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viernes, 4 de diciembre de 2015

Latte e Miele - Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work (2014)


¿Quien escuchar una joyita del progresivo italiano? Reformulación de la ópera prima de Latte e Miele (basada en la Pasión de San Mateo), no solamente la supera sino que es una maravilla sonora que sitúa a éste trabajo en el sitial de honor de las mejores producciones del rock progresivo italiano, y eso es mucho decir, así que imaginen lo buena que está esta obra. Un disco para caerse de culo!

Artista: Latte e Miele
Álbum: Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work
Año: 2014
Género: Progresivo sinfónico italiano
Duración: 50:06
Nacionalidad: Italia


Lista de Temas:
1. Introduzione
2. Il Giorno degli Azzimi
3. Ultima Cena
4. Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza
5. Getzemani
6. I Falsi Testimoni
7. Il Pianto
8. Il Rinnegamento di Pietro
9. Il Prezzo del Sangue
10. Giuda
11. Il Re del Giudei
12. Barabba
13. Toccata per Organo
14. Il Calvario
15. Aria della Croce
16. La Spartizione della Tunica
17. Dall'Ora Sesta all'Ora Nona
18. Il Velo del Tempio
19. Come un Ruscello Che...

Alineación:
- Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa / electric and classical guitar
- Oliviero Lacagnina / piano, keyboards
- Alfio Vitanza / drums, vocals
- Massimo Gori / bass, vocals
Guest evangelists:
Alvaro Fella (Jumbo)
Lino Vairetti (Osanna)
Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000)
Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus)
Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo)
Sophya Baccini
Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre)
Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls)
Max Manfredi
Simonluca
Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo)
Guest musicians:
GnuQuartet / violin, viola, cello, flute
Coro Polifonico Classe Mista della Spezia / choir
Sergio Chierici / choir director & conductor



Lino ya nos había compartido un par de discos de estos tanos que si bien no son tan conocidos, han hecho y hacer cosas tremendas. Les aviso, antes de empezar con este posteo, que el disco en cuestión es tremendo, excelente, considerado como uno de los mejores discos del año 2014 a nivel internacional. Explicado ese punto, como para que vayan descargando el link que le pedí al Mago Alberto (yo no tenía el disco) mientras van leyendo el comentario.



El primer disco de los Latte e Miele se llamó "Passio Secundum Mattheum", un trabajo muy ambicioso basado en la Pasión de San Mateo, ahora el primigenio trío italiano vuelve 42 años después con la segunda parte de su ópera prima para recogocijo de sus fans y maravillación de las nuevas generaciones, haciendo un recorrido sinfónico espectacular por el Evangelio de San Mateo. Y no es necesario conocer oi haber escuchado la obra original para emprender con la escucha de este disco, es redondo de por sí


Podemos asumir que el género progresivo, aunque sigue siendo un movimiento marginal, tiene una excelente base de grupos tanto clásicos como emergentes. esta banda, que en su historia no llegó a los niveles de altísima calidad que logró con sus dos primeros discos, me refiero al ya nombrado "Passio Secundum Mattheum" y su segundo trabajo: "Papillon", discos que extrañamente aún no han sido publicados en el blog, se separó para volver a juntarse en el 2008 y volver con sus mejores performances, a pesar de su edad y del tiempo recorrido. La imaginación y talento siguen intactos como para seguir maravillando con obras de arte como la que estamos presentando ahora.
La instrumentación es fiel al espíritu de la pieza de 1972, aunque con un sonido actualizado. Lo mismo ocurre con el coro. La mayoría de las piezas se volvieron a grabar para esta edición pero manteniendo su estructura compositiva, aunque hay algunos cambios pero sin que haya nada que viole el espíritu de la obra original. Otra cosa para destacar es la participación de varios artistas que son insignia en lo que a rock progresivo italiano se refiere: New Trolls, Il Tempio delle Clessidre, Picchio dal Pazzo, Osanna y varios grupos más están presentes en este disco, seguramente más como un valor simbólico que su aporte real (hacen su trabajo en los coros y voces). El remake del álbum debut de la banda es una producción impresionante de principio a fin, un álbum fino, magestuoso, elegante y sofisticado que se ha sido forjado con mucha atención y cariño (se nota) y que está lleno de detalles remarcables.
Vamos con un comentario de nuestro comentarista involuntario de siempre, como para que redondee más la idea:

