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LATTE E MIELE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Latte e Miele biography
Another group from Genova, this young three-piece was one of the Italian bands with the strongest classical influences. They were formed in 1971 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 three-piece line-up for a one-off CD.

A commercial single...
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Passio Secundum MattheumPassio Secundum Mattheum
Import
Polydor Italy 1999
Audio CD$5.09
$4.58 (used)
Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete WorkPassio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$12.20
$10.99 (used)
Aquile E ScoiattoliAquile E Scoiattoli
Import
2009
Audio CD$53.42
$50.00 (used)
Marco PoloMarco Polo
Import
Aerostella 2009
Audio CD$167.42
$138.40 (used)
Papillon [Colored Vinyl]Papillon [Colored Vinyl]
Limited Edition
AMS/Cinevox 2014
Vinyl$24.41
$46.29 (used)
Live TastingLive Tasting
Import
PID 2008
Audio CD$32.39
$384.74 (used)
PAILLON +1PAILLON +1
UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN
Audio CD$23.74 (used)
PapillionPapillion
Limited Edition · Import
Polygram Int'l 2002
Audio CD$99.87
$14.02 (used)
Papillon (Shm-CD) by PIDPapillon (Shm-CD) by PID
PID
Audio CD$68.45
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LATTE E MIELE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.93 | 114 ratings
Passio Secundum Mattheum
1972
3.54 | 79 ratings
Papillon
1973
3.53 | 48 ratings
Aquile e Scoiattoli
1976
2.00 | 3 ratings
Vampyrs
1994
3.79 | 32 ratings
Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi
2009
4.31 | 121 ratings
Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work
2014

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Live
1992
4.04 | 5 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)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Trilogy: The Complete Works (4CD)
2003

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Mese di maggio
1974

LATTE E MIELE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.31 | 121 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!

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 Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.31 | 121 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.79 | 32 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.

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 Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.31 | 121 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.

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 Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.31 | 121 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars `Reboot' or `remake' - two words that usually instil a sense of apprehension and dread in most people! Usually associated with the latest lousy Hollywood cash-in riding on the coat-tails of something considered a classic or more special, now even progressive rock is not immune to this fad...but thankfully the results are more consistently worthwhile than the film equivalent! Vintage RPI act Latte e Miele's `Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work' sees the legendary Italian band return to their 1972 defining work in a thrilling new interpretation that not only respects the original, but more importantly stands on it's own strengths and merits while also adding and revealing new details never before realized. An adaption of the Passion of Saint Matthew set to music, to many Italian prog fans the original is considered one of the most important vintage RPI releases, as well as a constant personal favourite. Hopefully existing fans will be willing to give this new interpretation a chance, as they can rest easy in the knowledge that it doesn't damage the reputation of the 70's version at all, instead offering new and exciting additions to only enhance the original.

Three founding members, Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa, Oliviero Lacagnina and Alfio Vitanza, with the addition of bass player Massimo Gori from a later line-up offer this new work. As a special treat this time around, several notable guests from RPI acts both new and old have been brought in to lend their voices to several narrated passages. From the vintage years, some of the guests include Lino Vairetti and Lino Vairetti of Osanna, Alvaro Fella of Jumbo, Silvana Aliotta of Circus 2000, Giorgio D'Adamo of the New Trolls, Paolo Carelli of Pholas Dactylus, as well as Aldo de Scalzi and Paolo Griguolo of Picchio dal Pazzo, Simonluca of L'Enorme Maria and singer/songwriter Max Manfredi. The younger artists are Sophya Baccini of her Aradia project and the dark keyboard queen Elisa Montaldo of Il Tempio delle Clessidre.

