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Latte E Miele

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Latte E Miele Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi album cover
3.81 | 52 ratings | 5 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. San Marco (1:30)
2. Carnival (3:16)
3. Il Sogno (3:14)
4. Via Si Va (3:33)
5. I Crociati (8:07)
6. Il Deserto Del Gobi (4:11)
7. Il Matrimonio Del Bimbi Nel Vento (3:10)
8. Pechino (4:52)
9. Kubilai Kan (3:32)
10. L'ultimo Unicorno (3:24)
11. La Battaglia Di Curzola (5:31)
12. La Prigione (4:22)
13. Sogno Incrociato (2:17)
14. Ritorno A San Marco (1:36)

Total time 52:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Marcello Dellacasa / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Oliviero Lacagnina / keyboards, piano
- Massimo Gori / bass, vocals
- Alfio Vitanza / drums, vocals

- Pino Nastasi
- Riccardo Vartolo
- Angelo Quarantotti
- Andrea Landi

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Aerostella/Edel ‎- 0199312AER (2009, Italy)

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LATTE E MIELE Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi ratings distribution

(52 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

LATTE E MIELE Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Marco Polo: dreams & travels"

Latte e Miele (Milk and Honey) are one of the classic Italian groups who were not a "one-shot", instead releasing three fine albums back in the day. Born in Genova around 1971, the band was acclaimed for an ELP/Orme style of progressive rock fused to classical music. Examples can be heard on their first two albums, the majestic "Passio secundum Mattheum" and follow-up "Papillon." This was followed in the mid '70s with "Aquile E Scoiattoli" from a completely different line-up save drummer Vitanza. The band returns in 2009 with the original line-up plus Massimo Gori from the second line-up. While I cannot read the Italian lyrics it is not difficult to deduce that the new album is a conceptual work inspired by the life and travels of Marco Polo. Polo was a Venetian merchant and explorer who lived from 1254-1324 and is known for his journey to Asia and elsewhere. He wrote about his adventures in a book called "Il Milione" or "The Travels of Marco Polo." Latte Miele uses this epic story as the backbone for a full symphonic progressive rock exploration, similar to the way Il Cerchio d'Oro did with the excellent comeback "Il Viaggio di Colombo" last year.

"Sogni e viaggi" will most certainly make my list of 2009's standout RPI releases, though with this being an early review I'm not sure where it will place yet. But this is an album Latte Miele should be very proud of. They have delivered a beautiful comeback album with a warm, sweeping, worldly feel about it. It is an album with a larger-than-life feeling, an upbeat, updated take on classic progressive rock whose reach should extend beyond RPI fans to standard symphonic and neo-prog fans as well. The songs are rich and flowing one into the next in true concept style, it feels as though the material has been lovingly written over some length of time. Most of the material was written by keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina and bassist Massimo Gori, with guitarist Marcello Dellacasa contributing to a few as well. The sounds of the Marco Polo journey are bathed in Lacagnina's grandiose keyboard passages, synths, gothic organ, and lovely piano. Gori and drummer Alfio Vitanza provide a sure footed rhythm section, the bass is warm and the drumming bold without being unnecessarily loud and flashy---a problem of many drummers these days, too loud and too busy beyond what serves the music. Here things are mixed and produced very well for an optimal sound.

Marcello Dellacasa is an accomplished classical guitarist, and in fact after leaving Latte Miele in 1974 he undertook serious studies in classical guitar and composition, then spent many of the years since recording and performing. Dellacasa is also a superb lead guitarist and there are many tastefully jamming electric solos throughout the album. There are also moments with delicate acoustic guitar parts and in classic RPI fashion, a strings section providing vibrant orchestration when called upon! These additional musicians, Riccardo Vartolo, Angelo Quarantotti, Andrea Landi, and Pino Nastasi add much to Latte Miele in the form of depth and grandeur. "I Crociati" is an 8-minute feast of everything a classic RPI fan could hope for: grand emotion, sound effects, mood and tempo changes, sparkling piano, plus an ending of wailing guitar over strings...bravo! "Il Deserto Del Gobi" features great string arrangements and exotic sounds that bring you right into the story. The opening and finale deserve a special mention for being exquisitely written, dynamic, and exciting, letting you know this is going to be a feast! The tracks breath life into the story through musical drama and adventure. There is a spirit here in the band to think big and bold, and this has resulted in the songs being full of life and color. In short, they nail the subject matter completely in their writing and playing: Marco Polo. Thankfully we have all Italian vocals here (no English, good choice guys!) As there are multiple vocal credits I'm not sure who sings the most lead but the singing is very good, smooth and pleasant, not overly gregarious or rough as some RPI vocals can be. Some fans of the rougher side of RPI may find the album lacks the "harshness" or weirdness they enjoy, as this is primarily very accessible progressive rock. While I generally enjoy abrasive edges in my prog as well, this is but a minor quibble. Bottom line, this material works and it works well.

