Video Pick of the Week: Giacomo Susani Premieres ‘Nona Onda,’ a Serenade for Guitar, Cello, and Orchestra

Back in 2018, we wrote about a wonderful piece called Quintet (for Guitar and String Quartet), written by the fine young Italian guitarist and composer Giacomo Susani. I’m still predicting that piece will be embraced by guitarists and chamber groups for years to come. Now, the talented 25-year-old has unveiled an exciting new work, Nona Onda (which translates as “Ninth Wave”) for guitar, cello, and orchestra. As the video description notes, “‘Nona Onda’ is a Serenade in two halves based on the Romantic concept of the ‘Ninth Wave,’ which is effectively depicted in Idylls of the King: The Coming of Arthur by Alfred Tennyson.” Further, Giacomo tells us, “I should have premiered it in Luxembourg in April, in an event that was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Because the premiere had to be postponed indefinitely, we decided, together with the organizers, to make a split-screen video where the musicians involved would send their recorded part to me and I would later edit them together in a single video.”

The result is remarkably seamless work that looks and sounds fantastic and will also show you in remarkable detail what each member of the small orchestra is doing throughout the work. Incidentally, the featured cellist is named Nora Braun, and the conductor is Constantin Riccardi. Bravo!! —Blair Jackson