Orchestra E Coro della Scuola Popolare

Antifonie

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AllMusic Review by

While it is almost impossible to describe this large orchestral and choral work composed by Roberto Spadoni to the texts of Enrico Celidonio, it is sufficient to say that this work is a new dimension in Italian jazz; one that does not deny the older traditions of Italian music such as opera, but places them in the context of a new musical theater where jazz and all the music it encompasses can meet and dialogue with the classical lineages in an entirely new way. Spadoni has assembled a 26-piece orchestra and a 24-voice choir, and has written a series of antiphones for them to perform. Using his own sense of etude, overture, prelude, and finale, in between, he has takes his band and composed jazz pieces that take within them the folk forms of old Italy and the high art pretensions of Verdi and wraps them around each other for the sake of fun, art, and legacy. For instance, he uses an old call-and-response form of the choir's recitative in "Archiameme Voccamarra" and creates a choral sing-song that bleeds right into a burning tenor solo on "Luna Africana," with an arrangement worthy of Ellington's from The Drum Is A Woman suite. This gives way to a serialist violin solo and orchestral divertimenti that evokes the chorus without utilizing it to full effect on "Di Not in Not." It's mind-boggling the ambition of this project, and even more confounding in how beautifully he pulled it off this grand majesty of musical parades. Remarkable in its complexity and stunning in its clarity and heartbreakingly gorgeous articulation, this is art in the highest sense of the word.

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