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Osanna Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona  [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)] album cover
3.65 | 100 ratings | 11 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Preludio (4:10)
2. Tema (4:50)
3. Variazione I (To Plinius) (2:10)
4. Variazione II (MY Mind Flies) (5:05)
5. Variazione III (Shuum...) (1:38)
6. Variazione IV (Tredicesimo Cortile) (1:30)
7. Variazione V (Dianalogo) (2:08)
8. Variazione VI (Spunti Dallo Spartito N° 14723/AY Del Prof. Imolo Meninge) (2:50)
9. Variazione VII (Posizione Raggiunta) (1:25)
10. Canzona (There Will Be Time) (4:55)

Total time 30:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Lino Vairetti / vocals, ARP synthesizer
- Danilo Rustici / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Elio D'Anna / flute, electric tenor & baritone saxes, vocals
- Lello Brandi / bass
- Massimo Guarino / drums, percussion, vibes, vocals

- Luis Bacalov / orchestral arranger & conductor

Releases information

Soundtrack from the movie "Milano Calibro 9" directed by Fernando Di Leo

Artwork: Gian Carlo Greguoli

LP Fonit - LPX 14 (1972, Italy)
LP Fonit Cetra - PL 420 (1980,Italy) Entitled "Milano Calibro 9" and new cover art

CD Fonit Cetra - CDP 420 (1989, Italy) As 1980 LP, see above
CD - VMCD 092 (2004, Italy) With mini LP original cover

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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OSANNA Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)] ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

OSANNA Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)] reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars I have this one with a different cover. From what I gather from friends , this is not their better one as most people say Palepoli is. Since I don't really enjoy this one -but this is a soundtrack to something , I cannot judge the whole, but the music out of its context is not very captivating
Review by Proghead
4 stars Back in February 1995, I was in Eugene, Oregon at the Eugene Hilton. There was a record convention being held there. It was quite an event, because unlike record stores, I kept running in to people I never knew where I was openly able to talk music to them (because the event seemed to consist of more serious collectors, rather than college kids who, at the time, thought that music began and ended with Kurt Cobain). While there, I noticed an OSANNA album, having been already amazed with "Palepoli", I snatched this earlier release, "Milano Calibro 9". It was an American release on the Peters International label. It was released in 1973, a year after the original Italian release. I also got it for cheap (something you can't always say of Italian prog LPs, unless it was American pressings of PFM albums).

On this album, the band matured quite a bit. Where on "L'Uomo", it was a combination of hard rock, blues, jazz, folk, and prog, on this album, they were able to combine those styles in a more mature and progressive framework. And this time, it's a soundtrack to a film. But despite the trippy artwork on the album cover that might make you think "Milano Calibro 9" was an art film, it was actually apparently a mob film (for one thing, "Calibro 9" translates as "Caliber 9", so you know right it way it has to deal with a gun). The band incorporates an orchestra, conducted by Argentine-born Luis Enriquez Bacalov (who was previously responsible for NEW TROLLS' "Concerto Grosso Per 1" and later IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA's "Contaminazione"). The American LP has all the song titles in English (so instead of "Preludio", "Tema", several "Variazioni"s, and "Canzona", they are "Prelude", "Theme", "Variations" and "There Will Be Time").

The album starts off with "Theme", which starts off with a bizarre sounding ARP 2600 synthesizer. There is some classical piano, the orchestra, then the band kicks in to a mindblowing jam. "Tema" ("Theme") is a more mellow, and pleasant piece, dominated by piano, orchestra, and ARP 2600 synthesizer. Nice piece. Then the album goes through several pieces entitled "Varazioni" (divided by roman numerals I-VII). These movements goes through many different moods and changes, although most of them are quite short. The second movement is also called "My Mind Flies". This is one of only two cuts with vocals. The band chose to sing in English, but as you know, the English language isn't the high point of these guys. Luckily it's stuffed with lots of bizarre, atmospheric and acoustic pieces, with that great flute, and more great loud, aggressive jams. The last piece, "Canzona" is also called "There Will Be Time". This is not a particularly progressive piece. This is the album's only other vocal track, and it's a pretty straightforward pop song, as seemed to be the common occurance on many Italian prog albums.

My big complaint of the album is I wished for lengthier compositions (luckily they fixed that problem with "Palepoli"), because I like the mood of many of the pieces, just wished it lasted longer. But I guess that had to deal with the fact this is a movie soundtrack. Still a great album.

