Award-winning local composer Polo Piatti releases his second album this month. He not only created the music of Sentimental Journey but conducted the world-famous City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra from his piano.
Polo will launch the new album, recorded in Prague, at the Royal Victoria hotel on Saturday March 19.
Polo said: “This album is all about emotions. In 2012 I was asked by my friend and colleague Nobuya Monta to write a new work for piano and orchestra to be premiered in his hometown of Osaka in Japan.
“As I was considering what to compose for the commission, it was suggested to me that I should maybe write something a bit more intellectual and cerebral rather than melodic and emotional. The reason being that there might be a danger that my style of music would not translate so well into a very different, more reserved culture. Since I didn’t agree with this assumption I decided to conduct my own personal experiment and do exactly the opposite. I would compose extremely emotionally charged pieces to try and see what the reaction would be...And so my Sentimental Journey orchestral suite was born.
I took it to Japan and it was premiered in November 2012. And to my delight, the extremely positive and very emotional response of the audience proved to me that I had been right all along: emotions carried by music do transcend cultural differences.
In the late summer of 2013, the musicians who had premiered the work in Japan, decided to travel to England to perform the suite together with the Hastings Sinfonia orchestra at the International Composers Festival in Hastings.
At the beginning of 2015, I started to look for the right orchestra to record the work. In the end I chose the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and we recorded it in Prague in the autumn of the same year. What a wonderful orchestra, it was a real pleasure to work with them.
Numerous people have asked me why I called my suite Sentimental Journey. For me, the word ‘sentimental’ has always been positive and beautiful. I am using it here as in ‘with sentiment’ or ‘with feeling’ and not in its derogative form. For me, it describes that wistful, nostalgic, bittersweet feeling certain memories can evoke.
Sentimental Journey is an emotional voyage across different countries, diverse cultures and states of the heart. It touches upon my personal experiences, my youth in Argentina, my travels around the world, the incredible people I have met along the way, the situations I was fortunate to experience; all expressed in my own emotional musical language.” The CD can be bought at selected local stores including the Tourist Information Centre and ‘Imageart’ (opposite the Public Library) or online at www.seafrontrecords.com.
Polo is the founder and artistic director of the Hastings International Composers Festival, and lives in Hastings Old Town.