork by [ec:ko] Communications.

Sony Classical 88697-09917-2

Rating: *

 

VITUS tells the story of an amazingly gifted young boy whose parents decide to set his sights on a career as a concert pianist. The only problem is that the boy has other ambitions. Therein lies the primary drama of this European import from Sony appearing in limited release this summer.

Playing the title role of Vitus as a pre-teen is the equally gifted young Teo Gheorghiu, now 15. It is his performances of classical pieces that are spread out on this disc to fill it out. To say that Gheorghiu is talented is not going far enough. He has amazing technique and the beginnings of an interpretive ear that can only improve with age. It remains to be seen if he finds his way through the many competitions to come. He has received a couple of first prizes already and a couple of excerpts of his debut performance in Zurich in 2004 of Schumann’s Piano Concerto open and close the disc.

Classical works by Liszt (including the familiar “La Campanella”), Ravel (the “ Alborado del Gracioso” shows great promise for future Ravel from Gheorghiu), Scarlatti, Mozart (a piano arrangement of the “Lacrimosa” from the Requiem), and Bach are included as well. One of these comes from the 2004 San Marino Piano Competition. So if you are interested in being amazed at the ability of this up and coming artist, you will find much to be amazed at in the selections chosen here which are not all standard showpieces by any means.

The score material, designed to set various moods whenever the classical pieces are not playing, is composed by Mario Beretta. The music is unsurprisingly piano and strings in mostly short tracks of varying interest that create standard reflective cues that are reminiscent of Kaczmarek or Marianelli almost as if their most recent scores were tracked in to the temp. Beretta does what he can in brief segments that make one wish there had been more time for him to extend and elaborate these ideas. “The Great Love” features a gorgeous piano solo over rich harmonic writing in the strings. Both this and “Grandfather’s Farewell” kind of sneak into existence barely calling attention to themselves even on the disc as they, like other briefer cues are placed between the classical tracks.

All said, there is not much more than 10 minutes of score material here.

Recommended only for pianofiles.

 

--Steven A. Kennedy, 7 August 2007

Comments regarding this review can be sent to this address: stev4uth@hotmail.com

 


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