Camerata Mediolanense - Vertute, Honor, Bellezza
Neoclassical Darkwave with Experimentation
12 songs ()
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Once in a while I have guilty pleasures to completely get away from metal, and listen to something classically oriented. My mom, who some 30 years ago wanted me to learn how to play piano, would have been proud. Unlike metal, this music helps me to clear my mind in ways that don’t get me angry, melancholic or stirred up. It simply provides for the moments of quiet, when I can both hear myself think of the day just gone by or of the events upcoming shortly, yet I can still hear the music playing right next to me. Prophecy Productions is the label which has an undeniable knack for these artists, who are clearly playing classical music, but may do so using the instruments which are not typical, or have at least one toe straddled into something which may be considered non-traditional.

Camerata Mediolanense is a collective from Italy, Mediolanense meaning from Milan using that city’s medieval name, which plays chamber music, with darkwave tendencies, but also not afraid to experiment and push things along the way. The opener Voi Ch Ascoltate may have hinted to something frozen, motionless and descending, in a very formal sort of way, something from the Autumn Tears repertoire, but this is just the beginning. Tracks like Voi Ch Ascoltate, Vago Augelletto, Solo Et Pensoso is serene prayer-like cathedral music, but even they point into unusual directions, especially when trumpets come on, suggestive of the angels announcing apocalypse. Although, for Camerata Mediolanense the apocalypse is not some catastrophic life ending event. Not when Quest Anima Gentil with its child’s vocals projects pure innocence and acceptance. Layered vocals used throughout, beautiful female soprano and male voices traversing different frequencies combine in sharp polyphony completing the picture, courtesy of Elena Previdi’s (the band’s main songwriter) classic composer training. Bringing in harp and cell in Vergine Bella, joined by Daniela Bedeski beautiful lamentations, may be similar to Vago Augeletto in spirit, but the instruments enrich the music further, elevating it from cleansing relaxations, to something Bach and Hendel would not be ashamed of putting into their fugues and sarabandas.

The Italians don’t stop at neoclassical chamber music only, however, and expand their scope in multiple ways on Vertute, Honor, Bellezza. Dolce Ire, Lo Gran Desire and O Mia Stella have a pulse, a movement. Dolce Ire is percussive, in a way similar to what Therion produced on Crowning of the Atlantis, and operatic multiple vocal lines complement the music handsomely. O Mia Stella is an unusual track, playing menuet, or maybe waltz, given its 1-2-3 rhythmic progression, but the ever subtly accelerating tempo provide for a different, almost mockingly grotesque, angle. Altri Perfecti and Tremo Et Taccio is where experimentation bubbles over the top, bringing into the picture modern techno beats, boiling swamp sounds in Tremo Et Taccio and bright euphoric melody in Altri Perfecti.

Camerata Mediolanense can be your traditional classical music retreat and cinematic frozen synth in one track, Canzone All Italia, sending the listener to the medieval preacher for a sermon, but also on the Tolkien quest at the same time. They can remind you of Summoning (martial percussion in spots), Therion, Aesma Daeva, Autumn Leaves and Hekate all at once, and it is their ability to be so multifaceted is what appealed to me very much and avoided a stigma of stagnation, the downfall of many in this genre.

Killing Songs :
Dolci Ire, Vergine Bella, O Mia Stella, Quest Anima Gentil
Alex quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Camerata Mediolanense that we have reviewed:
Camerata Mediolanense - Le Vergini Folli reviewed by Andy and quoted 82 / 100
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