ALEX MASI – In The Name Of Beethoven


Lion Music
Release Date: May 3, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Nowadays many “successful” musicians could be accused of “playing it safe” (pun intended) and sticking to a winning formula that their fans are accustomed to hearing. It’s not everyday that a musician takes a gigantic leap outside their audience’s “comfort zone.” Let it be noted that In The Name Of Beethoven represents the third time that Italy’s Grammy Nominated Guitar Shredder, Alex Masi, has done just that. This is the third and final part of Alex’s series, which pays homage to some of the greatest Classical Music composers (Mozart and Bach being the other two).

Some insight into Alex’s past might help answer why a rock guitar icon might make such a musical “journey” as this one. Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Alex grew up surrounded by art. His father, being a successful painter and art historian, inspired Alex from the very beginning to explore a creative path. Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven were among Alex’s earliest musical inspirations, especially at the influential age of eight when Alex began playing piano.

This release contains essentially four movements, with #4 being broken down into three smaller passages/tracks. Each movement’s duration clocks in at a hefty eight minutes plus. The album is a solo, instrumental guitar concerto with acoustic and electric guitars played throughout. Movement #3, “Romance For Violin No. 5,” deserves special mention, as Alex does a remarkable job of delivering an emotional and moving piece while achieving a violin-like sound using a distorted electric guitar.

It’s a double-edged sword, but the only complaint about this release might be the selection of movements chosen. The ones represented tend to be slower, moodier pieces. A different selection, of perhaps the more famous passages, might have made this release more accessible to more listeners. Of course, in doing so, Alex might have then tread where others have already gone. Listeners have to counsel themselves in the fact that the movements chosen probably have special meaning to Alex.

Bottom line, this release will take an open mind and a refined musical taste in the fine arts to truly enjoy. Alex’s playing, composition, and representation is masterful and does Beethoven proud. His playing in this classical guitar concerto arena is definitely worth mentioning in the same breath as classical greats like Andres Segovia. Lion Music has to also be applauded for allowing one of their artists to not only try something totally diverse once but thrice!

Alex Masi: Guitars

Report Card:
Guitars: A
Recording Quality: B+
Lyrics: N/A
Originality: A
Overall Rating: B


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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