For those who don't know what the original or this new version sounds like, it's a bombastic, lush and grandiose classical orchestral based prog work that runs through an exhausting variety of instrumental passages, sombre and striking narration and stirring choral vocals. `The Complete Work' (as was the original) is a work that is initially very overwhelming and confusing, demanding constant replays to discover how carefully arranged the constantly evolving musical passages are, to gather a sense of the dramatic build and perfectly considered flow the overall piece brings. One thing that instantly stands out throughout this new version is a more rich, full and cleaner sound, definitely improving the occasionally flat mix, especially obvious in the choral passages, that sometimes plagued the original work. Classical and rock elements, light and dark moods all blend together in perfect unison, the music growing darker and heavier as it progresses. Electric guitars, organ and keyboards weave seamlessly around emotional strings and nimble piano, delicate acoustic guitar flavours offering thoughtful moments in between wilder rocking passages. So many luxurious and memorable melodies envelope the listener, and by the end, you are left deeply moved by what a victorious, uplifting and fully immersive musical experience this is. Personal highlights for me are the urgent and hypnotic group harmonies alongside duelling Moog spirals, searing electric guitar fire and prancing violin of `I Falsi Testimoni', the gothic symphonic darkness of `Il Rinnegamento...', and the surprisingly jazzy Delirium-like touches around heavy brooding guitars, scratchy Mellotron and uplifting Moog finale in `Il Re Dei Giudei'.

Some listeners may find the constant direction changes and multiple narrated guests initially intimidating and off-putting, but perseverance pays off perfectly for those willing to give this work the necessary amount of plays for it to start making sense. `Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work' is a gift for fans who cherish the beloved original, as well as a sumptuous aural treat for newcomers to discover. It's possibly one of the finest modern releases from a vintage Italian act, and comes across as a hugely important and defining progressive rock work in general for 2014. Italian prog doesn't come any more grand, lavish and exquisite than this, and it's certainly one of the most sophisticated works to appear on the Black Widow label to date.

Five stars for a classic Italian progressive rock event.

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 Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.31 | 121 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Italian band LATTE E MIELE is regarded as one of the classic progressive rock bands from the early 70's, and were one of the bands that were fairly heavily inspired by classical music, at least in their initial phase. By the time the band's activities ebbed out around 1980 they had transformed into more of a generic pop-rock band however, and one not all that popular at that. Latte E Miele reformed back in 2008, and in 2009 they released the critically acclaimed comeback album "Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi". "Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work" is their second full-length production following their comeback, and was released through the Italian label Black Widow Records in 2014.

Latte E Miele's remake of their debut album "Passio Secundum Matthaeum" is an impressive production through and through, a tasteful and sophisticated album that has been assembled with a lot of care and affection and what appears to be a minute attention to details. A certain taste for material inspired by liturgical classical music is probably needed to truly enjoy all the qualities of this CD, but if you have a general taste for symphonic progressive rock of the kind that has a fairly close relation to classical music then this is an album that is easily and highly recommended.

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 Aquile e Scoiattoli  by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.53 | 48 ratings

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Aquile e Scoiattoli
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Roberto A.

5 stars I am surprised to see the rating of this album and compare it with the others released by this fantastic band. All of their albums are nice (except the commercial one) but in my opinion this album is their best work and one of the most beautiful RPI album. If you compare "Aquile e scoiattoli" with the previous two works you can see (and listen) many differences. "Passio" and "Papillon" are nice album but they are not complete: something is missed in both of them, I mean in the musical side and technical side. This is their most mature album (more than "Marco Polo") and here you can find everything: great vocals and instrumental melodies, nice lyrics, solos at the right moments, fantastic orchestration, a lot of different sounds, rock, jazzy, classic and space musical passages. In this album every single note is in the right place and in the right moment. Moreover, compare with the previous two album, the quality of the record is very good and much better and it helps the listener in a better listening. Last but not least the last track of the album, "Pavana". This song, alone, worth the cost of the album. It is simply fantastic, there are no other words to describe it. In conclusion, for me this is a masterpiece and, of course, their best album until now, I have hundreds of records and this is one of the album that I listen more often. A must have album.

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 Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.31 | 121 ratings

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Passio Secundum Mattheum: The Complete Work
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Todd
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano!

5 stars A new version of Passio! (Posted Easter week 2014)

A new interpretation of a classic RPI title! This is quite an undertaking, but it comes off in an outstanding way, giving new life to old friends. In contrast to so many reworkings of old pieces that I've heard in recent years, this one does not leave me only wishing to listen to the original. Rather, the new work stands well on its own, not only helping me listen to the original with new ears, but also bringing new insights and experience.

In 1972, Latte e Miele released their debut, an incredibly ambitious work based on the Passion of St. Matthew, "Passio Secundum Mattheum." This is one of the seminal titles of 1970s RPI and has rightfully stood the test of time. The band would never equal this album, although the subsequent title, "Papillon", came close. After that the band broke up for a time, until drummer Alfio Vitanza reformed the band, with new members including bassist Massimo Gori. Their only album, "Aquile e Scoiattoli", has its moments but is inferior to the first two, and the band disbanded a few years later after moving toward more commercial music.

