Photo by Francesco Pernigo
I do not know how many double bass players are able to show this dazzling excursion of freedom and art, the fact is that even Leo Feigin has been fascinated by the music of Bertoni .... "This is one of the most original, courageous and spectacular projects I have ever produced .... ". "1/2 h(our) drama" is one of those works that go in the direction of those fantastic theories (in present times) which considers the sounds as the main catalysts of the matter: in classical music composers have represented it through the overtones and saturations, Bertoni reaches it with improvisation.
Bertoni pulls it off on one 36-minute piece, marked by oscillating, super-speed and buzzing arco lines. Essentially, his output could easily be mistaken for two or perhaps three bassists performing in simultaneous fashion. The bassist generates a trance-like soundscape with no let-up. Augmented by minor variations that surface over the course of the entire piece, he will also reformulate the pitch of his bowing maneuvers into lower and middle registers while zooming in on sub-particles but never swaying from the core premise. One wonders how he could sustain such an intense and physically demanding pace. He executes a circuitous course of action, layered with complex intricacies via his unadulterated power and dexterity.”
“Solo bass performances are not unusual with notable recordings readily available by Dave Holland, Barre Phillips and Eberhard Weber to name but three, but what makes this recording standout is the pure relentless sound and attack and intensity of the thirty six minute outpouring from Bertoni. Played arco from start to finish, the obvious rhythmic and propulsive devices are immediately eschewed, and instead the bassist offers a textural tonal palette that looks to explore the relationship with the bow and strings in a staggeringly complex display.”
“Un suono generato quasi in trance e che trascina l’ascoltatore fino alla fine, dove tutto lentamente va verso il silenzio. C´è destrezza, abilità fisica, forza in questa incisione, ma anche quel qualcosa che sfugge all´artista stesso nel momento in cui la incide, quasi medium del tempo che vive e dell´atmosfera che respira. Un´opera indispensabile che scuote le certezze dell´avanguardia italiana.”
Vittorio Lo Conte