The Stolen Cello
When Redi Hasa escaped war-torn Albania in 1990, his few possessions included the cello loaned to him by Tirana State Conservatory. This “stolen” instrument enabled him to continue his studies in Italy, where his extraordinary talent at last started to bear fruit, including collaborations with pianist Ludovico Einaudi. The Stolen Cello is a beautiful showcase for Hasa’s dear instrument, a portrait of survival and a tribute to his homeland. Like many of the tracks, the opener, “Dajti Mountain”—a homage to Tirana’s stunning landscape—has a deep folk flavor, while “1990 Autumn Escape” brings Hasa’s flight to Italy to frantic life. “Little Street Football Made of Socks” is a touching snapshot of childhood—nostalgic, yet ultimately joyful.