LATTE E MIELE, una de las leyendas de la primera generación del rock prog-sinfónico italiano y que actualmente está gozando de una fase de entusiasta resurrección, vuelve a la carga con una versión ampliada de su primer disco, el concept-album “Passio Secundum Mattheum” que ahora conquista su expresión definitiva bajo el título de “Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work”. Este grupo oriundo de Génova comenzó como trío (bajo el molde de EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER y LE ORME) pero desde que se reformó en el nuevo milenio opera como cuarteto de Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa, Oliviero Lacagnina, Massimo Gori y Alfio Vitanza. Su última maniobra ha sido la de reactivar el concepto de la Pasión del Mesías, el mismo concepto de su álbum debut del 1972 “Passio Secundum Mattheum”. Ya entraremos en más detalles sobre esta maniobra en particular, pero cabe señalar que se trata de una iniciativa que ha estado en la cabeza de los integrantes del grupo desde antes de que se reformara en la segunda mitad de la década pasada.
Empezamos siguiendo la pista del disco original, cuando el grupo constaba de unos jovencísimos Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa [guitarras acústica, clásica y eléctrica, bajo, violín, primera voz], Oliviero “Oliver” Lacagnina [piano, órgano, mellotrón, clavicémbalo, celesta, sintetizadores Moog y String Ensemble, voz] y Alfio Vitanza [batería, bongoes, tímpanos, campanas, percusiones surtidas, flauta y voz]. ‘Introduzione’ abre el disco con un tono patentemente majestuoso, desarrollado en un ambiente envolvente y ensoñador; los dos siguientes temas, ‘Il Giornio Degli Azzimi’ y ‘Ultima Cena’, alternan pasajes pastorales y otros enérgicos (un poco a lo ELP) bajo el esquema sinfónico que desde ya está férreamente instalado. En el caso de ‘Ultima Cena’, no nos hubiese molestado que se hubiese dado un desarrollo más expansivo pues nos parece que el potencial de fuerza rockera hubiese aportado un clímax realmente interesante y no simplemente una viñeta entre otras que arman una secuencia. ‘Getzemani’ tiene un swing ágil y sencillo en su esquema rítmico, siendo así que las capas de sintetizador y mellotrón aportan un predominante color onírico al asunto: con el ingreso del clavicémbalo y un robustecimiento ligeramente mayor del esquema rítmico, las cosas pasan a una clave un poco más pomposa, no ajena al estilo de EKSEPTION o al de sus coetáneos de PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI. ‘Il Proceso’ tiene un aire declarado a lo ópera-rock, sirviendo como un preludio a ‘I Testimoni’. Éste comienza con un tenor sinfónico ceremonioso conservado por las cortinas flotantes de teclado, siendo así que finalmente el trío pasa a un jam de raigambre jazzera cuyo esquema rítmico tiene cierto aura Latin merced a la presencia de bongoes junto a la batería: el jam, marcado por el piano en primer lugar, pasa luego a compartir la primera línea con la guitarra eléctrica. ‘I Testimoni (Parte 2)’, que abría el lado B del LP de vinilo, es una continuación del jam.
‘Il Pianto’ tiene un hermoso color pastoral, donde el mellotrón proporciona una densidad amable y otoñal; nada de esto nos hace prever el despliegue de fuerza y contraste entre psicodelia pesada y jazz a la antigua en el breve pero efectista ‘Giuda’. ‘Il Re dei Giudei’ toma las líneas finales de mellotrón de ‘Giuda’ para desarrollar una elegante coda sinfónica. ‘Il Calvario’, con su espacio de 7 minutos, es el tema más extenso del disco. Comenzando con un breve arreglo coral dramático, a continuación el órgano de fuelles asume el protagonismo con su alternancia de colores barrocos y góticos. Una vez que se arma una sección con el trío entero, la cosa pasa a una ambientación tan majestuosa como sombría sobre un compás lento y funerario: la guitarra eléctrica refleja un aire triste, el cual realza el aire de réquiem al que alude la pieza. Una vez que se detiene la batería, emerge un estilizado pasaje de guitarra clásica sobre la cual se enuncian las 7 palabras de Cristo en la cruz. ‘Il Dono Della Vita’ concluye el panorama de solemnidad bajando el tono de lo sombrío en beneficio de una cadencia más etérea, marcada por acentuaciones barrocas (incluyendo algunas citas de alguna fuga de Bach). Todo esto nos da “Passio Secundum Mattheum”, posteriormente editado digitalmente con dos bonus, ‘Mese Di Maggio’ y ‘Tanto Amore’. En todo caso, más vale la pena destacar la entrañable anécdota de que el trío hizo un concierto especial de la “Passio” en un auditorio del vaticano en febrero de 1973, una muestra de cómo el rock sinfónico podía sentirse a gusto dentro de la tradición cultural mientras le insuflaba nuevos modismos, desafiando conscientemente a sus presencias más ortodoxas... ¡y salirse con la suya!
