Works: Recordings | Reviews | Productions
A tremendous natural talent.
—Eric James, Music Associate of Sir Charles S. Chaplin
A versatile musician and music producer. Alessandro's preference for board instruments was clear when as a child he began to play as a self-taught pianist. He also started composing at a very early age. At 14 y.o. he wrote a cycle of Mazurkas inspired by Chopin.
He deepened aspects of jazz composition and silent-film music, and became a close friend with
Eric James, the associate composer of Sir Charles Chaplin, until his death. In 2000, a few minutes before his performance, James put a paper on the grand piano, and in front of
the audience wrote: nist of immense talent and will surely make his mark on the musical profession [...].
After a long period without playing, absorbed by the music production activity (he is the founder of the recording label OnClassical), Alessandro
restarted playing and began recording himself at both the piano and the harpsichord, obtaining
such acclaim from the critics as: The Suittes voor Clavicembel (Suites Op. 1) [BC94187] was nominated Recording of the Month by Music-Web International (Nearly eighty minutes of enormously appealing, high-octane invention
superbly rendered by Alessandro Simonetto.).
Furthermore his world première of Leroy Shield: Laurel & Hardy's Original Piano
Music [AE16024], performed at the piano, was awarded (5 stars) both on classical and jazz/pop magazines worldwide (Mojo, Piano International, Teatro, The L&H Magazine, Intra-Tent Journal, Furore, Pözenkrant) and widespread
@ radios worldwide (BBC, CBC/ICI Musique, RAI Radio 3, NPO, BR Klassik, IPR, Ouverture).
Alessandro's version of Erik Satie: Early & Esoteric Works (1887-1897) [AE16019], also including the world
première sketch Chanson Hungroise, was widely reviewed (4 Etoiles Classica on others). Few years later, he re-recorded all the 3 CD's during some nights on the deepest silence; in this occasion he also performed his
transcription of the Messe des pauvres and some other unedited pieces by Satie (Allegro with a cancelled bar, two unfinished Quartets).
Always passionate about ragtime, in 2018 Alessandro released a 2 Album-set including 33 of Scott Joplin's pieces ("Rags & Waltzes"): this album has been listened by over 2 Millions of fans. Few months later he re-recorded some
rags and all the missing pieces (total of 55): the result will be soon printed and distributed in limited numbered copies.
In 2020, during the Covid season, he recorded the Domenico Paradies [Domenico Paradisi]'s 12 Keyboard Sonatas (BC95867) with his harpischord, a copy of Johannes Ruckers (1638). This recording was nominated at the
Shallplatten Preis and also
largely acclaimed by critics worldwide. A stunning review by Gil French says: "Listening
to Simonetto is like listening to Martha Argerich: along with the utter command of discipline and technique, I hear his brain and emotions being about two measures ahead of the notes. No wonder he exudes spontaneity."
In recent times, Alessandro recorded other two discs of Eric Satie's Piano Music (the playlist) including over 100 pieces. These will be
released in 2022 as only-digital for his label OnClassical.
Cover photo: © Enrica Pontin - Self-portrait [above]: © Alessandro Simonetto
2011 - Bustijn, P.: 9 Suites (Complete Harpsichord Works) - Brilliant Classics BC94187
2017 - Mattheson, J.: 12 Suites (Complete Harpsichord Works) - Brilliant Classics BC95588 [2CDs]
2020 - Paradies, D.: 8 Sonatas (Complete Harpsichord Works) - Brilliant Classics BC95867 [2CDs]
2021 - Bach, J.S.: French Suites  - No label [2CDs]
2021 - Scarlatti, D.: Selected Keyboard Sonatas  - No label [2CDs]
Piano Music (main recordings):
2016 - Satie, E.: Early & Esoteric Works - ÆVEA AE16019 [3CDs]
2016 - Shield, L.: The Laurel & Hardy Original Piano Music - ÆVEA AE16024
2016 - Shield, L.: Laurel & Hardy: Original Piano Music (1930-31, 1935-36) - ÆVEA AE16024d
2017 - Joplin, S.: 33 Ragtimes & Waltzes - OnClassical OC18022d [2CDs]
2018 - Tiersen, Y.: Selected Piano Works - ÆVEA AE18048
2019 - Joplin, S.: The Complete Piano Music (Ragtimes, Marches, Waltzes, Collaborations & Tango) -
OnClassical [3CDs] [Only digital]
2019 - Satie, E.: Early Works (Sarabandes, Gymnopédies, Gnossiennes, Pièces froides) - OnClassical OC20092B [Only digital]
2020 - Satie, E.: Le fils des étoiles, Wagnérie kaldéenne du Sar Péladan - OnClassical OC21112B[Only digital]
2020 - Satie, E.: Esoteric Works, Vol. 1 (Ogives, Sonneries de la Rose+Croix, Préludes, Danses Gothiques - OnClassical OC21122B [Only digital]
2020 - Satie, E.: Esoteric Works, Vol. 2 (Uspud, Messe des pauvres, Vexations, Unnamed pieces) - OnClassical OC21124B [Only digital]
2021 - Richter, M.: Piano Works - OnClassical OC21098B [Only digital]
2021 - Tiersen, Y.: Eusa (The Album) - OnClassical [Soon to be released]
2022 - Satie, E.: PianoWorks (Omnia Vol. 5) - OnClassical OC22092B [Only digital]
2022 - Satie, E.: PianoWorks (Omnia Vol. 6) - OnClassical OC22102B [Only digital]
2023 - AA.AA.: Music from the Laurel & Hardy film [Label to be assigned]
Paint: Shallow Waters No. 2, oil on canvas by © Mark Demsteader [used w/ permission by the artist]
Simonetto is a super talented pianist with a deep love for the silent films. He had a mentor in Eric James, Music Associate of Charlie Chaplin. —Nick Luscombe,
(BBC Music, 06/2018)
Simonetto's performance is lively and imaginative. [...] Simonetto's sound, especially next to the compelling flair of his performance. —Bradley Lehman,
(American Record Guide, 08/2018)
Simonetto's performances carry astonishing power at times; at others, there is pure tomfoolery afoot. —Colin Clarke, *****/5
(International Piano, 06/2017)
Captivating and completely idiomatic performances. They are recorded, moreover, in very fine sound." —Rob Maynard, (Music-web
Simonetto fait sentir la profondeur habitée de ces pages énigmatiques, qui vaut bien les versions de référence [...] tout en y ajoutant une singulière quiétude, méditative et intense. —Romaric
Gergorin, ****/4 (Pianiste/Classica, 06-07/2017)
Simonetto's interpretation is quite pleasant. The recording quality is excellent, with beautiful clear tone and deep and natural left hand notes. The sound is considerably richer and more
natural than the CDs used as a comparison. —Roger McCuaig, (TNT Audio, 06/2017)
"A refined pianist" with a profound knowledge of the piano mechanism, Alessandro is the owner of two marvelous grand pianos Steinway D-274 that he carefully prepares himself and with the support of Steinway Academy's technicians.
Over the years he has produced hundreds of recordings with some of the most renowned musicians of the nowadays international scene.
Complete list of productions...
Photo [background]: by © Francesco Astolfi