For the progressive rock aficionados the name Daniele Liverani will be associated with either his progressive projects; the trilogies Genius and Twinspirits, where he saw himself surrounded by some of the most talented names in (progressive) rock and metal, his melodic rock band Khymera, his participation in the progressive metal band Empty Tremor, or his instrumental project Cosmics. Or perhaps it were those amazing instrumental solo albums, like Eleven Mysteries (2012, see review) and Fantasia (2013, see review) where our Italian friend let his guitar do the talking that caught your attention? All these albums were absolutely high quality music and excelled in their genre and showed the spirit of a musical genius.
But what when Daniele would return to his first musical devotion?
Trained as a classical pianist, Daniele did not really get the opportunity to show this side to a broader audience, for all the projects and albums mentioned above basically took all of his time. Until now, where Liverani releases his first classical album; An Innocent Challenge, where his piano interacts with a full orchestra.
I know a lot of friends of progressive music are into long solos on keyboards and piano and for those the step towards classical piano is just a small step. Many can appreciate the solo escapades of Rick Wakeman as well as a good solid progressive album. An Innocent Challenge can easily compete with Wakeman's classical works and for the devotees of piano music this album is a must. As a true modern classical composer, Daniele leads us through four Movements, each as impressive as the other. His virtuoso piano playing is accompanied by the orchestra in a nice subtle way, but the piano remains the main attraction. Even for a non-classical listener the compositions are nice to listen to. No dark depressive sounds, but bright and enlightened music is what Daniele shows us at this fine album.
Being able to create the music I wrote about in the header, as well as releasing a very solid sounding classical piano album, only shows how much talent this amiable musician has. With a new haircut and a different genre then we were used to hear from him, I am curious what Daniele's next move will be.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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