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Composer Benny Andersson: selections from the album “Piano” — CD Review, the 27th of October 2017
It is Friday, we are all preparing for the weekend and we already have a natural feeling of leisure, so I thought we should be in tune with the mood and talk in this issue of "CD Review" about an album that came out last month on September 29th. Released under the aegis of the prestigious "Deutsche Grammophon", the album puts the spotlight on the composer and pianist Benny Andersson, one of the most creative members of the famous ABBA pop band. And who does not remember at least one of their hits from the 70's and 80's, ABBA being a real musical phenomenon at the time? A truth no one doubted is that each member had lead a professional life after the band's break-up, even though none of them had ever succeeded in reaching the success that ABBA had as a whole. After working on musicals, including the collaboration for making the movie "Mamma Mia" in 2008, Benny Andersson is now releasing a compact disc with 21 solo piano works, an album which we present for the first time at Radio Romania Music. We have Benny Andersson in front of the piano, in a relationship that has not been exposed yet. "The songs I have chosen represent intrinsic parts of my soul. Even without bass, percussion, guitar and voice, I think there is meaning in these works," says the Swedish composer who relies on total simplicity and honesty for this album, and especially on emotion. In these tracks you will find chords from the famous ABBA repertoire and also from his musicals or from processed traditional scores, and you will feel the excitement that accompanies their interpretation. In this album, the composer presents a nostalgic journey throughout his career. Benny Andersson made an innovation with him preferring the sound of his instrument placed in a mere room, and not in a concert hall, precisely for the listeners to have the most real and intimate picture of the pianist performing right in front of them.
Benny Andersson's recording for "Deutsche Grammophon" gives off a melancholic and contemplative mood and is an album that has been interpreted from two perspectives. From the point of view of musicians and music lovers, it clearly does not pertain to a specific genre, which is thought of as interesting by some and perhaps too easy by others, but it is surely a soothing company on a misty and chilly autumn day. For the general audience, who enthusiastically received this album, is another way of knowing another aspect of his creative personality, somewhat closer to the chamber repertoire and to musicals, including his concert-cafe sounds. Benny Andersson says that classical music has always been accompanying him for the last 25 years, much more than pop music, in which he is little interested at the moment. We can understand better why after listening to his album. After all, we do not need to have prejudices, because music can be simple and neat - it is one of his principles and exactly what Benny Andersson wanted to share with us: a simple, easy to understand emotion, but as authentic as possible. Therefore, thank you for the music, Benny Andersson!
Translated by Adriana Oprișan,
MTTLC 1st year University of Bucharest