Album: Stefano Battaglia & Michele Rabbia, Pastorale (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

Pleasingly minimal, ambiently inclined duo of pianist Battaglia and percussionist Rabbia.

The spare, nuanced music is as close to John Cage or Morton Feldman as it is to jazz, but despite the limited instrumentation a great variety of sound is conjured up, with Rabbia using subtle electronics to amplify and extend his kit, and Battaglia sometimes playing a prepared-piano. Recorded superbly in Udine, Italy, this is "audible landscape" in the famous phrase of the poet Rilke, one of whose "Sonnets to Orpheus" inspired the title track.