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Borletti-Buitoni Trust

Press contact for BB Trust
Debra Boraston
telephone +44 1424 883307
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Press Release date: July 2018

Alessio Pianelli - Sulla Quarta

In Sicily... Sarabande in My Sleep

In Sicily... Sarabande in My Sleep

Alessio Pianelli cello/composer

SULLA QUARTA: Short film and album
Almendra Music (AM0030)

Watch the video here

Sicilian cellist and composer, Alessio Pianelli, is one of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust’s most recent award winners (BBT Fellowship announced February 2018). An intriguing film accompanies his latest album release on Almendra Music that reveals Pianelli’s own compositional response to the emotional and intellectual challenges presented by Bach in his fourth solo cello suite. This project, Sulla Quarta, is the second installment* in his continuing discovery of all J. S. Bach’s solo cello suites.

"I practiced Bach’s fourth cello suite so intensively that it began to invade my dreams," comments Pianelli. "These dreams, of the Sarabande especially, eventually became Sulla Quarta [Italian for 'dealing with the fourth'] for two cellos and also fulfilled another of my reveries about performing a duo with myself.  Tangled in these dreams were other layers, other realms, representing the most esoteric and archaic cultural heritage of my birthplace and homeland, Sicily."

Alessio shared these dreams with Antonio Cusimano/3112htm, the inimitable visual artist and film-maker at Almendra Music, a progressive studio in Palermo that is a breeding ground for creativity and collaboration among musicians and artists from different backgrounds which Pianelli co-founded in 2014.

The Bach recording project is a 'slow-burn' in which Alessio is pursuing an intensive journey of discovery through all six cello masterworks. As part of the journeying he draws on other lesser-known contemporary works as well as his own compositional responses.

For the album, as well as the video, Pianelli plays both cello parts in a duet with himself, just like he did in the agitated dreams that gave birth to this story and film.

* The first album, Prélude released in 2014, features Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 alongside works by Thomas Demenga, Sulkhan Tsintsadze and Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

Alessio Pianelli
* Born into a family of musicians in Erice, Sicily.
* Studied with Giovanni Sollima in Palermo and Thomas Demenga in Basel.
* Performs as soloist with orchestras including Basel Symphony Orchestra, BadenBaden Philharmonic and RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin.
* Particpates in many chamber music festivals including America’s Marlboro and Piatigorsky Festivals and Switzerland’s Davos Festival for young artists.
* Performs in leading international venues including Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Hajuko Hall in Tokyo and the Tonhalle in Zurich.
* As composer, won first prize with Tanzen Wir! at the International Composition Competition in Clausura organised by the Ravenna Festival and 100cellos in 2016. Invited by French violinist Marianne Piketty to her Musique aux 4 Horizons festival in Ronchamp as composer in residence in 2017.
* Publishers of his works include Mueller & Schade and Casa Musicale Sonzogno.
* Co-founder of Almendra Music in Palermo, 2014.
* Recordings include solo album, Prélude, plus various chamber music collaborations for the Almendra label.
* Plays a 1921 Evasio Emilio Guerra cello.
* BBT Fellowship 2018

Sulla Quarta is available via streaming / CD / download:
Apple Music: