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LATTE E MIELE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Latte E Miele biography
Founded in Genova, Italy in 1971 - Reformed in 1976 - Disbanded in 1980 - Regrouped in 2008

This young three-piece was one of the Italian bands with the strongest classical influences. They were formed by guitarist Dellacasa, that had collaborated with I GIGANTI in their « Terra In Bocca », with the drummer Vitanza only 16 year old! A keyboards trio in the same style as ELP or Le ORME in Italy, their first album was « Passio secundum Mattheum », with Bach-inspired music and lyrics on the Gospel. An ambitious work, it has its moments but can be boring at times. The band members had a good technique but their keyboard/bass/drums formula was repetitive and mixed with a melodic voice with a result that's not too convincing.

A second album, « Papillon », came the following year in a similar style, but the production was much better. The album contains two side-long tracks with the Beethoven's derived Patetica on most of side two being a nice example of their style. An english version of it was also recorded but only saw the light in 1992 on CD.

The band had a good live activity, and even supported VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR in one of their italian tours. A good 1974 registrazione live was made available by Mellow with their « Latte e Miele Live CD ». After a couple of singles in 1974, the last of which was melodic and far from the albums' level, the group disbanded, and was reformed in 1976 by drummer Vitanza with three new recruits. The new line-up released an album for Magma, « Aquile E Scoiattoli », a very good album, maybe their best and most original work, containing a rendition of Beethoven and the nice Pavana, also released as a single (but curiously this appeared on Grog label).

The band kept playing until 1980 with an always more commercial sound but the singles released were not successful. Their last single from 1980, « Ritagli Di Luce », even took them to the Sanremo Italian song contest. An album recorded in 1979 was not released until it was released on CD by Mellow in 1992. Called « Vampyrs », and played by the three-piece line-up of Gori, Poltini and Vitanza, it's mostly pop-rock and not comparable with the band's previous works.

Drummer Alfio Vitanza has collaborated with Vittorio De Scalzi in a revised NEW TROLLS' line-up at the end of the 90's and is still playing nowadays with the recent De Scalzi's New Trolls incarnation called « La Storia dei New Trolls ». He is planning to reform the original LATTE E MIELE ...
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LATTE E MIELE discography


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LATTE E MIELE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 178 ratings
Passio Secundum Mattheum
1972
3.59 | 115 ratings
Papillon
1973
3.60 | 83 ratings
Aquile E Scoiattoli
1976
3.00 | 6 ratings
Vampyrs
1992
2.17 | 4 ratings
Papillon (English version)
1992
3.80 | 53 ratings
Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi
2009
4.18 | 196 ratings
Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work
2014
3.95 | 20 ratings
Latte E Miele 2.0: Paganini Experience
2019

LATTE E MIELE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 9 ratings
Live
1992
3.97 | 10 ratings
Live Tasting
2008

LATTE E MIELE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LATTE E MIELE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Trilogy: The Complete Works (4CD)
2003

LATTE E MIELE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Rimani Nella Mia Vita
1973
3.50 | 4 ratings
Mese di maggio
1974
3.00 | 2 ratings
Un Mattino
1976

LATTE E MIELE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.18 | 196 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Another RPI band from the 1970s returning for an encore of creative output in the 21st Century--this one well worth hearing! Just look at that lineup of narrators: it's a veritable who's who of classic RPI!

- Alvaro Fella (Jumbo) / narrator - Lino Vairetti (Osanna) / narrator - Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000) / narrator - Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus) / narrator - Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo) / narrator, mixing - Sophya Baccini / narrator - Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre) / narrator - Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls) / narrator - Max Manfredi / narrator - Simonluca / narrator - Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pozzo) / narrator

1. "Introduzione" (3:11) great start--beautiful blend of old/orchestral instruments and arrangements with rock. (9.5/10)

2. "Il Giorno degli Azzimi" (1:03) (4.5/5)

3. "Ultima Cena" (2:56) (9.5/10)

4. "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" (3:54) great use of classical guitar, orchestral strings and full choir. (9.75/10)

5. "Getzemani" (5:26) gentle beginning with Shaft-like cymbal play, orchestral strings, and harpsichord over bass and sparse drums. Impassioned singing from lead singer mixes well within musical weave and oboe. Brilliant song--stunning arrangement (and ballsy narration choices). (10/10)

6. "I Falsi Testimoni" (2:41) classical guitar beneath narration turns into multi-voice choral weave and then single rock singer. Then it turns full-out rock! (5/5)

7. "Il Pianto" (1:51) gentle and perhaps Vivaldi-borrowed in music with the lead singer singing the main Vivaldi melody. (4.25/5)

8. "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" (2:46) drama regarding Peter's denials. Awesome oompah motif in the second half. (9/10)

9. "Il Prezzo del Sangue" (3:41) rockin' presentation made better through orchestral embellishments. I just love it when those choir moments hit! It's like bringing church into a theater! (8.75/10)

10. "Giuda" (1:05) an interesting mix of styles thrown together briefly. (4.25/5)

11. "Il Re del Giudei" (1:54) built upon two themes introduced in the previous song, here fully meshed out with rock band and full orchestral support. Nice. Prog doesn't get much better than this. (5/5)

12. "Barabba" (1:00) Middle Eastern horn with female narration and then choir and dramatic orchestration. (4.25/5)

13. "Toccata per Organo" (2:29) solo church pipe organ. Nothing very new or ground-breaking. It feels more like it's supposed to serve as an interlude in the church service/stations of the cross. (4.25/5)

14. "Il Calvario" (3:40) two narrators over tympani before Eric Woolfson/Alan Parsons-like choir with rock beat and orchestral support passage takes over. Beautiful and powerful. Great electric guitar solo over the marching beat and heart-wrenching strings. Amazing song! (10/10)

15. "Aria della Croce" (2:37) plaintive male singing over delicate music of harp, classical guitar and tremolo strings. The musicians gel into full rock spectrum as chorus enters followed by a brief guitar solo and then classical guitar foundation with pulsing strings oboe and horns. Beautiful! (9.25/10)

16. "La Spartizione della Tunica" (2:48) feels like pure RPI bombast. Full instrumental. Not my favorite. Feels like set/costume change orchestra filler. (It is a piece not present on the original 1972 release.) (8.5/10)

17. (Untitled) (4:00) lush strings beneath narration turns into a cool rock opera collective piece. Again, I just love the presence and arrangements for the choirs. Ends with a variation on a famous motif from classical music. (10/10)

18. "Dall'Ora Sesta all'Ora Nona" (1:03) another play upon a famous melody line from a piece of classical music. (4.5/5)

19. "Il Velo del Tempio" (2:17) great bombastic choir-centric piece. (5/5) 20. "Come un Ruscello Che..." (3:53) long narration over sensitive GENESIS-like soundscape is soon replaced by sensitive male singing and then by a gorgeous choral section, smoothly/seemlessly singing the same melody. With less than two minutes to go, the music shifts into a quieter version of the "Il Calvario" march with thick strings/synth washes and angelic choir "ooh"s. (A repeat of the opening "Introduzione.") Beautiful. Great ending to an amazing whole. (9.5/10)

Total Time: 54:16

Even though this is an "updated" remake of the band's debut album from 1972, it is awesome! So well realized! And, despite the risk factor/trappings of trying to adapt music as a celebration or interpretation of religious material (the New Testament), Latte E Miele come through and give us something on a symphonic scale similar to and probably better than those of contemporaries and countrymates New Trolls--reminding me of one of the main inspirations for the existence of progressive rock music: to try express great themes of literature, history, science, and thought through classically-influenced rock music.

A/five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music across all sub-genres: reminding us of the supreme realizations of human artistry.

 Latte E Miele 2.0: Paganini Experience by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.95 | 20 ratings

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Latte E Miele 2.0: Paganini Experience
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Paganini Experience", the third studio album after the new millennium reunion by Latte e Miele, was released in 2019 on the independent label Black Widow Records. Since in the band there are no founder members left, it was wisely released under the name Lattemiele 2.0 with a line up featuring along with historic members Massimo Gori (bass, guitar, vocals) and Luciano Poltini (piano, organ, keyboards, backing vocals) the fresh energies of Elena Aiello (violin) and Marco Biggi (drums, percussion). What they deliver here is a concept album inspired by Genoese composer and virtuoso Niccolò Paganini where you can find a really good blend of classical influences and progressive rock in the best Italian tradition from the seventies but with an updated sound quality. The excellent art work and the graphic project of the rich, colourful booklet by Gino Andrea Carosini and Marco Mastroianni help to understand the concept...

The beautiful opener "Inno" (Hymn) starts by a violin solo passage, then the keyboards and the rhythm section take over for an adventurous, fantasy ride. According to the liner notes, this is a hymn to the music that doesn't know limits of space, time nor genre and in the meantime a way to pay homage to the late Keith Emerson who passed away in the days when this piece was composed.

The soft, melancholic "Via del Colle" evokes bitter-sweet memories from Paganini's childhood and conjures up his ghost complaining about the greediness of the businessmen who demolished the house where he was born. In fact, the title of this piece refers to a street in Genoa located in the Molo district, an area that in the early seventies of the twentieth century was subject to demolitions that affected also the native house of the famous musician (portrayed in the booklet).

"L'ora delle tenebre" (The hour of darkness) starts with a flamboyant piano solo pattern, then organ and rhythm section bring a change of atmosphere. This piece depicts a city at dusk, when darkness falls down like a web upon streets and houses. It's the hour of the lost souls but also a time of secret rites and obscure symbolism on the border between good and evil... The music and lyrics here refer to the diabolic aura that surrounded Paganini but also to his devotion to art and music and to his links with Freemasonry, an influential semi-secret force in Italian politics that promoted universal values.

Inspired by Paganini's music, "Cantabile 2019" is a dreamy instrumental track featuring the elaborated harmony vocals of the Genoese vocal group Clusters and their perfect interaction with the violin lines. Every now and again it could recall the New Trolls from "Concerto Grosso"...

The nocturnal "Porto di notte" (Port by night) describes a walk under the moonlight through the narrow alleys of Genoa port district. The ships seem like monstrous, silent giants with their white sails resting in the port, sheltered from the blowing winds. A lantern shines like a distant star showing the way to thirsty sailors, artists, gamblers and other people looking for fun. Under that light, in a hazy tavern you can find alcohol drinks and unashamed ballerinas ready to heat your night as the fog of the port hugs you like a mother hugs her child. Maybe it's right here that you'll meet a damned artist like Paganini...

The short instrumental "Charlotte" is a dreamy, romantic piece that refers to a famous Paganini's love affair with a young singer, Charlotte Watson, a romance that was also narrated in The Devil's Violinist, a 2013 film directed by Bernard Rose and starring David Garrett and Jared Harris... Anyway, here there's nothing but the beautiful music to suggest the plot.

"Danza di luce" (Dance of light) is another excellent instrumental track divided into two movimenti. According to the liner notes, it draws a kind of winding path leading from the solemnity of a cathedral to an imaginary jam session between Paganini and a rock band. It includes some variations on Paganini's Capriccio N. 24 and a contribute of the guest musician Aldo De Scalzi (from Picchio dal Pozzo).

"Angel" is a cover of a piece by Jimi Hendrix and was included on the album to mark the parallelism between the extravagant violin virtuoso and the famous guitar hero. Of course, in Latte e Miele's version the role of violin is prominent, but you can always imagine a duet between the two stars...

The last track, "Cantabile 1835", is a piece by Paganini for solo piano and violin interpreted by Elena Aiello in perfect classical style, as close as possible to the way the maestro would have played it in his times...

On the whole, a beautiful album full of classical contaminations...

 Papillon (English version) by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.17 | 4 ratings

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Papillon (English version)
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

2 stars An English version of Latte e Miele's album "Papillon" was recorded in 1973 but it was released for the first time only in 1992 and re-released in 2010 as part of the CD box set "Progressive Italia - Gli Anni '70 Vol. 7" on the Universal label. The English lyrics translate and reflect the original versions but, in my opinion, the English accent of the singers is not impeccable and in some way ruins the final result. All in all, perhaps it is not by chance that this version was kept in the closet for so long... If you want a copy of this album, in my opinion you've better going for the original Italian version and leave this one to die-hard fans and collectors.
 Latte E Miele 2.0: Paganini Experience by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.95 | 20 ratings

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Latte E Miele 2.0: Paganini Experience
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Italian prog band LATTE E MIELE ("Milk and Honey") was among the most classically influenced RPI bands in the early 70's alongside with e.g. Quella Vecchia Locanda. On Latte e Miele's third album Aquile e Scoiattoli (1976) only a drummer remained from the original line-up, and two of the newcomers were keyboardist Luciano Poltini and guitarist-bassist-vocalist Massimo Gori. Now they have formed Latte e Miele 2.0 featuring also violinist Elena Aiello and drummer Marco Biggi.

