31 songs / music

31 songs: Go With The Flow

I have found teacher b’s new section “31 Songs” to be very inspiring and I want to tell you about a song that, I feel, has made a great change in my life.
It all happened one ordinary afternoon five years ago. I was in middle school practising in the school choir when I heard the most enchanting melody ever. Somebody had started playing the piano so I sneaked out of the auditorium and peeked into the room next door. I stood behind the door gazing at the fingers flying over the keyboard like feathers. I spent five minutes in a trance and, as soon as the boy played the last note, everything went back to normal. I gasped and a “wow” came out of me; I asked him whose piece it was and he replied :“Go with the flow” by Giovanni Allevi.

I had no idea who he was talking about so as soon as I got home I googled him and there he was, the man who had changed my life that afternoon 🙂

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Giovanni Allevi is a pianist and a composer of international fame, he was born in Ascoli Piceno on April 9th, 1969. He graduated in philosophy cum laude; he has published six albums and he has also written a book called “La musica in testa” – a diary which collects his thoughts, his experiences and some anecdotes.
Over the years Allevi has been often accused of being simply a mass media phenomenon, nothing but the “result of a marketing strategy”, as Piero Maranghi, director of “Classica” (television channel fully dedicated to classical music) said.

Allevi has also been criticized for his conceit (he defines his music as a “visionary project” for “establishing the basis for a new cultured contemporary music”).

But other musicians have plead Allevi’s cause, recalling that “his success gave a new birth to piano, and encouraged many young to take piano lessons. In these debates I see only envy”, as the pianist Nazzareno Carusi said to the national newspaper “Panorama”.

Personally, I don’t think Giovanni Allevi’s music is commercial, although there are plenty of brilliant pianists who are totally ignored by the media.
We’re bombarded by commercial pop music…but this is what the music industry is about: promoting songs that people will immediately like, while other talents get left behind.

Anyway, thanks to Giovanni Allevi I started going to piano lessons and I haven’t stopped since! And what’s more , two years ago I received a ticket for an Allevi concert in Lecce as a birthday present! One of my dreams had become true!

As I know some of you are musicians too, I would like to ask you what you think about this topic: pop music vs classical music…

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13 thoughts on “31 songs: Go With The Flow

  1. Yeah, it’s a wonderful song! 🙂
    I can also play it on the piano…;)
    Anyway, I think that Giovanni Allevi is a constructed character for the media. His hair, the fact that he plays bent on the piano, his way of speaking…
    He also defines his music as “new classical music”…but classical music is completely different!!! It’s one hundred times more difficult!!! Allevi’s pieces are quite easy to play – if you have a huge hand – while classical music is not so immediate!!! And it has a musicality and a poliphony that Allevi’s songs can’t imitate…
    Although Allevi’s songs are enjoyable to play and hear, I prefer pianists like Stefano Bollani…;)

    • C’m on, pnove… 😉 the way a pianist bends on the piano while playing, or his/her hair style, or whatever way he/she chooses to play, has nothing to do with his/her being “constructed for the media”! As I see it, it’s his/her personal way of being INSIDE the music he/she is playing…

      Have a look at this video… would you say the same of Glenn Gould? 🙂


      • Glenn Gould also seems strange, but I think that he’s REALLY feeling what he’s playing…
        In my opinion, Allevi wants just to make an entry…and other pianists kid him for this. Look for example at this video:

        And on his music Uto Ughi said:
        “His success offends me. I’m outraged as a musician! It has no kinship with the music we call classical, neither with the old one nor with the new one. He is a dwarf when compared to Horowitz or Rubinstein….a very sad spectacle.”

      • I’m not an Allevi fan, and it is really not my intention to start an argument, pnove… 😉 … but I think that both Bollani with his impression and Ughi with his words seem to have a very high opinion of themselves…
        why no consideration at all for other musicians who happen to love and play music just for the love of it? why this need to ridicule, to deride, to criticize? what are they “offended” by?
        Live and let live, or better, “play and let play”… if Allevi had nothing to share, he’d have no fans… but he has… and I can’t see any problem in this 🙂

        EVERY modern pianist is a dwarf when compared to Horowitz, Rubinstein, Gould, Tureck, just to name a few… and Ughi himself is a dwarf if compared to Paganini, Stern or Ysaye… the world is full of dwarves! 😉

        Just listen to the music that touches your heart, my dear pnove, the music that has something to tell you, whoever is playing it 🙂

      • Yeah, that’s right…:)
        In fact I have no favourite pianist or musician in general, I just listen to what I like…:-)
        P.S. I also said that I play some of Allevi’s songs…;-)

      • I’d already thought about it, but there is a LITTLE problem….
        My piano is out of tune!!!! 😦 xD

  2. Duke Ellington said there are just two kinds of music, the good one and the bad one; so pop, classical or whatever: who cares?
    To pnove: every artist is also a character for the media. The question is: contrived or not? I don’t think Giovanni Allevi is contrived. In his aspect and behaviour he is absolutely natural and spontaneous, the way Glenn Gould was (check out some of his videos) or Stefano Bollani is. By the way, talking about easy or difficult music, the same Bollani said: “In the piano there are white keys and black ones: if you also play the black ones, then you’re playing jazz…” 😉

    • Yeah, but he said that just for joking! I think that the “jazz swing” is very difficult to learn. I found a bit of theory on it and some exercises and the simplest ones are very complicated! – as far as rhythm is concerned…
      Jazz teachers say that it takes al least two years to learn the jazz swing – if you are a good pianist…

  3. Yes it’s true. But think of all the great piano players of the past: nobody had gone to a jazz teacher to learn how to swing! This is something you learn by playing and listening to other people and then playing WITH other people…

  4. Wowowo! I never thought such an interesting debate could start! I am pleasantly surprised 🙂
    I like other pianists too, Bollani, Gould, Petrucciani, for instance and many more and I agree with pnove on the fact that Giovanni Allevi has built a character for the media but as teacher b says that’s his way of feeling his music and this doesn’t mean other musicians have the right to make fun of him! We’re all different and we all feel different things but that’s the way it is meant to be. What would happen if we were all the same?!
    I think of music as a universal value and in my opinion it must be a way of bringing people together!
    And just “go with the flow” 🙂

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