Ahora nos trasladamos al presente año 2014, cuando el grupo cuenta con la formación de cuarteto con la inclusión del bajista-vocalista Massimo Gori. Sabemos que esto puede sonar a una reciente inclusión, así que cabe aclarar que Gori no es para nada un recién iniciado en el mundo musical de LATTE E MIELE; por el contrario, formó parte de la segunda etapa de la banda – entre 1975 y 1977 –, cuando el baterista Vitanza reformó el grupo con tres nuevos integrantes e incluso grabó un tercer LP, “Aquile E Scoliattoli”, bien recibido por la hinchada progresiva que aún existía en Italia. Gori era en ese momento el reemplazante absoluto de Dellacassa mientras que los otros dos nuevos miembros se repartían un nutrido arsenal de teclados, sintetizadores y guitarra eléctrica adicional. Ya en el nuevo milenio, Gori se sumó a la resurrección de LATTE E MIELE con la experiencia del concept-album del 2009 “Marco Polo: Sogni E Viaggi”, por lo que resulta que el actual cuarteto encarna eficazmente lo mejor de sus fases 70eras. Qué bonito disco fue “Marco Polo: Sogni E Viaggi”, por lo que ahora queda ver si esto que tenemos ahora en nuestras manos es un digno sucesor del mismo.
Viendo la situación de esta nueva versión “Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work”, advertimos desde el punto de inicio un sonido más lleno y una producción de sonido más meticulosa, atenta a la sensibilidad moderna. Los arreglos corales se sienten más plenos cada vez que emergen. ‘Introduzione’ goza de un dramatismo ceremonioso intenso mientras que ‘Ultima Cena’ incluye un arreglo de capas orquestales más ambicioso que en la versión original. La nueva canción ‘Il Pane E Il Sangue Dell'Alleanza’ hace una buena labor a la hora de enfatizar la solemnidad poderosa y envolvente de ‘Ultima Cena’. En cuanto a ‘Getzemani’, las variaciones no son muchas: su nueva presencia es el ejemplo perfecto de lo que pretenden los de LATTE E MIELE para este proyecto. ‘I Falsi Testimoni’, con sus 2 ¾ minutos de duración, reemplaza al más extenso tema ‘I Testimoni’: la función de ‘I Falsi Testimoni’ consiste en ahondar en la aureola teatral del álbum, la misma que cumple otra canción nueva, ‘Il Rinnegamento Di Pietro’. ‘Il Prezzo Del Sangue’ sigue por esta línea de magnificencia sinfónica, aunque es justo indicar que hay una vibración rockera más pronunciada, muy conveniente para enfatizar el momento trágico del juicio contra Jesucristo. ‘Toccata Per Organo’ es una composición de Lacagnina para órgano de fuelles, y el registro que aparece en este disco data del año 1972: una gema rescatada del baúl de los recuerdos de la primera generación progresiva italiana. ‘Il Calvario’ dura ahora poco más de la mitad que en su primera versión. Acto seguido y hasta el final tenemos una cadena de nuevas canciones: ‘Aria Della Croce’, ‘La Spartizione Della Tunica’, ‘Dall'Ora Sesta All'Ora Nona’, ‘Il Velo Del Tempio’ y ‘Come Un Ruscello Che...’. La primera está marcada por un dramatismo colorido mientras que la segunda aporta un momento de estilización rockera a lo RICK WAKEMAN, y esto mismo sucederá más adelante en ‘Il Velo Del Tempio’. Entre estas dos canciones se sitúa ‘Dall'Ora Sesta All'Ora Nona’, una breve pieza de guitarra clásica y capas orquestales. ‘Come Un Ruscello Che...’ cierra el álbum; su desarrollo temático incluye amplias citas de la canción que cerraba el álbum original, ‘Il Dono Della Vita’.
Lo que vemos aquí, a diferencia del caso del remake de “The Snow Goose” de parte de CAMEL bajo la guía de un recuperado Andy Latimer, es una combinación de recuperación de ideas viejas con desarrollo de algunas ideas nuevas. Respecto a las primeras, se trata de una justa venganza del destino; respecto a las segundas, cabe resaltar que, lejos de hacer redundantes las atmósferas de turno o tentar a los fantasmas del sopor, se integran muy bien dentro del concepto inicial. También es digno de mencionarse explícitamente la presencia de enormes invitados en las instrumentaciones, cantos y narraciones, figuras que representan parte de lo mejor del prog italiano de ayer y hoy: Alvaro Fella (JUMBO), Lino Vairetti (OSANNA), Giorgio D'Adamo (NEW TROLLS), Aldo de Scalzi y Paolo Griguolo (PICCHIO DAL POZZO), Elisa Montaldo (IL TEMPIO DELLE CLESSIDRE), además del coro CLASSE MISTA y los músicos de GNU QUARTET, y un largo etcétera. En conclusión, ahora tenemos la sensación de que esta nueva mirada prog-sinfónica a la narrativa de la Pasión de Jesucristo se sienta ya como una obra musical genuinamente completa. Un brindis en honor a los LATTE E MIELE por haber logrado cerrar un círculo de creatividad esplendorosa a través del pasado y el presente del sinfonismo italiano: ojalá nos vengan en un futuro próximo con más muestras del estado de gracia con el que abordan esta nueva etapa de pasión y resurrección, llevando a su primera obra a una etapa de definitiva ascensión.
César Inca


