Stefano Saletti and Renato Giordano - The Wasps
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Stefano Saletti and Renato Giordano
Le Vespe: Original Sound Track
Compagnia Nouve Indye CNI (

cd cover Aristophanes' "The Wasps" was written in 422 BCE, earlier than his better-known plays like "Peace," "Lysistrata" and "Frogs." It will be close to the heart of many of the readers: it is about the Athenians' excitement for the court of law and their desire to be on the jury day after day, rather than have to carry out their day-to-day affairs.

Musicians and composer Stefano Saletti has written the score for a modern theatrical presentation of this play. The performance, directed by Renato Giordano, took place in the Ancient Greek theatre of Syracuse in June and July 2003. The ten songs featured are sung either in Ancient Greek or Italian and the many instruments used give the recording a feel of South-eastern Mediterranean musicality that is complimentary to the play without trying to emulate ancient music. Those instruments (bouzouki, oud, tzouras, guitars, darbouka, riq, bodhran, sabar, tammorra, wehuelt, shaker, duduk, flute, marranzano, davoul, udu, violin, cello, rabab and bass) create a wall-of-sound of sorts that is both intricate and greatly satisfying, music that sounds somewhere between Greek and Italian without copying any of the two. Saletti has created a record that is far more accessible and universal than a simple soundtrack. It's elaborate without being tiresome, timeless and yet modern. Most of all, though, it sounds marvellous.

This is a record that can be embraced by friends of Italian and Greek music but also by anyone interested in the wise use of keyboards and dance loops and beats in traditional music (especially on "Kronos"). This is something of a specialist recording, but it is full of verve and a sly sense of humor that somehow persists throughout the CD, which works well in lightening the tone of the record and extending its appeal further than the limited group of theatre-goers. - Nondas Kitsos

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