PABLO FRESU

Mis­tico Mediter­ra­neo ( ECM)

Pasatiempo - - Tempos -

An i ntrigu­ing, t asty Ital­ian stew, Mis­tico Mediter­ra­neo fea­tures Paolo Fresu (trum­pet) and Daniele de Bon­aven­tura (ban­do­neon) with the sev­en­mem­ber A Filetta singers from Cor­sica. Jean-Claude Ac­qua­viva, leader of A Filetta, con­trib­uted five songs. His opener, “ Rex tremen­dae,” boasts thrillingly solemn but pow­er­ful vo­cals with sub­tle mod­ern ac­cents. De Bon­aven­tura leads into the hopeful theme of “Liberata,” com­posed by Ac­qua­viva for a film about Cor­sica’s re­sis­tance fight­ers in World War II. The singers of­fer gor­geous over­lap­ping har­monies, and then Fresu comes in half­way through for a mu­si­cal di­a­logue with the ban­do­neon. “Da tè à mè,” by the com­poser Jean-Michel Gian­nelli, is an­other tra­di­tion­al­con­tem­po­rary blend, fea­tur­ing the Cor­si­cans in gor­geous polyphony. “Glo­ria” was com­posed by the French film com­poser Bruno Coulais for a 2000 movie about 18th-cen­tury philoso­pher De­nis Diderot. The song of­fers ex­cit­ing va­ri­ety in the vo­cal parts and in­stru­men­tal work, which in­cludes trum­pet syn­the­sizer. If there is one crit­i­cism of this el­e­gant mu­sic, it’s that the mood is more or less con­stantly placid. An ex­cep­tion is the slightly dan­ger­ous “Le lac.” It be­gins with broach­ings of sound from Fresu’s plugged-in trum­pet and lit­tle pat­ter­ing sounds, and then from the 33-year-old A Filetta group comes a deeper and more pon­der­ous vo­cal pre­sen­ta­tion, rem­i­nis­cent of Gregorian chant — but in fact Coulais wrote the piece around a Ti­betan mantra. — Paul Wei­de­man

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