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Mistico Mediterraneo

6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 22, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

About the Artist

Sketches of Corsica, the Mediterranean and the wider world abound in this fascinating collaboration between lyrical Italian jazz improvisers Paolo Fresu and Daniele di Bonaventura and vocal ensemble A Filetta. Mistico Mediterraneo is the first documentation of an alliance that has been gathering momentum for a few years already; it is also the ECM debut of the Corsican singers.

The A Filetta group, is celebrated for its re-casting of Corsican vocal polyphony over the last three decades, and for helping to preserve a unique singing tradition, both secular and sacred, whose roots stretch back to antiquity. The A Filetta singers ("Filetta" translates as "fern" or "bracken") never lose sight of the tradition, but have kept it alive by taking it to new places, writing compositions for the ensemble and initiating meetings with musicians of other genres. The group is led by Jean-Claude Acquaviva, who was just 13 when A Filetta was founded in 1978. For him, Mistico Mediterraneo is a faithful reflection of the trajectory of the group's music: anchored in tradition but continually reaching out to other musics, "ethnic" and otherwise.

Paolo Fresu, from the neighboring island of Sardinia, which has its own special vocal tradition, could relate at once to the Corsican music with its "refined and archaic voices", its mix of contemporary compositions and its attempt to hold fast to "melodies vanishing in the darkness of time". As the improvisers approach this regional music of universal appeal, Fresu's pensive, romantic trumpet inevitably brings Milesian associations to mind, and the ingenious bandoneon of Daniele di Bonaventura implies `chamber music' and `folk music' in every breath of the bellows .

In October 2006, Fresu and di Bonaventura, along with two other jazz improvisers (saxophonist André Jaume and percussionist Philippe Biondi), were invited by stage director Francis Aïqui for a celebratory event in Ajaccio's L'Aghja theatre, establishing a basis for further collaboration. Over the last four years the musicians have fine-tuned the song cycle now known as "Mistico Mediterraneo", and di Bonaventura has gone on to work with the singers in other contexts.

Jean-Claude Acquaviva is A Filetta principal composer. His "Rex tremendae" and "Figliolu d'ella" derive from a requiem written in 2004, Di Corsica riposu, requiem pour deux regards, and first performed inside the Basilique de Saint-Denis outside Paris. "U Sipolcru" is a chant created for a Passion play enacted in Calvi at the beginning of the 1990s. "Liberata" is from a documentary dealing with the Corsican resistance movement during the Second World War. Film has been an important medium for the dissemination of A Filetta's message, and they have worked extensively with Parisian film composer Bruno Coulais on soundtracks and incidental music of a dozen films and stage works. The chant "Le Lac", based on a Tibetan mantra, was composed by Coulais for Eric Valli's film Himalaya, L'enfance d'un chef (1999), while "Gloria" and "La folie du cardinal" are from Gabriel Aghion's movie Le Libertin (2000). Three pieces here were written for A Filetta by Jean-Michel Giannelli, composer of contemporary polyphonic chant and occasional on-stage instrumentalist with the ensemble; two of his compositions set texts by Corsican poet Petru Santucci.

Paolo Fresu's recent ECM collaboration with Ralph Towner, Chiaroscuro (released in 2009), successful both with the critics and the public, figured in the quarterly list of Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Since 1990, when he swept the Musica Jazz Polls, the trumpeter has been a multiple award winner. Fresu has appeared on more than 300 albums including leader dates for EMI, RCA and Blue Note. While Chiaroscuro was his first ECM release, he can also be heard on the ECM-distributed Watt label, performing with Carla Bley on the album The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu (recorded 2007).

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Rex Tremendae 5:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Liberata 5:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Da Tè À Mè 5:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Le Lac 6:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Dies Irae 5:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Gloria 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Corale 3:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. La Folie Du Cardinal 1:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. U Sipolcru 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Scherzi Veranili 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Figliolu D'ella 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Gradualis 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Sanctus 4:42$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,927 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By d1966 on April 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD
What a masterpiece! Undoubtedly one of the most original and moving recordings I've heard in years; hard to classify indeed -- a mix of so many different genres, yet it seems to create, as it were, its very own language, one that -- as the title suggests -- bespeaks of an attachment to a particular region. Despite its daring and surprisingly modern bent, it seems to possess an immemorial and almost archaic dimension that reminded me of traditional, even ancient, music. A truly extraordinary recording.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frank on April 12, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Paulo Fresu is one of our international treasures. Mistico Mediterraneo is a beautiful, lyrical journey around the Italian coast. Both the accordion and Fresu's trumpet are in perfect interplay. Usually, I am not interested in vocal music. The Corsican Voices are consistently involving, although there is one tune that sounds like they are singing "eggs and cheese" over and over again.

The influence of Tibetan Buddhist, as well as early Christian, chanting is wonderful. If you like ECM's classical and jazz catalog, this is a wonderful melding. I like it better than the Garbarek/Hilliard collaborations.
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By ditheringsurface on January 20, 2015
Format: Audio CD
This is a truly original recording that get's better with time. It stays with you like a fond childhood memory. Most highly recommended.
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