Guglielmo Papararo & Vittorio Montis – [April Orchestra présente RCA Sound vol.16]

Guglielmo Papararo & Vittorio Montis LP front cover
Guglielmo Papararo & Vittorio Montis LP back cover
Guglielmo Papararo & Vittorio Montis LP side A

The April Orchestra library music series was published in Paris, France, during the 1970s by the local branch of RCA and actually comprised several parallel series by, mostly, French, Czech and Italian composers. Contrary to other library music companies, April Orchestra did not publish illustrative tracks gathered under a loose theme, but specialized in contemporary music anthologies, like the 25+ volumes of “Florilège de la musique tchécoslovaque” series on Czech contemporary composers (example here), or the “April Orchestra présente RCA Sound”, devoted to contemporary Italian composers (Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone, etc). Their abstract cover art perhaps emphasized the fact music alone is supposed to provide the visual stimulus.

♫ This LP belongs to the Italian series and pairs classical guitar player Guglielmo Papararo with pianist and composer Vittorio Montis. Their compositions for small ensemble use instruments from the classical orchestra (piano, contrabass, oboe, clarinet, flute, trumpet, timpani, small percussion) plus Spanish guitar, sometimes with reverb sound effect, and the occasional lush, wordless female vocals. The music is close to Ennio Morricone’s serious contemporary music, but the prominent role of classical guitar and the serene atmosphere recalls Leo Brouwer’ and Toru Takemitsu’s film music as well. Notwithstanding the futuristic track titles, this LP is not so much about otherworldly sound explorations – unless your idea of a space travel’s soundtrack includes Spanish guitar and oboe – as chamber music miniatures.

Maestro Guglielmo Papararo has a repertoire ranging from classical composers to Flamenco guitar. He’s also an educator and the author of the La Tecnica Degli Arpeggi guitar method, published by Berben Edizioni Musicali, 1999. Composer Vittorio Montis worked as an educator teaching composition at the Palestrina Conservatorio in Cagliari, and is also a writer. He is the co-author of a reference book on folk music and dances of Sardinia (Ballos by Bandinu Bachisio, Deplano Andrea & Vittorio Montis, published by Florias Ed, 2000), a very ancient tradition famous for its use of launeddas, or triplepipe. The unmistakable sound of this instrument can be heard in the video below, a Montis composition for organ and launeddas (the composer himself is standing near the organist).

01 Iperspazio (5:35)
02 Andromeda (3:04)
03 Supernova (3:41)
04 Asteroide (5:58)
05 Continuum (4:01)
06 Alpha Centauri (3:01)
07 Sol 3 (5:55)
08 Jonosfera (5:37)
09 Gravita’ Zero (3:57)

Total time 41:00
LP released by April Orchestra/RCA, ref. ZL 39116, France, 1977


Above: Vittorio Montis: Cannas in Cuntzertu. Recorded in the San Pietro cathedral’s presbytery in Ales, central Sardinia. Fabrizio Marchionni: organ, Luigi Lai: launeddas.

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7 Responses to “Guglielmo Papararo & Vittorio Montis – [April Orchestra présente RCA Sound vol.16]”

  1. 1 gamilan March 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Really beautiful music. I’m enjoying it right now. Reminds me early Hector Zazou a bit. Thank you for share, it is a nice discovery for me.

  2. 2 continuo March 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Hi, Gamilan. Long time no see. I also love this music and other references in the April Orchestra series. Definitely worth investigating.
    Thanks for your comment.

  3. 3 Scott March 12, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Sadly, they just don’t make music like this anymore :(

    But thanks!

  4. 4 continuo March 12, 2011 at 8:20 am

    On the other hand, in the 1970s they didn’t have the great music we have today!

  5. 5 Scott March 12, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Oh yeah! Suppose I was feeling a little glass half emptyish yesterday.

  6. 6 continuo March 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Excellent! Cheers to you, Scott.

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