In 2008 the band reformed, including all three original members (Vitanza and songwriter/keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina, as well as guitarist Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa) and Massimo Gori, bassist from the second generation of the band. The quartet released "Live Tasting", an excellent live album that portended of the good to come. Their time together also produced a wonderful new album, "Marco Polo: Sogni e Viaggi" in 2009.

Over the years, Lacagnina never stopped composing his masterpiece, his "Passio". Now the quartet has recorded anew their masterpiece, adding those "new" compositions into the narrative. For example, "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" has been inserted right after "Ultima Cena", and "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il Prezzo del Sangue" between "Il Pianto" and "Giuda". Also, the ending has been fleshed out significantly, with four new songs, and the final song, "Come un Ruscello che..." includes the final themes previously entitled "Il Dono della Vita". Also of note, a solo organ piece entitled "Toccata per organo" is placed just before "Calvario"--this is special, as it is an original take from 1972!

The instrumentation is true to the spirit of the 1972 piece, although with an updated sound. Ditto the choir, which sometimes on the 1972 version is muted and thin--here the choir parts are strong, lush, and vibrant. The majority of the pieces that were rerecorded for this edition also maintain their compositional structure, although there are a few changes inserted (notably in "I Falsi Testimoni", the new version of "I Testimoni" parts 1 and 2). There is nothing that violates that spirit of the original work, though it is impossible to duplicate its wonderful innocence.

Another unique feature of this album is the presence of several prominent figures from RPI providing the spoken Evangelist parts. These include Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000), Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo), Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre), Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls), Max Manfredi, Simonluca, and Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo). It's a nice touch that really rounds out the album.

The CD comes in a jewel case with a lyric booklet. I'm told that the pending Japanese version will contain a newly recorded composition as a bonus track. But don't wait for that one--go out and grab this one. You won't be disappointed. Four plus stars (Gnosis 13/15).

Edit: I can't stop listening to this! Though it's not quite as good as the original, it's very close. I'm bumping it up to Gnosis 14/15, which is five stars on PA.

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 Aquile e Scoiattoli  by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.53 | 48 ratings

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Aquile e Scoiattoli
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Complete line-up overhaul

Latte e Miele (Milk and Honey) are one of the classic Italian groups who were not a "one-shot", instead releasing three albums in the 70s as well as a respectable comeback a few years ago. 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." After this they did some serious gigging including a stint with VDGG before being dropped by their label and splitting up in 1974. In 1976 drummer Alfio Vitanza put the band together again with three new members for their third album "Acquile e Scoiattoli".

The third album has a somewhat slicker feel to the production and the material, and while ambitious, lacks the strange baroque-dark feel of the debut in particular. The tracks are structured like Meddle with the first side being unrelated short tracks and the second side featuring an epic side-long suite. The opening title track has a pleasant, light-hearted feel until the mid section kicks into a great dramatic chorus. In that moment they had me on the line! "Menestrello" has a full-on rock feel almost like heavier Alan Parsons or Supertramp, aside from the vocal it has a more international sound. Next is a spirited ode to Beethoven with "Opera 21". The keyboard jamming and drumming is crisp and tight-all of this is pretty cool but quite disjointed in terms of side flow. So side two is where I had to look to find something memorable and I'm afraid it didn't cut it. Long, impressive on paper, and with all of the symphonic glory you might expect "Pavana" just does not excite me. I appreciate the tight rhythm section and some of the arrangements, but the bulk of the keyboard-centric piece sails for over 20 minutes and the only passion aroused in me is frankly to put something else on. Despite the very good sound quality and fine performance, it feels like a prog keyboard exercise that goes on far too long while hitting very few of my musical pleasure receptors. I'm truly surprised by this as I enjoy Basso's "Voci" and certainly tons of albums that are not so far in style from this. I urge RPI and symphonic prog fans to check out this album for themselves because many other like it a lot, some like it more than their two earlier albums. Just not my cup of tea, or rather not my glass of vino.

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 Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi by LATTE E MIELE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.79 | 32 ratings

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Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi
Latte e Miele Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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