Review by soundsweird
3 stars No, it's not a great album, but it has its moments. And it's not an album to put on when you're in the mood for one particular style of music. I must admit that I haven't listened to this CD in years, which isn't a good sign. The production always seemed iffy, which I initially blamed on the record label Peters, notorious for crappy-sounding production. Even with the CD, the sound is sub-par, but not so bad that the album can't be appreciated. I thought the sound quality on "Palepoli" was even worse, and it WAS enough to keep me from buying it. May just be the recording itself.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The guitar sounds a bit like Led Zeppelin or like on the first Rush's album. There are some strings arrangements which give a symphonic touch to this prog hard rock album. It sounds a bit like the Italian prog band RDM, but it is more instrumental. there are excellent fast drums, very good piano, loud and complex bass and some good flute parts; the only "bad" thing is that the atmosphere is not very warm for a hard rock band: sometimes it is very scary, given the numerous psychedelic bits. There are not very much vocals.
Review by andrea
4 stars "Preludio, tema, variazioni, canzona2 also known as "Milano Calibro 9", is Osanna's second studio album and was released in 1972 on the Fonit Cetra label with a confirmed line up featuring Lino Vairetti (lead vocals, guitars, organ, synthesizer), Danilo Rustici (guitars, organ, synthesizer), Elio D'Anna (flute, sax, ottavino), Lello Brandi (bass) and Massimo Guarino (drums, percussion). It marks the collaboration between the band and Argentine-Italian film composer Luis Enriquez Bacalov (who had previously worked with the New Trolls) and was conceived as the score for the film "Milano Calibro 9". Director Fernando Di Leo was very impressed by the album "Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls" and asked Luis Bacalov to compose the soundtrack for his film "Milano Calibro 9" in the same style. Osanna were chosen to perform the score interacting with an orchestra and, according to an interview with Lino Vairetti, they recorded the music while watching the film on a screen in a theatre and for them this was really a new exciting experience...

In my opinion, you can't really appreciate this album without watching the film and it would be unfair to define this work just as a sequel of the collaboration between Bacalov and New Trolls... The film "Milano Calibro 9" (Milan Calibre 9) is a noir (or, if you prefer, a poliziottesco) inspired by some short stories of the writer Giorgio Scerbanenco (Kiev, 28 Jul. 1911 - Milan, 27 Oct. 1969) and it was conceived by Fernando Di Leo as a kind of vehicle to express his sociological, anthropological and philosophical point of view about the world of crime and the turmoil of Italy in the early Seventies. This film is the first chapter of a trilogy that includes also "La mala ordina" (The Italian Connection) and "Il boss" (The boss) and features an excellent cast of actors like Gastone Moschin, Mario Adorf, Philippe Leroy, Barbara Bouchet and Lionel Stander. During the movie you can listen to some delicate and very evocative themes while on the screen images of an almost surrealistic violence flow with Milan in the background. The blending of baroque music and progressive-rock commenting the crucial passages of the plot contributed to the successful final result of the film and only having watched it you can associate the music to the "shaking and dancing" images of the cruel and beautiful character interpreted by Barbara Bouchet or to a merciless killing (it's the case of "Variazione VI").

After recording the score, the band re-recorded all the tracks for the record market adding a composition by Luis Bacalov, "There Will Be Time", that can't be found on the original soundtrack. The first two seminal tracks of the album, "Preludio" and "Tema", were composed by Luis Bacalov too and seem to come out from Concerto grosso while the variations, featuring a more aggressive mood, were composed by the band and arranged with the help of the maestro. The nervous "Variazione I (To Plinius)" fades into the following "Variazione II (My Mind Flies)", the only variation featuring vocals and lyrics. It's a beautiful, dreamy piece sung in English that ends the first side of the album by describing a kind of psychedelic flight where the mind soars over the sands of time leaving behind a body that looks like a sleeping bar of steel...

"Variazione III (Shuum?)" opens the second side of the LP with the flute in the forefront and strong Jethro Tull influences, then follow the nervous "Variazione IV (Tredicesimo cortile)", the calm, ethereal "Variazione V (Dianalogo)", the lively mix between baroque music, hard rock and tarantella of "Variazione VI (Spunti dallo spartito n. 17728 del Prof. Imolo Meninge)" and the short, jazzy "Variazione VII (Posizione raggiunta)". The bitter-sweet ballad "There Will Be Time", with lyrics based upon a poem of Thomas Elliot and dealing with some reflections about time passing by closes an album that might sound a bit fragmented but is really worth listening to...

By the way, the film "Milano Calibro 9" was also released on DVD and you can watch it in the original Italian version with removable English subtitles or in English version (restored, remastered and with bonus material including an interview with Luis Bacalov). Don't miss it!

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This is not a full ŤOsannať album since several parts were not composed by the band but by the director of the orchestra which supported the band for this release. Which is the soundtrack of a second rank Italian movie.

That being said, there are several interesting passages, full of classicism and romanticism. In this respect, both "Preludio" and "Tema" are fine pieces of music mixing classicism and prog rock music. A good combination.

Some of the "Variations" are also quite pleasant but the first one, which is fully jazz oriented is really beyond my understanding. Most of these pieces are short (to very short) and can't really be described as songs or tracks.

The only one corresponding to this status is "II". Fine theme changes ranging from slightly heavy to delicate acoustic. Wild guitar work at the end of this part, coming almost out of the blue. Unexpected.