Despite the title Paganini Experience, only one of the compositions actually is by Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840), the violin virtuoso and the "rock star" of his time. Actually I'm reliefed: Paganini's solo violin pieces usually get to my nerves as a classic example of show-off virtuosity before deeper musical contents. There are brief liner notes for the tracks in Italian, and Paganini is mentioned in several of them, but I don't know Italian enough to be sure if Paganini's life was primarily a source of inspiration. Anyway, I was charmed by this album!

The music is shamelessly retro-styled -- one could be fooled to believe this album was from 1973 (with a better production than back then). I had an association to the classic albums of New Trolls (Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls, 1971) and Il Rovescio della Medaglia (Contaminazione, 1973) that were collaborations with composer-arranger Luis Bacalov and combined rock and Baroque-style chamber music. Especially the instrumental opener 'Inno' sounds pretty similar to them. Organ-oriented, ELP-influenced prog rock with romantically soaring, lovely violin melodies. The warm sound is gorgeous. 'Via del Colle' is a vocal song that seems to be dealing with Paganini's childhood. Massimo Gori is a good vocalist, and again the melodies are very romantic and passionate. 'L'Ora delle Tenebre' is another great song; I sensed some BANCO and PROCOL HARUM in the melodies. Vocals leave plenty of room for the instruments too.

'Cantabile 2019' features violin and soft, wordless vocal harmonies reminiscent of a cappella groups such as Rajaton from Finland! 'Charlotte reminds me of the Norwegian, Eurovision's 1995 contest winning duo SECRET GARDEN: soft and nocturnally romantic instrumental piece for synths and violin. 'Danza di Luce' is a 2-part instrumental, again reminding of the mentioned Bacalov-collaborations. An identifiable Paganini citation is included in this dynamic track that at times is almost pure classical music and at times ELP-ish prog rock.

'Angel' is a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song originating from his posthumous album The Cry of Love (1971). This version -- obviously starring violin and keyboards instead of guitar -- works very well. Paganini's 'Cantabile 1835' for violin and piano finishes the album in a peaceful, classical way. I don't want to count how many times I used the two words that I truly find the best to describe this classically inspired and retro prog -style album: romantic and charming. I hope you can estimate from my review if it would charm YOU.

 Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 53 ratings

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Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

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 their last Seventies album Aquile E Scoiattoli from 1976: a melodic and harmonic blend of classical, rock and symphonic, reminding me of the fantastic early The Enid. But Latte E Miele sounds more varied, inventive and virtuosic, just listen to the tracks I Crociati (compelling final part with howling guitar and sumptuous classical orchestrations), Pechino (strong interplay between guitar and Hammond organ) and La Battaglia Di Curzola (splendid keyboard work). And every time I play this CD, I discover new things, there is so much to enjoy and that is what progrock makes so captivating and compelling: from changing climates and surprising breaks to awesome soli, on a wide range of instruments, it all happens on this album.

Bombastic organ with howling guitar runs in the opener San Marco.

From propulsive drums with piano and classical orchestrations to dreamy with cello in Carnival.

Warm classical guitar, vocals and piano in Il Matrimonio Del Bimbi Nel Vento.

A fluent rhythm with sweeping drums and exciting interplay between guitar and Hammond in La Battaglia Di Curzola.

Wah-wah guitar and synthesizer runs in the alternating Sogno Incrociato.

And a compelling bombastic climate featuring lush Hammond and moving guitar in the wonderful final track Ritorno A San Marco.

What a return from this Italian Classic Prog formation, a big hand for the 'new' Latte E Miele on this album.

 Live Tasting by LATTE E MIELE album cover Live, 2008
3.97 | 10 ratings

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Live Tasting
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars Incredible how many 'classic' Italian progrock bands bands have reunited in the last two decades, from Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Le Orme and Banco to New Trolls and Osanna. This rebirth of these 'oldies' even led to concerts by these Italian progrock bands in Holland: first Le Orme (goose bumps during Felona E Sorona) and then PFM (great community singing during Celebration), what a joy, "multo grazie!".

Well, here is another "gran ritorno", the widely acclaimed Latte E Miele. And the six piece line-up includes all three members of the original line up from their outstanding debut album Passio Secundum Mattheum (1972).

This live CD was recorded in Canada in 2008, it sounds good and we can enjoy a very inspired band, playing compositions from their three Seventies albums and a few new songs (like the varied final track Vision Of Sunlight). The decision of the band to add an extra keyboard player has turned to out be an excellent move, what a glorious keyboard sound: Grand piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, vintage synthesizers, harpsichord and classical orchestrations (on the Pavana suite, evoking The Enid), this is a Keyboard Heaven! But the instrumentation is more than a lush keyboard sound, from all sorts of guitar (electric, acoustic, classical) to brass and warm Italian vocals.

Listening to this live CD is making a musical journey with Latte E Miele to their exciting world of the Italian progrock in the SeventiesI, what a beautiful and often compelling music, and what an excellent musicians, I am very impressed!

After this live CD Latte E Miele made a new album entitled Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi in 2009 and in 2014 the band released Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work, both albums were well received.

 Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.18 | 196 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

What a fabulous remake!

Nowadays I am as fond of Italian prog as I was when I discovered progressive rock, those times when "Passio Secundum Mattheum" was one of the first RPI albums I discovered and loved, however, it never was a true favorite of mine, at the point that I even spent some years without listening to it. But well, last year I knew about a new version of that 1972 record, and though I did not get the album right away, I was kindly contacted by Black Widow Records' Massimo Gasperini, who let me know about this (and other label's releases), thanks a lot, man.

So this is called "Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Wor", and as I mentioned above, is like a remake of that album, but with a lot of "new" elements. First, it is important to say that all the songs were re-recorded, after the reunion of Latte e Miele's founding members Vitanza, Lacagnina and Dellacasa, and the addition of bass player Massimo Gori. Remember the original album features 12 songs and around 35 minutes of music; this one delights us with 19 tracks and a total time of 50 minutes.

Since the opener track "Introduzione" one realizes about the amazing musical production, I mean, the sound will remind you of 1972, though engineering and technology is now top-notch, so the sound is simply much better, which allows us to have a solid and amazing RPI journey. An advise, please listen to it with good headphones, close the eyes and you will see and imagine loads of things.

This time there was also a nice amount of guest musicians, which are called "evangelists", so it is great to listen to different voices through the album, voices that this time are belong to the Latte e Miele realm, but that are known to us due to their work with other RPI acts, some of them are Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Cresside) and Aldo de Scalzi (Picchi dal Pozzo), among others. Also, the music is smoothed by the great work of Choir Classe Mista and the virtuosity of GNU Quartet.

The new songs added here are as necessary as the original ones, I mean, those 15 additional minutes have the same high quality and produce a lot of images and emotions, the narrative is outstanding and the music leads us to a wonderful journey of classic-modern RPI that every person who likes this genre will love. The work of the Latte e Miele musicians is great, I have always loved Alfio Vitanza's drumming (I could see him with playing with New Trolls in the 2008 Baja Prog) and this time his performance is amazing again. Keyboards come from Oliverio Lacagnina, and believe me, he makes a spectacular work. Those instruments are greatly complemented by the choir and all the orchestral arrangements.

I love this longer version of "Getzemani" whose five minutes make it the longest composition of the album. "Il Prezzo del Sangue" is another favorite, and what I love the most is how all the songs are equally important, all together are like chapters from a book, no matter if the running time is just one minute, or three, or five; the production, the narration and the execution together make this a truly masterpiece of progressive rock.

"Il Calvario" is one of those moments of transition that makes me feel excited, Dellacasa's guitar here is truly amazing, disarming, touching, and complemented by the violins and the choir, uff, it gives me goosebumps. Well, all the songs are beautiful, and the album greatly finishes with "Come un Ruscello Che?" which is like the icing on the cake.

Well, if you are not familiar with this album, please get it, listen to both versions but once you have this new one, I bet you will fall in love with it.

Enjoy it!

 Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.18 | 196 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars History can be an integral part of subject matter in the world of progressive music, a look back at past events and how they shaped music and how music shaped events, a symbiotic relationship that has often been the source of sonic masterpieces. Thankfully, or perhaps even more mercifully, the list is endless and would take an eternity to name all 800 or so. In the early 70s, Italy was witnessing and relishing in the great gentrification of rock, now staffed by schooled musicians who are unafraid to show their mettle. Some old history first: Latte e Miele released a thrilling album in 1973 which did some serious damage back then and remains a classic RPI monument to this day, with heaps of written praise around the globe. The band has sort of followed in the footsteps of La Maschera di Cera who dared to record their version of Le Orme's legendary "Felona e Sorona", except that the creators were entirely a different band. The exact same Latte e Miele trio that recorded the Passio Secundum is back (Dellacasa, Lacagnina and Vitanza) and re-recorded as well as edited a newer version that is simply stupendous, in fact slinging the thing into the upper echelons of bliss. The stellar melodies have been polished up, in some cases reinvigorated, especially the orchestral and choral parts which are now focused and grandiose. New compositions have been added as well as shifting the flow into a more concise, complete piece of work, as well as including a vast cast of guests that are well listed in other reviews. In terms of historical perspective, the subject matter was, is and will be forever attached to the Italian fascination for Christ, as established by a state called the Vatican (and its considerable power and money) not only within Italy but even within its proud capital city, the once mighty Rome.

Time Log: Jesus Christ is crucified. Place: Jerusalem. The preparatory "Introduzione" sets the tone with typical Middle Eastern serenity and empirical Roman bombast , setting a time and place for the story to unfold , as the annual Jewish Passover holiday is set to begin, amid great tumult between the local populace and the invader legions. The glorious melody on harpsichord settles as the freshly baked matzah emerges from the oven, and the last supper has finally arrived (Supper's Ready), the sound alternating between historic narrations, massive choir arrangements and titillating keyboard flourishes. The melody on "Ultima Cena" is achingly poignant, revealing a glimpse of the upcoming tragedy. The bread and blood of the alliance refers to the benedict sharing of wine and sustenance, forged by a gentle acoustic guitar phrasing that elevates the soaring vocal, escorted by a gliding lead guitar that weeps and cries with splendor. Sweeping mellotron ushers in colossal choir work that veers closer to opera, another Italian 'trouvaille' that has lived on. Celestial synths adorn the arrangement as the story unfolds.

As with the original, "Getzemani" remains that thunderous melody with a masterful arrangement that elevates the sound to heavenly heights, generally marshaled by a sublime synth foray, this continues to be a highlight that can only surpass the loftiest hopes. Stirringly emotional and densely spiritual, the pure sounds blur the line between musical genres, with that blasted harpsichord seducing the soul once again. Alfio Vitanza's drums are crisp, bold and riveting, providing the foundation for the intense choir section, fueled by both the blissful mellotron and the parping synthesizers. "I Falsi Testimoni" only enhances the flow, with roiling organ, narration and huge choir interventions. The ELP-like instrumental section gets a guitar impulsion that only temporarily hides the moog solo, straight out of Emerson's Lucky Man.

"Il Pianto" is a direct lift from the former USSR anthem (same as the current Russian anthem with different lyrics) written by Alexander Alexandrov, a drop-dead gorgeous melody that is too short for my tastes and segues into the more somber dramatics that edge closer and closer to the intolerable finale. "Il Prezzo del Sangre" slings a sizzling guitar into a maelstrom of orchestral strings as the price of blood becomes self- evident and the fate of a precocious Christ is sealed by both the occupiers and the occupied, another young prophet brought down for daring to shake the tree. A brief nod to "Giuda"'s weakness dwells only briefly, the voice being the main focus here, swelled by Lacagnina's slippery synth and a regal guitar solo from Dellacasa. The option of Barrabas or Jesus comes up as a collision of choirs entangled, the spectral church organ finding its place in the score with cavernous appeal ("Toccata per Organo"), all leading up to the painful Calvary where the Romans had prepared the cross.

"Il Calvario" is a hurricane of emotions, imagine if you will dark choral clouds that loom above the Mount of Olives, distant thunder and occasional lightning crawling the flesh, as the massed voices exult in pained distress. Agonizing guitar bursts and distraught mellotron rule the stage, as the point of no return arrives. The tears of blood stain the cross of Roman punishment, the future consequences impossibly divine for future billions of souls. The "Aria della Croce" remains strangely upbeat for those reasons. Things get tumultuous with dense orchestrations that flirt with wild dissonance a la Orff, with hard guitars and raging chorale, a reprise of the Il Pianto" anthem, gentle as the warm wind is meant to provide hope and perhaps even salvation.

