Various Artists — Pioggia nel Deserto
(Cramps Records Artis ARCD 019, 1992, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01
There is a whole branch of Artis' output that we won't go into here, suffice to sat that the compilation Pioggia nel Deserto, which showcases tracks by eight different artists, could be thought of as something of a "Windham Hill Sampler" featuring exclusively Italian artists. Indeed the album is subtitled "New Age in Italy," although that should be qualified by stating that most of this would probably be a bit too challenging to be called new-age in the American sense of the word. The opening track by Vincenzo Zitella is an energetic ensemble piece featuring celtic harp, guitar, bass, and hand drums, with a beautiful melody carried by violin. The second track in none other than a ten- minute live version of "Ritagli d'Anima" by Alfredo Tisocco performed on solo piano – perhaps a little to avant-classical in parts to ever qualify as new-age music (at least by the American definition). "Stanzio Termini" is a lengthy piece for clarinet and synthesizer by Tito Rinesi. The remaining six tracks are solo pieces for piano, synthesizers or woodwinds, the latter in the form of an oboe solo with electronic treatment offered by Roberto Mazza. In all, this is a very solid album – not what you might expect, albeit a bit more low key than others discussed here. Recommended.
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