Alex Masi of MTV's Headbanger's Ball fame. Alex Masi, whose album Downtown Dreamers – and its single and video "God Promised A Paradise", was on MTV's rotation. Alex Masi, the up and coming metal act. And now – Alex Masi, the classical guitarist?
As an ex (very "ex") classical guitarist, this purely classical piece from Lion Records was a pleasant surprise. But you won't need that background to recognize the talent here. Masi was classically trained at the Verona Conservatory of Music, then traveled the world establishing himself as a master metal guitarist. But the prodigal musician has returned home and to his roots, and In The Name Of Mozart is the second release in what will be a triptych of classical albums. (The first was In the Name of Bach, and the third will be Beethoven.) And listen up, folks, this is not progressive classical interpretations a la Yngvie Malmsteen - this is pure classical guitar, a la Julian Bream.
The album contains seven Mozart compositions transferred from piano to classical guitar – which is easier said than done. Try playing a piece of classical piano music on guitar. It is almost impossible, and you'll never achieve the speed and the complexity and the emotion intended by the composer. The piano-to-guitar translations and arrangements were done by Masi himself, and he overdubs several guitars tracks – all played by himself – on 6 of the 7 tracks. On track 4, "Guitar (Piano) Concerto #24 In C Minor", he is accompanied by the Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra.
Besides metal and classical music, Masi has focused on various aspects of ethnic, jazz, and baroque music, he has played with artists from Allan Holdsworth and Robert Fripp through to Slayer, BOC, Triumph, Hurricane and Joe Satriani. If you have any interest in the real art of guitar playing, you'll want this album. Masi must surely be ranked among the world's top ten guitarists.
1. Allegro from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
2. Romanza from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
3. Allegro Cmaj
4. Guitar (piano) Concerto #24 Cmin
5. Rondo'a la Turca Amaj
7. Thema with 12 variations Dmaj
Total playing time: 44:09