Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image

Pieces of Mind & Matter
String Duets


Composer: Paul Lombardi
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 25 January 2019

Pieces of Mind and Matter features five string duos, by composer Paul Lombardi, presented in chronological order of their creation, and composed over thirteen years...

Pieces of Mind and Matter is an album that will only appeal to those who enjoy experimental classical music. I couldn't help, on occasion, feeling that these pieces sounded like warm up exercises for musicians. What sounds like random squeals and squeaks from the instruments do not make for an enjoyable listening experience. However, thankfully composer Paul Lombardi does offer a more conventional approach as the pieces rumble on.

The album opens with 'Holocene' (2004), commissioned in honour of George Crumb, features a violin and a viola gradually working through a transpositional pattern of 11 semitones. The following violin-cello duet, 'Acquiesce' (2006), features a 3-note ascending motive that transforms as its intervals increase and as it is transposed by the intervals contained within it.

Cello-cello duet 'Persiguiéndose' (2007), is inspired by a Pablo Neruda poem. The two cellos imitate one another, creating microcanons and culminating in a forceful fortissimo, before ebbing back into a mirrored pizzicato tritone. In 'Phosphorescent' (2008), for cello and double bass, Lombardi uses theanatomical differences between the instruments by combining the overlapping overtones rooted in their unique tunings (the cello in fifths and the bass in fourths).

The final and most recent piece, 'Fracture' (2017) for two violins, is a musical realization of a fractal, a culmination of the ideas which have been audibly developing since 'Holocene'. The piece ends much in the same suspended dissipation as the opening track.

The album consists of 5 pieces (47 min, 59 sec) and while I admit it wasn't really my thing, I did enjoy the deep and layered 'Fracture'.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album
Digital album