An excellent album. I do not hesitate shouting to RPI fans everywhere: add Marco Polo to your buy-list asap! Fans of PFM, Rovescio Delle Medaglia, Orme, Pandora, or Quella Vecchia Locanda, you will not be disappointed in the return of the legendary Latte Miele. They prove again what they have always been: one of Italian prog's finest wines. After hearing Marco Polo, it is my hope that they have another bottle in the rack for us in the years to come. Or how about this guys? A new live DVD release of "Passio secundum Mattheum" in its entirety, complete with operatic choir! Ahhh well, you can't blame me for trying. Grazie Marcello, Oliviero, Alfio, and Massimo.

Review by andrea
5 stars Latte e Miele were formed in Genova in 1971. They disbanded in 1980, after three albums and some singles. In 2008 the band reunited for some concerts and a live album, "Live Tasting" with a line up featuring veterans Marcello Giancarlo Della Casa (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals), Oliviero Lacagnina (piano, keyboards), Alfio Vitanza (drums, vocals) and Massimo Gori (bass, vocals). In 2009 they released a brand new album in symphonic style, produced by PFM's drummer Franz Di Cioccio for the independent label Areostella. It was recorded with the help of a symphonic orchestra directed by Oliviero Lacagnina and the result is an excellent concept album, an original rock opera inspired by the character of Marco Polo. If you are not familiar with this band take as a reference point bands like Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and New Trolls or a work like PFM's Dracula...

The album opens with two instrumental tracks setting the atmosphere, the solemn "San Marco" and the joyful "Carnival"... It's night and the streets of Venice are crowded with people celebrating the carnival. A young artist, Marco, is attracted by a charming woman wearing a mask. He follows her along narrow and crowded streets. She leads him into a theatre. The theatre is empty because of restoration works, the mysterious woman vanishes and the young can't find the way out. Lost, he falls asleep and begins to dream...

"Il sogno" (The dream) depicts a strange dream where time and logic melt and become meaningless words... "Free, I'm gliding into a deep hugging sleep / I know, it's me but it's not my face / Mystery, invisible magic of a time that is gone / Please tell me, who am I now?...". In the dream the young artist becomes Marco Polo and set off for a long journey through open skies and cold deserts. The music is dramatic and brilliant, featuring operatic vocals and sudden changes of mood.

"Via si va" (Going away) is lighter and melodic. Soaring vocals draw the hopes and the expectations of a departure in the night, towards a new dawn... "Going away while it's still dark / Towards unknown countries / A last glance to what we leave and let's go... We'll see places that we can't even imagine / Miles and miles of new roads are waiting for us / We head east, where the sun rises / Towards a new civilization...".

On the long and complex "I crociati" (The crusaders) we can follow the footprints of crusaders that never came back. Ashes cover everything like snow while far away the tears of solitary mothers resound in the air

"Il deserto del Gobi" (Gobi Desert) depicts the magic of the wind that blows through the dunes singing a mysterious melody that keeps strangers away... "Long shadows on the sand / I'm following the sun to east, towards east... Listen, the dunes are singing / It's like a spell that's calling us / It pushes us, it slightly touches us / It defies us, it implores us / Please, stay away from here...".

During the journey, along with Marco we meet other peoples and civilizations with their peculiar rites and ceremonies... "Il matrimonio dei bambini nel vento" (The marriage of the children in the wind) describes a rite where is celebrated the marriage of two dead children in the other world. It's a beautiful and melancholic track... "They go away / As if they were playing / But their game is over... The clouds will be their cradle / They're going away / The wind wants them... ".

Then we arrive in China's capital. "Pechino" (Beijing) describes a scene on the market square where charlatans try to sell magic potions featuring dragons tears and eyes of snakes while the solemn and evocative instrumental "Kubilai Khan" describes a visit to the royal palace.

"L'ultimo unicorno" (The last unicorn) is ethereal and melodic. It describes a hunt scene. Marco has the chance to kill the last unicorn but he drops down his arrow and bow leaving it run away, free... Life and freedom are the only trophies that are worth to keep.

Ten, back in Europe with a brisk change of atmosphere and mood. "La battaglia di Curzola" (The battle of Curzola) describes the naval battle fought on September 9, 1298 between the fleets of Venice and Genoa in the seas of Southern Dalmatia where Marco Polo was captured and put in prison. It's an epic track that depicts the absurdity and horror of war.

The melancholic "La prigione" (The prison) describes the days that Marco passed in the prisons of Genoa, dictating his memories to a cellmate... "I've been put in jail by my people / But my thoughts are free / Follow me towards the fantastic and magical world / That is kept inside me... I'm flying away, follow me / I will carry you with me...".

