The rediscovery of the best in Neapolitan music by the highly talented artists Antonello Paliotti, Mauro Squillante and Leonardo Massa continues apace with their new release Serenata luntana, a solid and creative record conceived for a large ensemble, the NAPOLI MANDOLINORCHESTRA, whose line-up has evolved under the aegis of the Accademia Mandolinistica Napoletana (an association founded at the end of the Twenties which became fully operational again in the last decade thanks to the work of these three tireless musicians).
Showing that the Antonello Paliotti Trio's critically acclaimed debut Tarantella storta (2001, Dunya Records 8036) was no mere one-off, Serenata luntana, does more than confirm its promise and will undoubtedly delight fans of Mediterranean music. Together with a number of other excellent musicians Paliotti, Squillante, Massa have deliberately chosen a repertoire, most of which is not merely nationally but internationally famous, to show how much musicality and originality can still be mined from pieces like Funiculì funiculà, 'O sole mio, Torna a Surriento or Marechiare given the right approach, one which aims to bring to light their deepest and most hidden essence.
Restoring to these pieces their freshness must have been a hard task and if the final result works so well it's partly due to Paliotti's skilful yet sober arrangements, paring away the sugary inlays that have accrued over decades of clumsy executions, reducing a lively, spontaneous and popular heritage to the state of a ridiculous and banal stereotype. But Serenata luntana also contains some rediscovered gems such as Mare 'e Margellina, written by Raffaele Viviani and part of the comedy "Morte di Carnevale", as well Rossini's famous Danza (or Tarantella) as a nod to "high" culture.
The NAPOLI MANDOLIN ORCHESTRA makes its recording debut after ten years of concerts that have consistently won acclaim from even the most demanding of audiences. A debut long overdue which Felmay are proud to offer by adding this prestigious orchestra to their catalogue. The ACCADEMIA MANDOLINISTICA NAPOLETANA was founded in 1929 by Raffaele Calace. In 1992 it was revived by Mauro Squillante (president) and Leonardo Massa (artistic director) who with the assistance of Antonello Paliotti have engaged in intensive teaching work and musicological research (leading to the recent creation of the mandolin course at the Conservatorio di Musica S. Pietro in Majella) as well as giving numerous concerts (New York, Nantes, Colonia, Rudolstadt).