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Luciano Troja & Antonino Cicero: An Italian Tale

- CD Reviews

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Luciano Troja & Antonino Cicero: An Italian Tale
(inspired by Giovanni D’Anzi’s melodies)

Luciano Troja on Piano
Antonino Cicero on Bassoon

Produced by Gianluca Cangemi and Luca Rinaudo
Co-Executive Producer, Danilo Romancino
Recorded in Italy, Live-in-Studio and at Zeit Studio
Mixing and Mastering: Luca Rinaudo
Zeit Studio, Palermo, Italy
Art Direction & Design: Antonio Cusimano

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 25, 2018

This CD from Messina, Sicily, is a series of compositions by Luciano Troja, pianist, recorded with Antonino Cicero, bassoonist. Luciano has been favorably reviewed on these pages, over the years, in collaborative and solo recordings, as well as in live performances, when he’s in New York. Luciano credits Italian songwriter, Giovanni D’Anzi with his inspiration for this music. Antonino plays his bassoon, exuding a wide range of tonal stretch and fluid or punctuated tempi. At times, Luciano holds one piano note in near silence or echoing whisper, to showcase Antonino’s mellow, dulcet tones. At other times, the two musicians connect in smooth, fascinating harmonies. There were moments, exploring the album’s ten tracks, when this music seemed like a score from a romantic, theatrical musical.

All music composed by Luciano Troja.
Notable tracks:

#2 – You Are the Melody – This track ebulliently exudes emotional yearning in singable, danceable phrasing. The tune flows with sultry, bluesy, effortlessness. Gershwin’s oeuvres come to mind. Luciano’s piano opens the track, with Antonino taking the theme throughout. The piano-bassoon combination works beautifully and
must be heard to really appreciate.

#4 – Legs – Luciano opens this track with pronounced keyboard rhythm, while Antonino finds the deepest bass tonalities, before both musicians create fanciful, skipping, musical motifs. The carefree mood here, once again, could transport this music to an intimate theatrical or cabaret stage, with lyricist and vocalist. This music could also be featured as a ballet or modern dance score, with the right choreographer.

#6 – Tempi Moderni – The sixth track is imbued with choral, textured effects, in a structured, rapid rhythm. The melody, as always, is strong and resilient. There are new details and melodic explorations here with shifting, lovely phrasing. The punctuated tempi add interest and style.

#8 – Rabagliati – The eighth track takes on full symphonic breadth, with Antonino adding an entire bassoon solo scale with vibrant styling and orchestral ornamentation. This was one of my favorite tracks, for unique, duet combinations. Both piano and bassoon expand the fervent theme with delicacy, as well as dynamism.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at