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Celebrating the 750th Anniversary of Dante Alighieri, playing works by Liszt, Purcell and Wagner.
Celebrating the 750th Anniversary of Dante Alighieri, playing works by Liszt, Purcell and Wagner.
53 backers pledged £7,014 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Angelo Villani to record debut album - Dante's Inferno project video thumbnail
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Firstly I would really like to thank everyone who supports this project celebrating the 750th anniversary of Dante Alighieri, the great Italian poet, and the musical geniuses that were inspired by his work.

I am an Australia-born Italian pianist living in London, and after 25 years I am finally ready to get back on the stage. My (very!) long awaited album is entitled Angelo Villani plays Dante's Inferno. The album will be a recording of solo piano music inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, including works by Liszt, Von Bulow, Wagner and Purcell. My concept will aim to recreate the world of Dante's Inferno, depicting the burning desires, love and pain suffered by those condemned to inhabit the Underworld. 

The Album Track-list

Dante Sonata by Franz Liszt 

Dido's Lament by Henry Purcell (arr. by Villani)

Tristan & Isolde by Richard Wagner (concert etude paraphrase by Liszt/von Bülow/Villani)

Sunt Lacrimae Rerum by Franz Liszt

Dante's Sonnet by Hans von Bülow (arr. by Liszt/Villani)

Album cover
Album cover

Regarded as the 'Father of the Italian language', Dante was a Medieval Italian poet and philosopher, and after being exiled from Florence due to his political activities, he conceived the epic poem The Divine Comedy, making an indelible impression on literature and theology.  Considered a masterpiece in world literature, the poem 'The Divine Comedy' describes Dante's journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio) and Paradise (Paradiso). His unique gothic prose has inspired many artists over the centuries. 

My album depicts several characters that appear in Dante's inferno including the tragic story of the lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paulo Malatesta, who are punished in Dante's Inferno for adultery...

Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, by Gustave Dore
Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, by Gustave Dore

Tristan and Isolde - two doomed lovers. I have created a totally new paraphrase on Wagner's tumultuous and erotically charged Opera...

Tristan & Isolde by Waterhouse
Tristan & Isolde by Waterhouse

And Dido and Anaeas, a famous story of two lovers torn apart by the Gods. For this album I have made an arrangement of Dido's Lament (When I am laid in earth) from Henry Purcell's Opera Dido and Aeneas....

Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas

On Tour

November 2015 will mark the official launch concert in London, UK! A suitable venue is still being confirmed, however regular updates will be posted as soon as details are known. 

The following year (Summer 2016) I am planning to take the album on tour in Italy, where my parents were born, to trace the footsteps of Dante Alighieri and the great composers Liszt and Wagner, playing in venues they once performed or were inspired by. 10-12 concerts in small venues across Italy are being planned, including Florence, Rome, Tivoli, Venice, Lake Garda and Lake Como. Again further details will be posted once they become available.

On the 25th May 2016, I will also be performing in Tokyo, Japan at the Musicasa & In-F. 

The Team

Myself, Tony Faulkner, Tomoyuki Sawado, Nicky Thomas and Jessica Duchen have been friends for several years, and have worked together on a number of projects. I simply couldn't make the album without them. So here they are:

Tony Faulkner 

Tony and I worked together on my London debut concert back in 2012, and he will be recording my first album in August this year. Tony is considered to be one of the finest recording engineers in the world. 

Tomoyuki Sawado

Tomoyuki Sawado is my music producer, helping me in the studio and post production. He has been involved in multiple music projects and has established the largest online archive of Ervin Nyireghazi http://www.fugue.us

Nicky Thomas

I met Nicky many years ago when she was browsing in Tower Records, London (I worked in the Classical music department). In the past, she has done all my PR, (press releases, BBC interviews) to promote my debut concert. http://www.nickythomasmedia.com 

Nicky Thomas and I at the BBC
Nicky Thomas and I at the BBC

Jessica Duchen

I also met the celebrated author and music journalist Jessica Duchen when I was working in Tower Records in the mid 90's. I am so fortunate to have Jessica writing the sleeve notes for my album. Jessica has written many articles and reviews including liner notes for greats such as Grigory Sokolov and Mikhail Pletnev http://jessicamusic.blogspot.com

Author Jessica Duchen
Author Jessica Duchen

Budget:

Thank you so much for any pledge that you can make as it will be a tremendous help. Here's a breakdown of all the costs involved in creating my first project:

  • Studio hire (2 days)
  • Grand piano hire (Fazioli) 
  • Tuning by piano technician extraordinaire Bruno Torrens
  • Recording and post production editing by Tony Faulkner
  • Design and production of 1000 CD's
  • 100 vinyls 
  • Public Relations by Nicky Thomas Media
  • Accommodation and travel (for 2 days recording only)

The budget does not include marketing, distribution or the costs of taking the album on tour in Italy, which myself and some of the team will be covering. Any extra funding received will be put towards these expenses to promote the album. 

