Piano Forte is the latest album by La Finestra, a piano solo project from Italian composer and pianist Fabio Fornaroli. Following the release of Musica improvvisata a caso guardando fuori in 2016, Fornaroli returns with a project focused on well-made narrative and emotional piano pieces.
Although strongly influenced by the Allevi/Einaudi Italian sound, Piano Forte distincts itself by a strong diversity in influences—from pop to latin music—which recalls some of the early recordings of Keith Jarrett, such as La Scala.
Through a selection of very lyrical and organic pieces, Fornaroli has been able to express a wide range of feelings. From the mixed emotions of melancholy and excitement of La Ballata dei sogni infranti, to nostalgia in Quando tu eri lei, or happiness in La Versione autumnale dell’estate.
Whilst some of the pieces in Piano Forte sound a bit too pop for me—Jonathan Livingston—they are all very well crafted and musically diverse, with some unexpected harmonic and rhythmical decisions, notably in L’Oceano and L’Alba sulla rugiada.
I cannot stop myself from relating Piano Forte to Olga Scheps’s latest release, 100% Scooter Piano Only, a series of arrangements of Scooter’s song for piano solo. What Fornaroli seems to have done here is the reverse process, designing a beautiful set of songs without words.