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Classical Music Review

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Through Time and Place
Compositions by James Lentini


Composer: James Lentini
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 March 2020

Through Time and Place is an ambitious cross-section of James Lentini's extensive catalogue. The award-winning guitarist and composer gives us a collection of previously unreleased recordings made over the course of his long career. Almost all of them are commissioned works or competition winners...

There's a wonderful cinematic quality that weaves its way through the pieces on James Lentini's new album. This review will probably put a few music snob's noses out of joint... but here goes...

The final moments of 'Sinfonia di Festa' reminded me of the work that John Williams delivered in the '80s for the Indiana Jones movies. It's bold and engaging and conjures up so many images. This is followed by 'Through Time and Place (Symphony No. 1) - I. Reflection', which, again, brought to mind the work of Williams, most notably his score for the Star Wars films. It also has elements of Jerry Goldsmith's music for the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes. And the album is peppered with a nod and a wink here and there to styles that were once popular in movie compositions.

The pieces range from music commissioned to celebrate anniversaries of various institutions, but there are also personal touches, such as the intimate 'The Angel's Journey'. Lentini wrote the piece in memory of his grandparents, using the letters of their names to create the main motifs.

The three-part 'Three Sacred Meditations' is a beautifully structured work for chorus, soprano soloist, and orchestra, which uses text from The Bible. The album closes with the engaging, 'Dreamscape' which really does leave the listener wanting to hear more.

I have to admit that I caught the spirit of Williams quite a few times throughout this wonderfully rich collection. That's not meant as a complaint, or mentioned to belittle Lentini's work in anyway. It's actually intended as a compliment. His music here is rich, diverse and instantly accessible. Through Time and Place is a wonderfully modern collection of classical pieces that hark back to the past as well as looking forward to a brighter future.


Darren Rea

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