Luca di Volo and Claudia Bombardella - Strumenti di Pace Live
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Luca di Volo e Claudia Bombardella
Strumenti di Pace Live
Radici Music Records (www.suoniearmonie.it)

Strumenti di Pace is built in three cycles: "Grung's Legend," "The Legend of Eternal Return" and "Two Days to Easter." "Grung's" is the story of an Armenian crane and its wanderings through time. "Eternal Return" is based on an oriental theory whereby all events re-occur unchanged for eternity, while "Two Days to Easter" is a reflection on the deportation of the Jewish population from the Warsaw ghetto. Musically, the performance revolves around di Volo's clarinets and sax contralto and Bombardella's voice, baritone sax and cello. A chorus and an orchestra support the work.

The three cycles are each quite different. The first is rather playful and Eastern in its sound, the musical equivalent of the bird's flight. The second Legend is far darker in feeling and context, taking in elements such as the hymna sung by Crusaders on their way east, before giving way to fragments of Sufi and Armenian poetry and music. It all feels medieval, dark and troublesome, resigned to its fate, save for the six-minute "Shnirele Perele," which is rousing and triumphant before giving way to a poignant melancholy. The last piece starts off fragmented and pseudo-militaristic, with an extended timpani solo, then there is a bit of theatrical prose, followed by a wild dance, some vocal solos and a few other surprises. It is like a trip through war and loss, through remembrance of times past and horror, and finally to perseverance and hope. It's beautiful and varied; a great piece of music indicative of its subject matter.

This record is not easy listening. The material is dark, the music is more classical than traditional and the live recording struggles to find equilibrium between a full chorus and a single voice or a clarinet solo. But the result will reward the listener who treats this demanding recording with respect and care, and provide numerous fulfilling moments. - Nondas Kitsos

Note: This live 1999 performance first appeared as a small independent release and is now available to the world through Radici Music.

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"Grung's Legend"

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