The deed is done, the moment when history has been forever altered for better or worse, the music highlighting the importance of his being still venerated by many worshipers. The work does not come across as a religious artifact but a rather well-crafted re-working of a classic story that no one can deny. Latte e Miele is another fine example of the 'resurrection' of progressive rock music, a genre gaudily crucified in the late 70s as pompous and elitist by primitive music scribes who somehow seized power of the journalism world and prepared the nails that slammed through prog's arms and legs. Needless to say, the entire package is first class, artwork, booklet, production and sound.

5 revivifications

 Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 53 ratings

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Marco Polo - Sogni E Viaggi
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

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.

 Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.18 | 196 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work
Latte E Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

5 stars As "Introduzione" began the album with that ever so familiar choir, a moving blend of warmth, sorrow, and triumph, I knew immediately that Passio Secundum Matthaeum: The Complete Work would be something special. The improved quality of voices, the deepness in tension to the introductory strings arrangement, and the joyful final major chord of the piece showed that Latte e Miele's remake of their classic 70′s album would surely not just be a feeble attempt at a more modern recording of a beloved record. Strange though it may be, I actually always thought the original was just decent, nothing special in comparison to the giants of Italian prog like Banco and Locanda, but hearing Passio Secundum Matthaeum presented on this newest recording, the way it was meant to be, reached a whole new level, and in my humble opinion truly lands a deserved place among the greats.

So, what makes this newest version different from its predecessor? First of all, the performance is absolutely brilliant, the recording quality is top notch, and everything essentially sounds rich and huge. Nevertheless, the thing that really bumps this album up to a superior level is the way that the band really completed this work and story with the inclusion of new songs and interludes to flesh it out, make it coherent, and add depth. These aren't just new songs, they are gorgeous pieces that are woven seamlessly into the music and narrative in ways that make them feel like they should have always been there. "Il pane e il sangue dell'alleanza" is the first of these, primarily a solo vocal piece that is full of passion and mystery, but also which contains many choir sections, some narration, and a bit of Mellotron to help tie it to the past. As the album gets rolling one realizes that there are many of these new pieces that add so much drama to the album. In the extended "I falsi testimoni" the band takes "I testimoni, pt 1″ and brings it to life with new sections that include solo singing parts which bring more intimacy than the original, letting you get up close to the characters of the story and their interactions. Drama is the salient factor in the new pieces "Il rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il prezzo del sangue," two dark, theatrical pieces that knocked my socks off. Furthermore, the addition of "Barabba," where haunting orchestrations meld with the deafening chants to free Barabas was a powerful moment, while its follow up, "Toccata per organo," an organ solo originally recorded by the band in the 70′s, added a nice touch of intermission leading up to one of the greatest and most powerful moments on the album: "Il Calvario."

For those of you that have heard the original record, you already know this piece. "Il Calvario" is about as powerful of a funeral march as you can imagine, featuring melancholic guitar- work by Dellacasa, augmented on this newest version by the work of the Italian strings ensemble Gnu Quartet. It should be noted that their strings contribution to the entire record goes a long ways as far as bringing it to life. These guys are no newcomers to prog, having worked with bands such as New Trolls in the past, and their subtle playing here really does the trick. Rather than its traditional ending with a narration, this new version of "Calvario" segue ways into "Aria della croce," a new solo from the dying Christ's perspective that will surely invoke tears. From here the band wraps up the album with several new pieces and arrangements that incorporate several themes and variations from the original album and this new version, touching on a few new topics like the gambling over Jesus' tunic and the rending of the temple. In the end, after many phenomenal orchestrations, splendid melodic rock, and marvelously executed dramatic narrations (by singers from Italian bands Circus 2000, New Trolls, Picchio dal pozzo, Pholas Dactylus, Sophya Baccini's Aradia, Jumbo, Osanna, and Il Tempio delle Clessidre), the album comes to a close: a new masterpiece.

Passio Secundum Matthaeum: The Complete Work took me by complete surprise (and storm), earning a well deserved spot in my list of legendary Italian albums. At this point, I'm still deciding whether or not a re-recording of an album can be in the running for album of the year against completely new releases, but the fact that there is so much new material on this album certainly makes it worth considering and even likely. On that note, check it out, it might just be on its way to becoming my top pick of the year.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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