Tull is back again with the third "Variazone". Almost exclusively flute oriented, it is another pleasant moment. Not fully original but one has to take what's available. And the forth one is just purely experimental and heavy. Press nextT.

To highlight the diversity of the band, it is only necessary to listen to "V" and "VI" which are diametrically different. Ambient for the former and heavy for the latter. The former, in this case, has my preference.

Neither bad nor great, I consider this album just average. Typical of a soundtrack, lots of parts are really too short to be fully appreciated. But all normally formatted parts are pleasant, including the beautiful and melodic ballad which closes this release: "Canzona" even if fianl part is drowned under heavy orchestrations.

I upgrade my rating to three stars (from a five out of ten).

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Sandwiched between the group's energetic and eclectic debut "L'Uomo" and the progressive landmark album "Palepoli" which has immortalized them forever in the progressive rock history books was a short little album that has gone by two titles and barely clocks in over a half of an hour in running time. Originally released as PRELUDIO, TEMA, VARIAZIONI E CANZONA, this second album by OSANNA is actually a progressive rock soundtrack for the Italian film MILANO CALIBRO 9 which is also the second title that it has been released as. While credited as an OSANNA album proper as it is performed exclusively by the face-painting band from Naples, several of the tracks were written by the pianist and composer Luiz Enrique Bacalov who not only wrote several of the tracks but also tackled the arrangements as well as serving as director of the orchestrations.

Despite this not being a total-control type of OSANNA album and designed to serve the mood of the film (which i've never seen) it still sounds very much like the same musicians who performed on "L'Uomo" and "Palepoli." The film itself was based on the book of the same name CALIBRO 9 (meaning "caliber 9") and was about a small-time gangster who, once released from prison, had to convince the police, his friends and his girlfriend that he was going straight and done with the criminal world however everyone around him believes he has a stash of cash nearing the 300,000$ range hidden somewhere. The music is primarily instrumental with a couple tracks offering Lino Vairetti's signature vocal style. The music despite being suited for a soundtrack sounds very much like the eclectic OSANNA of the surrounding albums with Danilo Rustici's signature guitar riffing, Elio D'Anna's distinct flute and sax contributions and Massimo Guarino's equally unambiguous drum patterns.

Soundtracks are tricky beasts to rate and review since they are more often than not so inextricably intertwined with the theme and mood of the film in which they appear, so i personally have to have a connection with the music independently since a soundtrack without the film is and should be held up to scrutiny independently. This soundtrack to MILANO CALIBRO 9 certainly does just that. While i have no idea how it fits in to the movie itself, i actually find this one a beautiful listening experience. OSANNA may have fewer rocking moments compared to other albums as this one is very much a trade off of harder rock with symphonic classical orchestrated segments but it works quite successfully. While the classical parts may sound more like a generic soundtrack material, OSANNA more than adds enough of their idiosyncratic take on progressive rock so as to leave no doubt as to who the stars of this show are.

While based in a melodramatic classical style, OSANNA let's loose with raucous heavy rocking guitar and freaked out electronica. There are a number of effects like back masking that are quite effective and the OSANNA type song structures as heard on "L'Uomo" are plentiful. For me this one more than works as a musical statement outside of the context of the film's theme and delivers a very satisfying mix of stellar written tracks that take the approach of "L'Uomo" and create a fully formed fusion with classical soundtrack type score music. Nothing seems forced as the two styles play around together and except for the rather insipid ballad type vocal number "Canzona (There Will Be Time)" which ends the album, i'm actually quite fond of every other track. OSANNA would fizzle out quickly after "Palepoli" but on this one they still flaunt their musical mojo even if they weren't calling all the shots.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A quite different work from the hard rock debut, Milan Calibro 9 shows a more ecletic Osanna, playing music written and arreanged for a movie picture. A lot more instrumental passages shows the band quality, specially the flute playing of Elio Danna and the keyboards and good agency before the group ... (read more)

Report this review (#962776) | Posted by GKR | Monday, May 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Despite being largely instrumental and partially composed by Luis E. Bacalov, the soundtrack to Milano Calibro 9 is Osanna's most successful effort as a band and their best album in my opinion. L'Uomo was a laborious debut, and the popular Palepoli is too fractured and chaotic for my tastes; ... (read more)

Report this review (#938105) | Posted by coasterzombie | Monday, April 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First of all... the album is far too short!!! I first heard this album in the mid 1970s when I had rented it from the library/discotheque in Brugge. I immediately loved the album and taped it. The mixture of Jethro Tull, Gong (Continental Circus), Pink Floyd (More), the French composer Saint- ... (read more)

Report this review (#597563) | Posted by Lieven Van Paemel | Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second work released in 1972 "Milano Calibro 9". Sound track. It is a construction thing of a huge baroque. It is exactly perfection of the confusion beauty. It keeps severe and the extremely unbalanced world of luxury. Tone quality is also good for an Italian rock. I feel the influence of ... (read more)

Report this review (#67245) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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