Album Review: Julian Tenembaum – Fragmentos

The Breakdown

One man, One Piano, a breathtaking album to get lost in

After the last few years, the need to escape life has risen its head more and more and what better way to escape than to lose yourself within music. With the melodic folds of Argentinian musician and composer Julian Tenembaum’s music. It may just be the perfect place to get lost in.

The first track is adrift itself as it introduces Tenembaum’s lyrical playing. ‘Obertura’ uses rolling piano and delightful chord changes that float up and down the keys. There’s something very spiritual about this track and you feel a need to be quiet almost as if you are spying on the performance.

With a jazz twist, ‘1111’ picks up the pace allowing the notes to run into each other giving the track a feel of building musically. At this point in the album, I am lost and in love with this mans playing. A percussive feeling to the performance echoed in a soft percussive drum beat that matches the tempo of the piano.

A tune for a rainy day ‘Eclipse’ brings the romance in the softer bass notes as the melody is picked out on the higher scale. The notes start to speak to the listener and the absence of words, which can be a struggle for people new to the classical genre, doesn’t matter. The breathing space between the chords half way through the track shows what Tenembaum can do with silence and emotion.

‘Cinigiano’ brings the sunshine with hints of bird song and outdoor noises hidden under the confident flow of notes. It’s like the summer to opening track ‘Obertura’s winter. Something that is echoed in the short running time for the track which is the shortest on the album.

Next up is the thoughtful ‘I-I3swd’ which brings the peaceful rainy day feel back that started with ‘Eclipse’ The continuing connections between the tracks is one of the strongest points of the album that ties the compositions together in a pleasing way. It’s what makes the album so accessible and a joy to experience. ‘I-I3swd’ is an experience itself and you can hear the dance inspiration from Tenembaums earlier scores created for dances.

Hope and love fills the next track ‘Amour’, with its harshly struck melodic notes and deep plodding bass. There’s plenty of breathing space between the passages that give to quiet contemplation and even meditation.

‘Nocturno’ on the other hand has a more wide awake feeling to it. The fast fluid notes fall into each other regulated by the steady percussive bass. The track has a nervous feel to it as if the notes can’t wait to be heard and held back only by the fingers of the performer. It was the track that made me fall in love with Tenembaum’s work.

Although ‘Todo Infinito’ is the second last track is has a feeling of goodbyes and farewells to it. Tenembaum is joined by cello delivering long heavy notes that the piano grows out from before being soothed by the introduction of a violin. The addition of stringed instruments gives a breathtaking soaring feel to the track especially when the piano drifts off leaving the violin and cello to close the track. The final and title track ‘Fragmentos’ grounds us with tumbling notes and is a very humble piece to end the album with. It gently lets you down and back into reality after the rest of the album has done its best to distract you from your day.

You can easily forget the album is entirely piano, and it’s a testament to the talent on display that the album is able to keep the listener engaged. These compositions were born from Tenembaum’s fascination for the piano as an instrument, which is something that you can hear within the album and the tracks. This is an album made for music’s sake and, in particular, the way music can make you feel and the emotion that can come from a few well placed notes. All done by a dedicated and hugely talented musician that is Julian Tenembaum.

Check out the track Nocturno, below

ind out more via Tenembaum’s Facebook

Purchase the album here

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