Esta nueva interpretación emocionante no sólo respeta la obra original, sino que, y quizás es lo más importante, se encuentra con la propia fuerza primigenea de la banda y suma ​​méritos al mismo tiempo agregar nuevos detalles reveladores que no estaban presentes en su obra original. En todo caso, ya sea que hayas escuchado la ópera prima o no, éste disco resulta independiente de aquel, una versión que si bien respeta el trabajo original tiene tantos detalles y renovación que resulta un disco completamente independiente. Y repito, de increíble calidad.
Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés, al mismo tiempo que destaco nuevamente esta obra como uno de los grandes discos compartidos en el blog cabezón.


A new version of Passio! (Posted Easter week 2014)
A new interpretation of a classic RPI title! This is quite an undertaking, but it comes off in an outstanding way, giving new life to old friends. In contrast to so many reworkings of old pieces that I've heard in recent years, this one does not leave me only wishing to listen to the original. Rather, the new work stands well on its own, not only helping me listen to the original with new ears, but also bringing new insights and experience.
In 1972, Latte e Miele released their debut, an incredibly ambitious work based on the Passion of St. Matthew, "Passio Secundum Mattheum." This is one of the seminal titles of 1970s RPI and has rightfully stood the test of time. The band would never equal this album, although the subsequent title, "Papillon", came close. After that the band broke up for a time, until drummer Alfio Vitanza reformed the band, with new members including bassist Massimo Gori. Their only album, "Aquile e Scoiattoli", has its moments but is inferior to the first two, and the band disbanded a few years later after moving toward more commercial music.
In 2008 the band reformed, including all three original members (Vitanza and songwriter/keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina, as well as guitarist Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa) and Massimo Gori, bassist from the second generation of the band. The quartet released "Live Tasting", an excellent live album that portended of the good to come. Their time together also produced a wonderful new album, "Marco Polo: Sogni e Viaggi" in 2009.
Over the years, Lacagnina never stopped composing his masterpiece, his "Passio". Now the quartet has recorded anew their masterpiece, adding those "new" compositions into the narrative. For example, "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" has been inserted right after "Ultima Cena", and "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il Prezzo del Sangue" between "Il Pianto" and "Giuda". Also, the ending has been fleshed out significantly, with four new songs, and the final song, "Come un Ruscello che..." includes the final themes previously entitled "Il Dono della Vita". Also of note, a solo organ piece entitled "Toccata per organo" is placed just before "Calvario"--this is special, as it is an original take from 1972!
The instrumentation is true to the spirit of the 1972 piece, although with an updated sound. Ditto the choir, which sometimes on the 1972 version is muted and thin--here the choir parts are strong, lush, and vibrant. The majority of the pieces that were rerecorded for this edition also maintain their compositional structure, although there are a few changes inserted (notably in "I Falsi Testimoni", the new version of "I Testimoni" parts 1 and 2). There is nothing that violates that spirit of the original work, though it is impossible to duplicate its wonderful innocence.
Another unique feature of this album is the presence of several prominent figures from RPI providing the spoken Evangelist parts. These include Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000), Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo), Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre), Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls), Max Manfredi, Simonluca, and Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo). It's a nice touch that really rounds out the album.
The CD comes in a jewel case with a lyric booklet. I'm told that the pending Japanese version will contain a newly recorded composition as a bonus track. But don't wait for that one--go out and grab this one. You won't be disappointed. Four plus stars (Gnosis 13/15).
Edit: I can't stop listening to this! Though it's not quite as good as the original, it's very close. I'm bumping it up to Gnosis 14/15, which is five stars on PA.
Todd


