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Italian Songbook, Vol. 1

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Album Review

Bluvertigo singer and Italian TV celebrity Morgan pays homage to the grand Italian love song tradition of the 1950s and '60s in Italian Songbook, Vol. 1. The EP features six choice ballads by the likes of Gino Paoli, Sergio Endrigo, Umberto Bindi, Piero Ciampi, and Domenico Modugno, beautifully crooned by Morgan and set to obligatory orchestral and piano arrangements. Morgan goes about his business with the zeal of an Early Music fundamentalist, which is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, his versions of these truly beautiful songs are flawless; on the other, he is so respectful of the original material, style of performance, and arrangements that there is nothing particularly distinctive or innovative about this project. As it is, Italian Songbook, Vol. 1 stands as a superbly accomplished exercise in style — but offers little to recommend it in place of the original versions, all easily available. Furthermore, the decision to augment the album with duplicate English versions of the same six songs is, to say the least, baffling. With no exception, every text loses a great deal of its charm in translation, and this is painfully evident in the more poetic ones, such as "Il Cielo in una Stanza," and Morgan does not sound as confident in English as in Italian. Italian Songbook, Vol. 1 was released in an EP format at a budget price in 2009, a strategy employed by several Italian artists in crisis. Apparently, a second volume is already finished and should be released by 2010.

Biography

Born: 23 December 1972 in Milan, Italy

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born in Milan a few days before Christmas 1972, Marco Castoldi started taking piano lessons before he entered high school, though he also took interest in bass and singing. In 1992 he joined up with keyboardist and saxophonist Andrea Fumagalli and guitarist Marco Pancaldi and formed Bluvertigo (eventually drummer Sergio Carnevale came in, too, and Pancaldi was replaced by Livio Magnini). After releasing three albums with the band, Castoldi, who as a musician went by the name Morgan, decided to strike...
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Italian Songbook, Vol. 1, Morgan
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