Walk in Beauty

Walk in Beauty

A spiritual hike through the Southwest and native cultures
Connor Chee
Peter Garland
Kyle Gann
Michael Daugherty
John Luther Adams
Raven Chacon
Martin Bresnick
Louis W. Ballard
Jennifer Higdon
Peter Gilbert
Carl Ruggles
Brent Michael Davids
Talib Rasul Hakim
Emanuele Arciuli
Catalog Number: 
new classical
Native American

Albuquerque, NM

Release Date: 
Jul 28, 2017
Liner Notes: 
2 CD
One Sheet: 

When an Italian pianist falls in love with the American Southwest, he or she is apt to respond in some grand, expansive and colorful way to the space, light, and culture of the region. This at least was the case with Emanuele Arciuli, international concert artist and keyboard virtuoso, who started collecting artwork and piano pieces connected to the area. Walk in Beauty is a double album of fourteen of those works, many commissioned and premiered by him. Together they form an intimate love letter as well as a tribute as toweringly magical as the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

Early attempts to use American Indian themes in Western art music, while sincere, often betrayed the composers’ lack of cultural understanding. This collection, however, includes works by indigenous composers alongside those of Anglo heritage; those who have spent serious time and energy researching their subjects and incorporating what they have learned deeply into their compositional method.

The Native composers here include a wide range of approaches and styles: Connor Chee’s fantasy on a Navajo theme, Raven Chacon’s exploration of noise and feedback from the piano mechanism, Brent Michael Davids’ sultry jazz miniature, and ballet transcriptions by inspirational forebear (and former Milhaud student) Dr. Louis Ballard.

The other composers pay homage to particular themes, such as John Luther Adams’ stone figures, Michael Daugherty’s bison dance, Peter Garland’s peyote rituals, Kyle Gann’s chant to save the earth (while modeling ecology and using Hopi rhythmic methods), and Martin Bresnick’s homage to Ishi, the last of his tribe.

The program is rounded out with complementary works by Jennifer Higdon, Carl Ruggles, Peter Gilbert, and Sufi convert (and former student of Feldman and Ornette Coleman) Talib Rasul Hakim.

Together, Walk in Beauty represents a spiritual hike through New Mexico, a terrain long filled with peoples, cultures, stone, weather, and rugged desert plants.

Emanuele Arciuli has established himself as one of the most original and interesting performers on today’s classical music scene. His repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary music, with a strong affinity for composers from the United States. Having gained the respect of distinguished composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Frederic Rzewski, John Adams, and George Crumb, Arciuli has had many new works written for him, including piano concertos by Michael Nyman and Louis W. Ballard, whose Indiana Concerto he premiered in 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He lives and teaches in Bari, Italy.



"Arciuli plays all of it...[a meticulously themed collection of recent music on two subjects: nature and American Indian culture] with pointed eloquence." [FULL ARTICLE] - Joshua Kosman


“complex color of the piano with a unheard precision...a lesson of Music and Style, a further evidence of the contemporary, of which Arciuli is, now, a Master, except that, this time, the project is even more delicate and precious.” [Full Article] - Fiorella Sassanelli


“To emerge, in each case, is the singular sense of space that characterizes much American music, and that Arciuli can capture and exalt thanks to a unique interpretation sensibility and clear and crystal sound, offering us an immersive and meditative listening experience.” [FULL ARTICLE] - Filippo Focosi


"Well recorded and supplied with notes on each piece, many written by the composers themselves, this is an unusual but extremely fine and wide-ranging collection of piano works that has certainly broadened my horizons. The remarkable pianism of Emanuele Arciuli is rewarding in its own right, and his refined taste in music will provide a stimulating listen for anyone willing to explore." [FULL ARTICLE] - Dominy Clements


"Pianist Emanuele Arciuli’s two-CD set is a very dif- ferent kettle of keys. Arculi plays the music of (mostly) contemporary American composers including Peter Garland, John Luther Adams, and Jennifer Higdon, among others. Much of this music is sparse, spare, and hauntingly melodious in a minimalist sense (though not as “strict” as Glass or Reich) and some might liken some of this to New Age music if not for the occasional dissonances. The loose concept of Walk in Beauty is many of the pieces here evoke the desolate, harsh beau- ty of the Southwestern American desert and its people and wildlife. Michael Daugherty’s “Buffalo Dance” brings a Beethoven-like intensity to inspiration from Native American painting and dances. This is music to get lost within, whilst looking at the rain, contemplating a dire situation, or staring at a magical painting. If you enjoy Eric Satie, Brian Eno’s ambient works, Claude Debussy, Fred Hersch, and/or love the incredible range of the piano, hear this." - Mark Keresman


"beautiful, challenging, and ultimately inclusive collection of Americana.” [FULL ARTICLE] - Allan J Cronin


"the big attraction of this album is, first of all, Arciuli. He's a fantastic pianist, and he can do just about anything. Running a close second, though, is his offering recordings of works” [FULL ARTICLE] - Andrew Anderson


"Contemporary piano technique and composition meet the timeless themes of the American Southwest and its native people with gorgeous results in this intriguing release.” [FULL ARTICLE]