Audio

Here is my BBC Radio 3 'In Tune' interview a few days before my St John's Smith Square concert, May 2013:

 Performances

Risks and challenges

I have had to deal with many challenges in the past, and having dedicated my entire life to the sole aim of getting back on the stage, I feel I am more than able to sign myself up to the daily challenges of this project.

Any obstacles in making this album relate to delays in postproduction (e.g. production of cd's and distribution).

Thank you so much again for your support.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    'My First Album'
    For just twenty pounds, you can get a pre-released CD!

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    Pledge £35 or more About $54

    'Customised Album'
    For just thirty-five pounds, you can get a signed CD with a special customized thank-you note

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    Pledge £40 or more About $61

    'The Gloves Award'
    For just forty pounds, you can get a pair of white cotton gloves (identical to the gloves I wear at the piano), new and signed by myself. Ive been wearing gloves at the piano for many years. They prevented excess tension in the fingers whilst I was undergoing treatment. Now they are like old friends!

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    Pledge £60 or more About $92

    'The Benefactor'
    You'll get a ticket to the launch party in November 2015 (London, UK) PLUS a signed CD

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    Pledge £65 or more About $99

    'The Benefactor Plus'
    You'll get 2 signed CD's with special customized thank-you notes.

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    Pledge £75 or more About $115

    'The Crazy Music Lover'
    You'll get a pair of signed white cotton gloves used in the recording. Ive been wearing gloves at the piano for many years. They prevented excess tension in the fingers whilst I was undergoing treatment. Now they are like old friends!

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    Pledge £100 or more About $153

    'The Music Lover'
    You'll get a piano lesson for 1 hour on a grand piano in Greater London. Any age and any level! Over many years of teaching, I have coached several internationally-acclaimed pianists.

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    Pledge £120 or more About $183

    'The Super Backer'
    This is wonderful! You will get 2 tickets to the launch party in November London, UK plus 2 signed CDs

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    Pledge £150 or more About $229

    'The Classical Music Enthusiast'
    For this generous donation, you will get a limited edition of a facsimile score. This will be my own arrangement of Tristan & Isolde (or Dido's Lament) - signed, plus a CD.

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    Pledge £250 or more About $382

    'The Personalised Award'
    For this very generous donation, you will receive a personal video message (customised to suit you!) and 2-4 minutes of music performed by myself (please contact for list of pieces played), plus a signed CD.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $765

    'The Mega Backer'
    My humble gratitude! You will received a special acknowledgement in the CD (your name) PLUS
    - A facsimile of either my Tristan & Isolde arrangement or my arrangement of Dido's Lament)
    - 1 signed CD
    - A personal video message

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    Pledge £750 or more About $1,147

    'The New Musical Genius'
    For this most generous gift, you will receive a whole term of piano tuition plus a special thank you (your name) in the CD sleeve notes. Any age and any level. I have taught many students in the past, from early learners to internationally-aclaimed pianists. One hour weekly (or two hours every fortnight) within the Greater London area (times/dates can be arranged).

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    Pledge £1,250 or more About $1,911

    'The Classical Soiree'
    A private 30 minute piano recital within the Greater London area, plus a special acknowledgment in the CD, PLUS a signed CD (of course!). I can perform on your own piano, or alternatively the piano needs to be provided by yourself

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    Pledge £1,500 or more About $2,294

    'The Private Recital'
    A private 30 minute piano recital anywhere in the UK (please contact me if you are based abroad, and arrangements can be made) plus a special acknowledgment in the CD, and a signed CD. I can perform on your own piano, or alternatively the piano needs to be provided by yourself

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    Pledge £1,500 or more About $2,294

    'The Aficionado'
    I will arrange a classical music piece of your choice for the piano, dedicated to you (up to 4 minutes in length). You will also receive a signed CD and acknowledgement in the CD.

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    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,823

    'The Associate Producer'
    Be an Associate Producer for my existing (or next) project! You will have my eternal gratitude plus any of the above awards! Do please email me for further details regarding this donation and my future project idea.

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Funding period

- (45 days)