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IL SILENZIO DEL MONDO

Stefano Testa

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Stefano Testa Il silenzio del mondo album cover
3.95 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Domani è festa (4:04)
2. Trecento gradini (4:12)
3. Metamorfosi (4:14)
4. Nel vostro quartiere (3:43)
5. Musica (3:40)
6. La ballata dell'angelo svogliato (5:20)
7. Argo soltanto (4:04)
8. Niente (3:06)
9. Pilù Pilò (4:33)
10. Magioel (4:22)
11. Io con te (4:03)
12. Una canzone banale (3:16)
13. Ballata della città felice (La peste di Messina, 1348) (3:56)
14. Camicie azzurre (3:51)

Total time: 56:26

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Stefano Testa / vocals
- Remo Righetti / all instruments and programming

Releases information

Snowdonia Dischi

Thanks to andrea for the addition
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STEFANO TESTA Il silenzio del mondo ratings distribution


3.95
(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(75%)
75%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

STEFANO TESTA Il silenzio del mondo reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review #1000. Since I'll never make 2000...

...just a quick thanks to this great site ProgArchives and to the Admin team who prove daily that no good deed goes unpunished. PA remains my favorite rock music site and the web home of so many great members and friends. Grazie all!

Reviewing a new Stefano Testa album feels like coming full circle on my little RPI journey at ProgArchives. It was the discovery of his treasured 1977 gem "Una Vita Una Balena Bianca e Altre Cose" a few years back which inspired me to interview Stefano for the site. The interview and reviews from other members have given Testa's debut the attention it always deserved and I think many RPI fans consider it an essential album in their collection. I certainly do.

At the time of Una Vita, there was a second long suite envisioned by Stefano which he attempted to record, but at the time circumstances in the Italian music scene were no longer favorable. That second progressive work is rumored to be a mixture of "prog rock" and classical overtones, and Stefano still hopes it will see release one day. In the meantime we have a more recently conceived project from Stefano. This one would be more properly categorized as art-rock/Italian pop than progressive rock, yet there is much here to love for fans of Stefano Testa and RPI.

The new album from Stefano is titled "Il Silenzio del Mondo" which translates to "The Silence of the World." The lyrics are an important part of the work so I will refer you to the informative review by Andrea Parentin who as usual will provide explanations of the lyrical themes for those of us who don't speak Italian. Musically the album is a collection of the modern Stefano Testa in shorter song form. There are certainly elements of the Una Vita sound referenced here but the longer suite with the more experimental sound is replaced by easily accessible and more conventional framing. There are melodic, standard sounding choruses and rhythm tracks amongst occasional prog tendencies.

But there is much to love! For those who don't mind following an artist down a different path, these are wonderful and melodic songs. They are dressed beautifully and with much care, with interesting things happening even within the confines of the simpler song structure. There are RPI styled operatic vocals, excursions into world music sounds, but most importantly, the almost childlike wonder and joy Stefano brings to his melodies and vocals. Here is a man well on in years who manages a true zest for music and for life (he is an avid photographer as well, sharing great shots on his FB page.) This is what makes the album for me. Despite the fact I don't understand the text I love the mood and melody of the tracks. Stefano's partner here is Remo Righetti who does a spectacular job with the instrumentation and programming.

A few of my favorites include "Domani ' festa" with its comforting lullaby feel, the warmth of piano, and those operatic vocals which are always appreciated by me. I believe I heard some harp along with strings and flute. Just a wonderful opener. Strings and piano are employed often and give the album that wonderfully warm Italian feel. "Musica" brings in some world music vibes for a unique feel, still Italian, but almost like a show tune. Testa's songwriting is so universal and approachable he really could write music for the stage with good success. "Argo soltanto" has a swooning bassline played on keys I believe, with a sampled strings or mellotron behind, closing with a nice bit of saxophone and some environmental sound. A special mention must go to Snowdonia Records and artists Alberto Scotti and Cinzia La Fauci for the fine artwork through the tri-fold digipak, complete with lyrics and notes from Marco Olivotto, who mastered the album.

While "Il Silenzio del Mondo" is not going to appease those RPI fans looking for complex progressive rock, my feeling is that anyone who enjoyed Stefano's debut, itself on the softer side of prog rock, will also enjoy the new album. Fans of the Italian singer/songwriter tradition are surely going to want to check it out. For me it is an excellent album. Welcome back Stefano and may there be more in the future!

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#748376) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 03, 2012

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Stefano Testa is an Italian artist who was born in Rome in 1949 and lives in Porretta Terme, a spa town in the province of Bologna. In 1977 he released an excellent debut album, "Una vita, una balena bianca e altre cose" (A life, a white whale and other things) where he managed to blend prog influences and "canzone d'autore". Unfortunately the album was not successful at all and he left the music business for a long time. In 1994 his debut album was re-discovered and re-released by the independent label Mellow Records and became a cult album for many prog lovers. In 2012 Stefano Testa finally released a new album on the independent label Snowdonia, "Il silenzio del mondo" (The silence of the world), helped by Remo Righetti (who took charge of all instruments and programming). This time the influences of singer-songwriters as Fabrizio De André, Francesco De Gregori, Claudio Lolli, Leo Ferré or Tom Waits prevail and there are less instrumental parts and progressive-rock echoes than on the debut album from the seventies. Well, times have changed but I'm happy that the creative vein of Stefano Testa is not dry and I like very much this new work even if for many progressive fans it could be less interesting than the previous one.

