The pairing of a piano and a guitar – though not so rare in popular music of any style – makes for unusual and often brilliant harmonic colouration. The piano is, after all at its heart, a stringed instrument but the music being produced by means of the effect of a series of hammers can produce a many-splendoured effect. Meanwhile the guitar – played by means of plucking [that is pizzicato] might also have a kind of percussive effect. But when it is played as dexterously as it is by Francesco Cataldo much more seems to occur in the lyrical miniatures that are this music.
The guitar, in Mr Cataldo’s elegant hands has a huge vocabulary of sounds and effects which, when combined [both with other effects and sounds he is able to extract from his instrument and with the piano and other instruments in this ensemble] make it sound as if it is as big as an ensemble in and of itself. Francesco Cataldo has the requisite virtuosity and insight into his instrument to make that happen and he deploys them judiciously throughout this beautiful repertoire.