Italian band LATTE E MIELE is regarded as one of the classic progressive rock bands from the early 70's, and were one of the bands that were fairly heavily inspired by classical music, at least in their initial phase. By the time the band's activities ebbed out around 1980 they had transformed into more of a generic pop-rock band however, and one not all that popular at that. Latte E Miele reformed back in 2008, and in 2009 they released the critically acclaimed comeback album "Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi". "Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work" is their second full-length production following their comeback, and was released through the Italian label Black Widow Records in 2014.
Latte E Miele's remake of their debut album "Passio Secundum Matthaeum" is an impressive production through and through, a tasteful and sophisticated album that has been assembled with a lot of care and affection and what appears to be a minute attention to details. A certain taste for material inspired by liturgical classical music is probably needed to truly enjoy all the qualities of this CD, but if you have a general taste for symphonic progressive rock of the kind that has a fairly close relation to classical music then this is an album that is easily and highly recommended.
Olav Martin Bjørnsen

`Reboot' or `remake' - two words that usually instil a sense of apprehension and dread in most people! Usually associated with the latest lousy Hollywood cash-in riding on the coat-tails of something considered a classic or more special, now even progressive rock is not immune to this fad...but thankfully the results are more consistently worthwhile than the film equivalent! Vintage RPI act Latte e Miele's `Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work' sees the legendary Italian band return to their 1972 defining work in a thrilling new interpretation that not only respects the original, but more importantly stands on it's own strengths and merits while also adding and revealing new details never before realized. An adaption of the Passion of Saint Matthew set to music, to many Italian prog fans the original is considered one of the most important vintage RPI releases, as well as a constant personal favourite. Hopefully existing fans will be willing to give this new interpretation a chance, as they can rest easy in the knowledge that it doesn't damage the reputation of the 70's version at all, instead offering new and exciting additions to only enhance the original.
Three founding members, Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa, Oliviero Lacagnina and Alfio Vitanza, with the addition of bass player Massimo Gori from a later line-up offer this new work. As a special treat this time around, several notable guests from RPI acts both new and old have been brought in to lend their voices to several narrated passages. From the vintage years, some of the guests include Lino Vairetti and Lino Vairetti of Osanna, Alvaro Fella of Jumbo, Silvana Aliotta of Circus 2000, Giorgio D'Adamo of the New Trolls, Paolo Carelli of Pholas Dactylus, as well as Aldo de Scalzi and Paolo Griguolo of Picchio dal Pazzo, Simonluca of L'Enorme Maria and singer/songwriter Max Manfredi. The younger artists are Sophya Baccini of her Aradia project and the dark keyboard queen Elisa Montaldo of Il Tempio delle Clessidre.
For those who don't know what the original or this new version sounds like, it's a bombastic, lush and grandiose classical orchestral based prog work that runs through an exhausting variety of instrumental passages, sombre and striking narration and stirring choral vocals. `The Complete Work' (as was the original) is a work that is initially very overwhelming and confusing, demanding constant replays to discover how carefully arranged the constantly evolving musical passages are, to gather a sense of the dramatic build and perfectly considered flow the overall piece brings. One thing that instantly stands out throughout this new version is a more rich, full and cleaner sound, definitely improving the occasionally flat mix, especially obvious in the choral passages, that sometimes plagued the original work. Classical and rock elements, light and dark moods all blend together in perfect unison, the music growing darker and heavier as it progresses. Electric guitars, organ and keyboards weave seamlessly around emotional strings and nimble piano, delicate acoustic guitar flavours offering thoughtful moments in between wilder rocking passages. So many luxurious and memorable melodies envelope the listener, and by the end, you are left deeply moved by what a victorious, uplifting and fully immersive musical experience this is. Personal highlights for me are the urgent and hypnotic group harmonies alongside duelling Moog spirals, searing electric guitar fire and prancing violin of `I Falsi Testimoni', the gothic symphonic darkness of `Il Rinnegamento...', and the surprisingly jazzy Delirium-like touches around heavy brooding guitars, scratchy Mellotron and uplifting Moog finale in `Il Re Dei Giudei'.
Some listeners may find the constant direction changes and multiple narrated guests initially intimidating and off-putting, but perseverance pays off perfectly for those willing to give this work the necessary amount of plays for it to start making sense. `Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work' is a gift for fans who cherish the beloved original, as well as a sumptuous aural treat for newcomers to discover. It's possibly one of the finest modern releases from a vintage Italian act, and comes across as a hugely important and defining progressive rock work in general for 2014. Italian prog doesn't come any more grand, lavish and exquisite than this, and it's certainly one of the most sophisticated works to appear on the Black Widow label to date.
Five stars for a classic Italian progressive rock event.
Michael H.

