Sheer Piano Attack – A Queen Piano Tribute

Gabriele Baldocci, Martha Argerich’s protégé and one of the most appreciated pianists of his generation, involves and stimulates the audience in a true musical experience in which, inspired by Liszt’s concept of paraphrase, he reinvents the great music of Queen between improvisations and the active participation of the spectators, who thus become protagonists.

Although I am a classical pianist, I have always been a huge Queen fan, ever since I was a child, and thanks to Sheer Piano Attack, I am able to combine my passion for the historic British band with my classical skills. 

For the past few years, I have been recording and performing Beethoven’s Complete Symphonies transcribed by Franz Liszt for solo piano and have been strongly influenced by Liszt’s improvisation. Liszt borrowed themes from many masterpieces of his time to produce amazingly virtuoso paraphrases and transcriptions for piano.  

The idea behind Sheer Piano Attack came from the following question: what would Liszt have written if he had lived in our time and had been, like me, inspired by the works of Freddie and Brian? Starting from that idea, I composed some songs (White Queen, Keep Yourself Alive, Love of my Life, Save me / We are the Champions / Don’t Stop Me Now Medley, You Take My Breath Away) in the style of Liszt . 

Then I called some composer friends and told them to write whatever they wanted, with the only rule being to take one particular song as inspiration. They all wrote very different things. Simone Spagnolo’s Innuendo is a faithful transcription of the original, while Michael Glenn Williams’ version of Bohemian Rhapsody is a crazy (and terribly difficult!) mix of Bo Rhap and Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody. Finally, Marco Nodari wrote ‘The Prophet’ from ‘Prophet’s Song’, one of my favourite Queen songs, which he completely revisited while maintaining the impressionistic atmosphere of the original song. Finally, I contacted Peter Jones, a fantastic singer from Nottingham, whose voice I particularly love, to deliver a touching version of ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ and ‘Is This The World We Have Created’. 

– Gabriele Baldocci


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