Valtaro Musette Eccelsior Quartette
Tour of Sunny Italy
|ROME - TRACK 1 DANCE ME - POLKA (Balla mi)
||MESSINA - TRACK 1 IF I COULD - POLKA (S?lo postessi -)
|ROME - TRACK 2 MY ANGEL - WALTZ (Mio angelo)
||NAPLES - TRACK 2 TARANTELLA NAPOLITANA
|NAPLES - TRACK 3 MIRANDA - MAZURKA
||NAPLES - TRACK 3 RAMONTI - WALTZ
|NAPLES - TRACK 4 FORGET ME - WALTZ (Dimenticar mi)
||PALERMO - TRACK 4 TARANTELLA SICILIANA
|MESSINA - TRACK 5 FRANCISCHELLA - TARANTELLA
||PALERMO - TRACK 5 CARMELINDA - MAZURKA
|MESSINA - TRACK 6 IRENE - WALTZ
||PALERMO - TRACK 6 THE NAUGHTY - POLKA
This is music originating from 4 Italian cities: Rome, Naples, Palermo, Messina. It is being played and danced not in those places which aim to attract tourists and foreigners, but in the cafes off the main roads, where the natives go and have a good time among themselves. All of this music is lusty and hearty, hot-blooded and fast-paced. (Intruding foreigners could hardly hope to keep up its pace.
Rome, the ancient city of the Romans, built on seven hills, and the new city, changing its face almost from year to year with all the building activities going on at an almost American pace. Of the 4 cities featured here, Rome is the only one located not by the sea, but 15 miles inland, on both banks of the Tiber River, an entire world in itself for a "Roma, Holiday". From Rome, we hear 2 pieces:
- a polka which sounds like a merry-go-round driven by a whip.
- a waltz with a surprisingly earthbound quality, both heavy and heady.
Built like an ampitheatre around the Bay of Naples, overlooked by Mount Vesuvius, Naples is one of the most densely populated cities of all of Europe, with consequently much of its private life projected into its streets. Like most Italian cities, Naples displays both the old and the new, and caters to the needs of the mind as well as to those of the body, with its university dating from the 13th Century and its prospering macaroni production. From Naples we hear as many as 4 pieces:
- a mazurka with an enticing motif in triplets played by the accordion, and an ever so faint musical hint at the famous "Santa Lucia" serenade.
- a quick waltz featuring again those characteristic triplets blowing by like a breeze from the sea.
- fascinates us through the contrasting sounds of a high-pitched okarina, the vibrations of the mandolins, and the deep basses played by the accordion.
- a waltz that is driving on in a?peculiarly relentless Way, accented again by quick triplets enunciated by forcefully played mandolins.
The capital city of Sicily, with its memories of Phoenician, Carthagian, Byzantine, Saracen, and French reigns, with its huge shipbuilding yards and vast fisheries, is a city which was finally conquered for Italy as late as 1860 by Garibaldi. From Palermo we hear 3 pieces:
- a piece which makes us feel like participating in a country fair on a hot summer afternoon. The robust style of the music is accented by the reedy and penetrating sound of a special instrument, the Sicilian Flute which holds a high pitch above the accordion?s melodic line and the heavy stomping of the guitar?s bass.
- a mazurka in a minor key whose middle section, in a major key, brings us the tonal surprise of the simultaneous sound of the okarina and the accordion rising and falling together in breathless progressions of thirds.
- a polka with a strong opening motif of 3 stark chords played by the mandolins, followed by tantalizing sequences of scales and triads.
The chief seaport of Sicily, Messina is a city ever ravaged by earthquakes and ever rebuilt, city of fruits, of olives, oranges, lemons, and wine. From Messina we hear 3 pieces:
If I Could
- a hopping polka with instrumental bravoura passages reminiscent of both the wizardry of Paganini and the laughter of a mockingbird.
- a quick little waltz which catches and holds us by the high-pitched mockery of the okarina skipping over and above the heavy texture of the low-keyed accordion.
- a tarantella in a minor key whose middle part is of an almost menacing hotbloodedness through the piercing sound of high fifes.
Photo courtesy Italian State Tourist Office - Printed in U.S.A.
STANDARD PHONO CORP., 163 West 23rd Street, New York 11, N. Y.
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Valtaro Musette Eccelsior Quartette - Tour of Sunny Italy Section
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YOUR KEY TO COLLECTIBLES© 1997