As "Introduzione" began the album with that ever so familiar choir, a moving blend of warmth, sorrow, and triumph, I knew immediately that Passio Secundum Matthaeum: The Complete Work would be something special. The improved quality of voices, the deepness in tension to the introductory strings arrangement, and the joyful final major chord of the piece showed that Latte e Miele's remake of their classic 70′s album would surely not just be a feeble attempt at a more modern recording of a beloved record. Strange though it may be, I actually always thought the original was just decent, nothing special in comparison to the giants of Italian prog like Banco and Locanda, but hearing Passio Secundum Matthaeum presented on this newest recording, the way it was meant to be, reached a whole new level, and in my humble opinion truly lands a deserved place among the greats.
So, what makes this newest version different from its predecessor? First of all, the performance is absolutely brilliant, the recording quality is top notch, and everything essentially sounds rich and huge. Nevertheless, the thing that really bumps this album up to a superior level is the way that the band really completed this work and story with the inclusion of new songs and interludes to flesh it out, make it coherent, and add depth. These aren't just new songs, they are gorgeous pieces that are woven seamlessly into the music and narrative in ways that make them feel like they should have always been there. "Il pane e il sangue dell'alleanza" is the first of these, primarily a solo vocal piece that is full of passion and mystery, but also which contains many choir sections, some narration, and a bit of Mellotron to help tie it to the past. As the album gets rolling one realizes that there are many of these new pieces that add so much drama to the album. In the extended "I falsi testimoni" the band takes "I testimoni, pt 1″ and brings it to life with new sections that include solo singing parts which bring more intimacy than the original, letting you get up close to the characters of the story and their interactions. Drama is the salient factor in the new pieces "Il rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il prezzo del sangue," two dark, theatrical pieces that knocked my socks off. Furthermore, the addition of "Barabba," where haunting orchestrations meld with the deafening chants to free Barabas was a powerful moment, while its follow up, "Toccata per organo," an organ solo originally recorded by the band in the 70′s, added a nice touch of intermission leading up to one of the greatest and most powerful moments on the album: "Il Calvario."
For those of you that have heard the original record, you already know this piece. "Il Calvario" is about as powerful of a funeral march as you can imagine, featuring melancholic guitar- work by Dellacasa, augmented on this newest version by the work of the Italian strings ensemble Gnu Quartet. It should be noted that their strings contribution to the entire record goes a long ways as far as bringing it to life. These guys are no newcomers to prog, having worked with bands such as New Trolls in the past, and their subtle playing here really does the trick. Rather than its traditional ending with a narration, this new version of "Calvario" segue ways into "Aria della croce," a new solo from the dying Christ's perspective that will surely invoke tears. From here the band wraps up the album with several new pieces and arrangements that incorporate several themes and variations from the original album and this new version, touching on a few new topics like the gambling over Jesus' tunic and the rending of the temple. In the end, after many phenomenal orchestrations, splendid melodic rock, and marvelously executed dramatic narrations (by singers from Italian bands Circus 2000, New Trolls, Picchio dal pozzo, Pholas Dactylus, Sophya Baccini's Aradia, Jumbo, Osanna, and Il Tempio delle Clessidre), the album comes to a close: a new masterpiece.
Passio Secundum Matthaeum: The Complete Work took me by complete surprise (and storm), earning a well deserved spot in my list of legendary Italian albums. At this point, I'm still deciding whether or not a re-recording of an album can be in the running for album of the year against completely new releases, but the fact that there is so much new material on this album certainly makes it worth considering and even likely. On that note, check it out, it might just be on its way to becoming my top pick of the year.
Matt Di Giordano

