miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2009

Latte E Miele - Papillon (1973)

Latte e Miele's second album was also a concept album, at least for the first half. This time they eschew weighty religious matter and opt for a more rustic Pinocchio theme. The story can characterised as (little wooden) boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy is sentenced to death for disappearance of girl. Both English language and Italian language versions of the first half of this album exist. Listening to the two side by side are instructive of the pros and cons of foreign groups singing English lyrics. The story itself is as entertaining as most Genesis narratives, but the accents are pretty awful at times, and the vocalists struggle so much with the word that things like tone suffer. I go for the Italian version, but it's worth hearing the English version at least once if opportunity arises.

Musically, the Papillon story is divided into an overture and seven acts. Each act begins with a variation of the same air, with occasional variations in instrumentation, key and tempo, during which the narrator sings. This is usually followed by a piece of instrumental music appropriate to the story. The third act however is a love song, quite pretty in Italian but nauseating in English. The main air is fortunately strong enough to sustain its repetition, and most of the instrumental music is of a very high quality. The story of Papillon is very enjoyable both for its component parts and the overall effect.

The remainder of the album nails its colours to the wall straight away with "Divertimento" and its keyboard-centred combination of jazz and classical music. What follows includes excerpts from Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", jazz developments of themes and Keith Emerson-style analogue synths. The only real exception to this is the thid part of "Patetica" with it's arpeggio guitar and laid back tempo augmented by a lush keyboard orchestration.

Despite the strong ELP influences, Papillon is another very good album. Although I personally prefer Passio Secundum Mattheum, it's the second album that is generally accepted as the better of the two. Either way, it's a close-run thing, and both are certainly worth purchasing. (C) Ground And Sky

Label: Polydor
Release year: 1973
Cat. n.:
- LP: 2448 015 A (1973);
- CD: Polydor/Mellow (517 537-2) (1995, never released); BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM085) (2003, w/ mini gatefold cover)
Genre: Italian rock / Progressive rock


1. Papillon - tempo total (19:50):
a) Overture - 1:09
b) Primo Quadro (La Fuga) - 2:04
c) Secondo Quadro (Il Mercado) - 3:23
d) Terzo Quadro (L'Incontro) - 3:58
e) Quarto Quadro (L'Arresto) - 2:51
f) Quinto Quadro (Il Verdetto) - 1:32
g) Sesto Quadro (La Trasformazione) - 3:45
h) Settimo Quadro (Corri Nel Monde) - 0:48

2. Divertimento (2:02)

3. Patetica - tempo total (16:42)
a) Parte Prima - 4:30
b) Parte Seconda - 6:21
c) Parte Terza - 5:51

4. Strutture (3:52)

5. Tanto Amore (bonus) (3:50)

Total Time: 46:16

- Oliviero Lacagnina / keyboards- Alfio Vitanza / drums
- Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa / guitar & vocals
- Alfio Vitanza / drums


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