Celeste — Il Principio del Regno Perduto
(Mellow MMP 548, 2021, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-01-10
After a long hiatus of nearly 40 years, composer and multi-instrumentalist Ciro Perrino reactivated Celeste in recent years with a brand new album, Il Risveglio del Principe (2019), modeled somewhat after the sound of the band’s first album proper, Principe di un Giorno, so many years ago. So what was Perrino doing for all those years? Around fifteen solo albums of all types of music, work with other bands St.Tropez and La Compagnia Digitale, collaborations with saxophonist Fausto Papetti, and more. Not counting the archival release from 2020, Il Principe del Regno Perduto or “The Prince of the Lost Kingdom” is the second full album of new material in the newest period of Celeste’s history, again developing that original symphonic style even further. The players from the 2019 album remain, with Perrino handling a dozen or more keyboards, including Hammond organ, Mellotron, piano, Solina, a number of different synthesizers, small percussion, and vocals, along with drummer Enzo Cioffi, bassist Francesco Bertone, Mauro Vero on acoustic and electric guitars, Marco Moro playing flutes, tenor and baritone sax, and violinist Sergio Caputo. In addition, a number of other instrumentalists and vocalists are featured on this track or that, offering additional saxes, guitars, piano, clarinet, and more. The first sound one hears on the nine minute opening track “Baie Distanti” is the wordless voice of Anna Marra, a haunting melody that carries on as the instrumentalists join the piece over the first two minutes, after which the piece moves forward through a number of different sections with different combinations of instruments and vocals. Likewise the second cut, “L’Ultimo Viaggio del Principe” (The Prince’s Last Journey), also features Marra prominently amid the numerous sections of the 24-minute mostly instrumental symphonic suite, what could easily be considered the centerpiece of the album. With the violin, flutes, and other woodwinds, and Perrino’s vast array of keyboards underscoring the symphonic elements along with a solid rhythm section, the male / female vocal sections still stand out prominently along this long and powerful journey. The instrumental “Il Passaggio di un Gigante Gentile” may be the shortest track at just under four minutes, but it’s got a solid groove in which saxes and flutes have plenty of room to play. Opening with some curious electronic sounds, “(Il) Ceruleo Sogno” hosts a beautiful acoustic guitar figure over which saxes, flute, and Mellotron take over and find plenty of room to stretch out in another instrumental episode. Closer “Nora” ends the set on a vocal number, with instruments all layered over one another beautifully. Seven tracks total, about 62 minutes, fitting nicely on a double LP set (on transparent blue or black vinyl) or on a CD (or a download if you prefer), Il Principe del Regno Perduto is classic Celeste beginning to end.
The album and the CD are available autographed and with a special dedication by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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