History can be an integral part of subject matter in the world of progressive music, a look back at past events and how they shaped music and how music shaped events, a symbiotic relationship that has often been the source of sonic masterpieces. Thankfully, or perhaps even more mercifully, the list is endless and would take an eternity to name all 800 or so. In the early 70s, Italy was witnessing and relishing in the great gentrification of rock, now staffed by schooled musicians who are unafraid to show their mettle. Some old history first: Latte e Miele released a thrilling album in 1973 which did some serious damage back then and remains a classic RPI monument to this day, with heaps of written praise around the globe. The band has sort of followed in the footsteps of La Maschera di Cera who dared to record their version of Le Orme's legendary "Felona e Sorona", except that the creators were entirely a different band. The exact same Latte e Miele trio that recorded the Passio Secundum is back (Dellacasa, Lacagnina and Vitanza) and re-recorded as well as edited a newer version that is simply stupendous, in fact slinging the thing into the upper echelons of bliss. The stellar melodies have been polished up, in some cases reinvigorated, especially the orchestral and choral parts which are now focused and grandiose. New compositions have been added as well as shifting the flow into a more concise, complete piece of work, as well as including a vast cast of guests that are well listed in other reviews. In terms of historical perspective, the subject matter was, is and will be forever attached to the Italian fascination for Christ, as established by a state called the Vatican (and its considerable power and money) not only within Italy but even within its proud capital city, the once mighty Rome.
Time Log: Jesus Christ is crucified. Place: Jerusalem. The preparatory "Introduzione" sets the tone with typical Middle Eastern serenity and empirical Roman bombast , setting a time and place for the story to unfold , as the annual Jewish Passover holiday is set to begin, amid great tumult between the local populace and the invader legions. The glorious melody on harpsichord settles as the freshly baked matzah emerges from the oven, and the last supper has finally arrived (Supper's Ready), the sound alternating between historic narrations, massive choir arrangements and titillating keyboard flourishes. The melody on "Ultima Cena" is achingly poignant, revealing a glimpse of the upcoming tragedy. The bread and blood of the alliance refers to the benedict sharing of wine and sustenance, forged by a gentle acoustic guitar phrasing that elevates the soaring vocal, escorted by a gliding lead guitar that weeps and cries with splendor. Sweeping mellotron ushers in colossal choir work that veers closer to opera, another Italian 'trouvaille' that has lived on. Celestial synths adorn the arrangement as the story unfolds.
As with the original, "Getzemani" remains that thunderous melody with a masterful arrangement that elevates the sound to heavenly heights, generally marshaled by a sublime synth foray, this continues to be a highlight that can only surpass the loftiest hopes. Stirringly emotional and densely spiritual, the pure sounds blur the line between musical genres, with that blasted harpsichord seducing the soul once again. Alfio Vitanza's drums are crisp, bold and riveting, providing the foundation for the intense choir section, fueled by both the blissful mellotron and the parping synthesizers. "I Falsi Testimoni" only enhances the flow, with roiling organ, narration and huge choir interventions. The ELP-like instrumental section gets a guitar impulsion that only temporarily hides the moog solo, straight out of Emerson's Lucky Man.
"Il Pianto" is a direct lift from the former USSR anthem (same as the current Russian anthem with different lyrics) written by Alexander Alexandrov, a drop-dead gorgeous melody that is too short for my tastes and segues into the more somber dramatics that edge closer and closer to the intolerable finale. "Il Prezzo del Sangre" slings a sizzling guitar into a maelstrom of orchestral strings as the price of blood becomes self- evident and the fate of a precocious Christ is sealed by both the occupiers and the occupied, another young prophet brought down for daring to shake the tree. A brief nod to "Giuda"'s weakness dwells only briefly, the voice being the main focus here, swelled by Lacagnina's slippery synth and a regal guitar solo from Dellacasa. The option of Barrabas or Jesus comes up as a collision of choirs entangled, the spectral church organ finding its place in the score with cavernous appeal ("Toccata per Organo"), all leading up to the painful Calvary where the Romans had prepared the cross.
"Il Calvario" is a hurricane of emotions, imagine if you will dark choral clouds that loom above the Mount of Olives, distant thunder and occasional lightning crawling the flesh, as the massed voices exult in pained distress. Agonizing guitar bursts and distraught mellotron rule the stage, as the point of no return arrives. The tears of blood stain the cross of Roman punishment, the future consequences impossibly divine for future billions of souls. The "Aria della Croce" remains strangely upbeat for those reasons. Things get tumultuous with dense orchestrations that flirt with wild dissonance a la Orff, with hard guitars and raging chorale, a reprise of the Il Pianto" anthem, gentle as the warm wind is meant to provide hope and perhaps even salvation.
The deed is done, the moment when history has been forever altered for better or worse, the music highlighting the importance of his being still venerated by many worshipers. The work does not come across as a religious artifact but a rather well-crafted re-working of a classic story that no one can deny. Latte e Miele is another fine example of the 'resurrection' of progressive rock music, a genre gaudily crucified in the late 70s as pompous and elitist by primitive music scribes who somehow seized power of the journalism world and prepared the nails that slammed through prog's arms and legs. Needless to say, the entire package is first class, artwork, booklet, production and sound.
5/5 revivifications
Thomas Szirmay

Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com
What a fabulous remake!
Nowadays I am as fond of Italian prog as I was when I discovered progressive rock, those times when "Passio Secundum Mattheum" was one of the first RPI albums I discovered and loved, however, it never was a true favorite of mine, at the point that I even spent some years without listening to it. But well, last year I knew about a new version of that 1972 record, and though I did not get the album right away, I was kindly contacted by Black Widow Records' Massimo Gasperini, who let me know about this (and other label's releases), thanks a lot, man.
So this is called "Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Wor", and as I mentioned above, is like a remake of that album, but with a lot of "new" elements. First, it is important to say that all the songs were re-recorded, after the reunion of Latte e Miele's founding members Vitanza, Lacagnina and Dellacasa, and the addition of bass player Massimo Gori. Remember the original album features 12 songs and around 35 minutes of music; this one delights us with 19 tracks and a total time of 50 minutes.
Since the opener track "Introduzione" one realizes about the amazing musical production, I mean, the sound will remind you of 1972, though engineering and technology is now top-notch, so the sound is simply much better, which allows us to have a solid and amazing RPI journey. An advise, please listen to it with good headphones, close the eyes and you will see and imagine loads of things.
This time there was also a nice amount of guest musicians, which are called "evangelists", so it is great to listen to different voices through the album, voices that this time are belong to the Latte e Miele realm, but that are known to us due to their work with other RPI acts, some of them are Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Cresside) and Aldo de Scalzi (Picchi dal Pozzo), among others. Also, the music is smoothed by the great work of Choir Classe Mista and the virtuosity of GNU Quartet.
The new songs added here are as necessary as the original ones, I mean, those 15 additional minutes have the same high quality and produce a lot of images and emotions, the narrative is outstanding and the music leads us to a wonderful journey of classic-modern RPI that every person who likes this genre will love. The work of the Latte e Miele musicians is great, I have always loved Alfio Vitanza's drumming (I could see him with playing with New Trolls in the 2008 Baja Prog) and this time his performance is amazing again. Keyboards come from Oliverio Lacagnina, and believe me, he makes a spectacular work. Those instruments are greatly complemented by the choir and all the orchestral arrangements.
I love this longer version of "Getzemani" whose five minutes make it the longest composition of the album. "Il Prezzo del Sangue" is another favorite, and what I love the most is how all the songs are equally important, all together are like chapters from a book, no matter if the running time is just one minute, or three, or five; the production, the narration and the execution together make this a truly masterpiece of progressive rock.
"Il Calvario" is one of those moments of transition that makes me feel excited, Dellacasa's guitar here is truly amazing, disarming, touching, and complemented by the violins and the choir, uff, it gives me goosebumps. Well, all the songs are beautiful, and the album greatly finishes with "Come un Ruscello Che?" which is like the icing on the cake.
Well, if you are not familiar with this album, please get it, listen to both versions but once you have this new one, I bet you will fall in love with it.
Enjoy it!
Guillermo H. Urdapilleta

¿Qué más agregar a lo ya dicho? Deleitate con esta belleza, que este fin de semana largo no voy a compartir mucho porque no tengo mucho tiempo, pero con éste disco tenés para darle play y play todo el fin de semana largo.
Disfrútenlo! Una maravilla sonora!!!



2 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac - No CUE - No Log + Scans)
    http://adf.ly/1So6ir

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    1. Excelente hermano, voy a disfrutar este discazo y voy a subir el "Passio Secundum Mattheum"
      Gracias Cabezones... Me alegro haber iniciado este grupo se ve que les gusto

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