A self-taught pianist and composer from an early age, Alejandro Gonzalez M. born in Xalapa, Mexico, is at the forefront of his orchestral musical project Sabine Alexander, influenced by Classical, Neo Classical, and contemporary piano, to instrumental rock. In his growing catalog of releases, we find the cinematic-styled track “Sanctus Irae”, which can be filed under diverse stylings, from ambient to classical and electronic. One of the most pleasing aspects of listening to an act like Sabine Alexander is the challenge that comes attached to it. Especially with instrumental music, it becomes partly the listener’s responsibility to gather some type of conclusion.
Whether that comes in the form of a striking moment that ignites memory or even factoring in the nuance that exists deep in the weaving tones and timbres of the song. However it’s perceived, “Sanctus Irae” as a whole urges us to consider a wide array of the unknown.
Right from the start, if you close your eyes, you can almost envision scenes of an epic film, which means that Sabine Alexander has already achieved partly what he sought to accomplish, and that’s to nudge our imagination, where we find ourselves not only locked in a musically-induced trance, but aware enough to examine what we’re hearing.
This is a track that cascades and rises steadily, enhancing its ever-evolving tones while Alejandro Gonzalez M.’s thoughtful piano playing never lets the narrative slip.
Throughout its six-minute runtime, “Sanctus Irae” flourishes as a living and breathing force, sweeping and vast. The orchestral passages unfurl and magnify, while the choral interludes swell into emotional waves. The track oscillates and hums with colorful vibrancy, melding into what feels like a massive piece.
Your attention is required to see how it unfolds, and to realize what is contained inside within its message. As is with all instrumental music, all that is openly communicated is in the title, while the rest needs to be unpacked from the performance itself.
In “Sanctus Irae”, Sabine Alexander gives the audience every chance to connect with the music. The use of a rich orchestral backdrop behind the eloquent piano playing, allows emphatic emotional sweeps to reach the listener instantly.
Sabine Alexander ensemble is larger, but tightly marshalled throughout, as it blends its magnificent flow into a shimmering whole. Behind his piano, Alejandro Gonzalez M. seamlessly weaves the instruments together to create something more than the sum of their parts.
Alejandro Gonzalez M.’s piano sits above the rest of the ensemble work, as if he’s conducting them, leading the gently growing motions back and forth. His melodic phrasing varies from decisive and powerful, to delicate and nimble.
At once fluid and organic-sounding, the single, “Sanctus Irae”, has a way of roping you in, and supersedes the glacial meandering of most ambient and modern classical music with a warmer, more linear sense of melody.
It all comes down to Sabine Alexander’s uncanny sense of compositional control, and an ability to craft an atmospheric aural landscape that would be just as at home at the Royal Albert Hall in London, as it would be in the intimate comfort of your bedroom loft and a pair of high-quality headphones.