The opener "Domani è festa" (Tomorrow is a holiday) is an amazing, bitter-sweet waltz with a strong sense of melody. It describes a melancholic day before a holiday, a long, solitary waiting for something that maybe will never come... "Beyond the gate lies the usual road / But there's something that makes the sundown sick / It really seems that the sky is falling...".

"Trecento gradini" (Three-hundred steps) is one of my favourite tracks on this album. It's a dreamy, mystic piece featuring mild Oriental flavours and a mysterious atmosphere. The lyrics describe a fugitive man who is climbing the three hundreds steps of a marble hill. He reaches a house on top of the hill, then time and space get blurred... "I, exiled without a passport, I run away from home / Groggy from sleep, I fell asleep on those fresh sofas / And your city didn't seem so close...". But there's no escape from life, the old fugitive can't find a way out as if was lost in a labyrinth while past and future melt in a hopeless dream...

"Metamorfosi" (Metamorphosis) features South-American atmospheres and a dark mood. It's another excellent track that describes an impending change. But not every change is positive, slogans and daily violence can transform a quiet man in a wild beast... "I see my teeth of wolf growing and this real hook / I'm waiting for the night with a new cheerfulness / And I toast to the war, and war will be! / I don't need anything but the moon, the moon of the dogs / To go down in the street looking for company and make you shake as little birds...". A final hint to the Fascist anthem "Giovinezza" could suggest that the times that were changing were those before World War II, but you never know...

"Nel vostro quartiere" (In your neighbourhood) begins with a funky groove and a lighter atmosphere but it's only an appearance. The lyrics invite you to dig better into reality by observing what is going on around you, right near your home and family. Stories of solitude and exploitation, broken dreams and loveless children... "How many lights in our neighbourhood / How many dreams to buy and how many wishes / How many promises and how many ageless bodies...".

"Musica" (Music) is about the consolatory power of music. It features some exotic influences with colourful echoes coming from Africa and Latin America... "Music, in the meantime a lot of music / To dance, to try dreaming once again / But, after all, this music is merciless / And makes this void even greater...".

"La ballata dell'angelo svogliato" (The ballad of the lazy angel) is an excellent track with a dark mood that could recall Tom Waits or Nick Cave. It depicts in music and words a strange dream where a lazy angel visits the protagonist of the song. The angel is hopeless, tired of a world where the cult of power rules and vanity is stronger than mercy, where you can find nothing but ice and desert inside the hearts... "I don't know what I can say / It happened just this / If you can, keep on sleeping and forget the rest / Maybe the sleep will heal your pain / For this infectious wound in your heart...".

"Argo soltanto" (Only Argos) is about a return back home after a long period of absence. After many years home could become just a dream and a comeback could be a disappointment. There is no one waiting for you but a dog... "Here there's too much silence / Where is life? / My home is more beautiful / It's the home of a king... Only a nosy dog was sniffing, looking for an owner...". So, the return leads to a new departure. By the way, Argos is the name of Ulysses' faithful dog!

"Niente" (Nothing) is a bright, joyful song about the need to break the silence of the world with a positive attitude... "Nothing to sing / Nothing to play / Nothing to listen to / Nothing to dream of / Nothing to wait for / Nothing to learn / Nothing to look for / Nothing to look at / Nothing to touch / Nothing to buy / Nothing to steal / Nothing to save... We need a huge white sun to burn this silence...".

"Pilù Pilò" (4:33) is a dark nursery rhyme where the threatening ogre is more real than in fairy-tales... "Moon, break the dark night / Shine, make him forget his fear... Sleep, rest for a while / Dream of playing in your courtyard / Dream of your mother coming to you, smiling...".

"Magioel" (4:22) is a melancholic song about the consequences of war. An injured soldier lies in a psychiatric hospital and the nurse who brings him his painkiller is his only hope and looks like an angel... "Everyone has lost his mind / But they pretend and go on / I was lucky / I have you, Majoel...".

"Io con te" (I with you) is a melodic love song that invites you to dance with your sweetheart under the stars in a summer night while the following "Una canzone banale" (A banal song) is a personal song about a love stronger than time.

"Ballata della città felice (La peste di Messina, 1348)" (Ballad of the happy city ? the pest of Messina, 1348) features a darker atmosphere. The lyrics depict the arrival of the Black Death in the city of Messina in 1348, carried by a ship. The happy city suddenly has to tackle the horror of the plague and everything changes as in a dream that turns into nightmare.

The final track "Camicie azzurre" (Blue shirts) is lighter and brings a bit of optimism. It's a melodic ballad about the aftermath of a broken relationship. A man finds a new balance and a new tranquillity living alone with his cat... "There not much left to say / Not for this we have to suffer anyway / We have to breathe and listen to the life who is living...".

Well, all in all I think that this is a very good album and I enjoyed it very much. You can listen to it in streaming on bandcamp, so have a try and give it a chance!

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#763013) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 03, 2012

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