"Sogno incrociato" (Crossed dream) is about another strange dream. Marco Polo falls asleep and wakes up in another era and in another place, an empty theatre in Venice. The instrumental "Ritorno a San Marco" (Back to San Marco) is a reprise of the first track and closes the circle. By the way, Malibran theatre (formerly known as Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo) was built in XVII century upon the ruins of the palace where lived the family of Marco Polo...

A wonderful rock opera that deserves many spins...

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is the big come back album for LATTE E MIELE released in 2009. There seems to be quite a few Italian bands who have reformed and recorded albums the last few years and for me it's been a hit and miss affair.This would be a miss. Honestly I just don't think this compares to their first two albums at all. I have struggled through this album every single time i've heard it. It's just not my style with the orchestration and at times "musical" vibe both of which are usually turn offs in my world. A matter of taste of course.

"San Marco" has a powerful intro with organ that I like then the guitar takes the lead as it blends into "Carnival" as the instrumental music continues. A calm with violin arrives before 2 1/2 minutes.

"Il Sogno" is upbeat with keys as the vocals arrive for the first time on the album. Backing vocals and operatic vocals don't do much for me here. "Via Siva" has these light keys and fragile vocals. Disney World is coming to mind.

"Crochti" is led by piano before 1 1/2 minutes as it settles.Vocals are back before 3 minutes then it kicks in after 4 minutes. A calm after 6 minutes then the vocals return before it kicks back in late.

"Il Deserto Del Gobi" has an exotic flavour to it early on. It picks up 2 minutes in and vocals follow. "Il Matri Mono Dei Bimbi Nel Vento" is mellow with reserved vocals, strings and more.

"Pechino" builds slowly then it kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes with the guitar leading. It settles with vocals a minute later then it picks back up when the vocals stop. "Kubilai Kan" has guitar and an orchestral section that will come and go.

"L'ultimo Unicorno" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in.It does get fuller. Not a fan. "La battaglia Di Curtolo" has these marching styled drums to start with keyboards that build. Guitar and drums before a minute. Nice. Best section of the album right here along with the album's intro. The tempo will change throughout.

"La Prigione" opens with piano and strings as reserved vocals join in. It picks up after 2 minutes with guitar. Not a fan of this as it's a little too sweet.

"Sogno Incrociato" has a classical vibe with vocals. Not a fan. "Ritorno A San Marco" ends it with a good instrumental.

A low 3 stars for me.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the impressive ''Aquile e scoiattoli'' Latte E Miele kept the thing going until the early-80's, their sound became more commercial with each year and this has been taped on the third unreleased album ''Vampyrs'', recorded in 1979, but released only in 1992 on Mellow Records.Drummer Alfio Vitanza collaborated with Vottorio De Scalzi on a New Trolls' revamped version named La Storia dei New Trolls, but to great surprise Latte E Miele reformed in 2008 with the original line-up of Vitanza, Lacagnina and Dellacasa plus guitarist Massimo Gori from the ''Aquile e scoiattoli'' core.The following year the band prooved to have fully returned recording a new album for the German label Edel, named ''Marco Polo - sogni e viaggi'', apparently a concept work, refering to the adventures of legendary traveller Marco Polo.

So, what we should expect from a bunch of great musicians, returning after 30 years of silence?The answer is some great Symphonic Rock in the best Italian tradition, which does not top the greatest moments of the band's history, but offer some 50 minutes of beautiful, elaborate musicianship with lovely Italian nuances and delicate symphonic arrangements.You can still find the strict Classical influences, the elegant orchestrations and the dramatic/romantic twists in Latte E Miele's new effort, which still contains the band's trademark alternations between isolated piano themes, bombastic keyboard interludes, lyrical expressions via standard vocals or choirs and generally all the unique twists they were offering back in mid-70's, minus the experimental jazzy breaks.The album is split in 14 short tracks with balanced guitars, some string parts and lots of powerful and more laid-back keyboard lines, highlighted by the use of the mightly Hammond organ in an E.L.P.-style.The atmosphere becomes very calm and emotional in a couple of ballads, serving the flow of the story, the next moment the grandieur rises through your speakers, pretty excellent use of melodious themes, virtuosic keyboard showering and an Italian-flavored Classicism sounds like heaven to my ears.

One of the very decent comebacks of an old Italian Prog band.100% Prog/Symphonic Rock with the consistency of the past Latte E Miele album's, just delivered in a slightly updated sound and production.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After their outstanding and very promising return with the live album entitled Live Tasting from 2008, Latte E Miele released a new studio album in 2009, a concept about Marco Polo's journey to China. Listening to Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi I conclude that their recent sound is in the vein of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1906315) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Sunday, March 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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