"Mario!": Lanza's Masterpiece --- a YouTube tribute by Vince Di Placido

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Derek McGovern

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Aug 5, 2020, 10:58:25 PM8/5/20
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Our very own Vince Di Placido has just created a stunning tribute to the great Mario! album: https://youtu.be/xkMRfQDYLuY

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It's essentially a mini-documentary: packed with sublime moments from the album, and complemented by wonderful visuals (including a very cleverly edited combination of film and photos that reveals how the album cover was created). On top of that, Vince provides superb on-camera narration that goes far beyond anything that's ever been written about the album. 

An absolute treat from start to finish for anyone who loves this album---and a terrific introduction for those lucky people who are about to discover it.

Bravo, Vince!!!!!      



Vincent Di Placido

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Aug 6, 2020, 1:57:07 AM8/6/20
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Thank you Derek, definitely a labour of love & I wouldn’t have been able to do it if not for all the discussions we’ve had in these groups.
I hope it does lead a few more people to this amazing album, the power of YouTube is something else.

Derek McGovern

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Aug 6, 2020, 9:25:46 AM8/6/20
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It's great to see that Vince's video is already receiving a huge amount of praise on YouTube.

Incidentally, if you need English translations of any of the songs from the Mario! album---or just want to read the original Neapolitan lyrics---they're all collected here (bar Funiculi' Funicula'):

kuzmishinairina

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Aug 6, 2020, 9:53:51 AM8/6/20
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By some uncnown reason the site mariolanzatenor.com is banned for Russian users. Very disstressing! 



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-------- Исходное сообщение --------
От: Derek McGovern <derek.m...@gmail.com>
Дата: 06.08.2020 16:25 (GMT+03:00)
Кому: "Mario Lanza, Tenor" <mario...@googlegroups.com>
Тема: [Mario Lanza] Re: "Mario!": Lanza's Masterpiece --- a YouTube tribute by Vince Di Placido

It's great to see that Vince's video is already receiving a a great deal of praise on YouTube.

Incidentally, if you need English translations of any of the songs from the Mario! album---or just want to read the original Neapolitan lyrics---they're all collected here (bar Funiculi' Funicula'):

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Derek McGovern

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Aug 6, 2020, 10:07:02 AM8/6/20
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I have no idea why the site is not accessible from Russia! The security certificate for the site is up to date.

If anyone else is experiencing problems visiting mariolanzatenor.com, please let me know. 

By the way, when you're not able to visit a site and want to check if the problem is with your own server (or country) or the site itself, this is a useful website:



Just type in the url. Then, if the problem is at your end, you'll receive an instant response like this:
Screenshot (169).png
   
On Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 10:53:51 PM UTC+9, kuzmishinairina wrote:
By some unknown reason the site mariolanzatenor.com is banned for Russian users. Very distressing! 

kuzmishinairina

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Aug 6, 2020, 1:07:30 PM8/6/20
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   Thank you vry much for your hint concerning checking the site. But unfortunately the result was very sad - no acces for all from my country. I've checked it also  with my Russian friends and they confirmed it!  What a shame, what a disgrace! 



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-------- Исходное сообщение --------
От: Derek McGovern <derek.m...@gmail.com>
Дата: 06.08.2020 17:07 (GMT+03:00)
Кому: "Mario Lanza, Tenor" <mario...@googlegroups.com>
Тема: Re: [Mario Lanza] Re: "Mario!": Lanza's Masterpiece --- a YouTube tribute by Vince Di Placido

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Steff Walzinger

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Aug 6, 2020, 2:06:24 PM8/6/20
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Hi Vince,
I can only repeat what I already posted to you on you-tube:
"Brilliant Vince! I could listen to you for hours! I've always thought that this album represents the perfectness of passionate singing. Mario felt so much "home" in these songs. Deep in his heart, Mario had a Neapolitan soul! You can feel how he goes through all the emotions - He's really suffering the heartache, and your video perfectly demonstrates this. Pavarotti, for example, although Italian born, only showed a small fraction of this passion and understanding for this kind of music. That's what separates the wheat from the chaff! Mario's passion is real, not pretended!"

Incidentally, you explained the special way the Neapolitans treat and pronounce the "s." Interestingly, we in the very South of Germany, South-West, to be exact, do the very same! The "s" often becomes a "sch" (Example: Das ist gut/That is good/Das isch gut). Maybe that's why the Neapolitan language (I understand it is regarded as a language, not just as a dialect) sounds so pleasant and somewhat familiar to my ears.

As for "Funiculi, Funicula," I appreciated your putting it at the end of the video, not playing an excerpt of it. How could this song happen to be the first track on the album?! It's like an "alien" among those songs, and one could get the impression that it was not arranged by Morricone. Whoever had the idea of including it on that superb album and as an opening, too, must have had a bad day!!

Steff


Steff Walzinger

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Aug 6, 2020, 2:33:22 PM8/6/20
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Irina,
Maybe you can please moderate your tone? "Disgrace" is an unfortunate wording in this context, don't you think?
What about commenting something nice on the you-tube video of Vince di Placido, for which Derek actually created this new thread! Thank you!
Steff


Am Donnerstag, 6. August 2020 19:07:30 UTC+2 schrieb kuzmishinairina:
   Thank you vry much for your hint concerning checking the site. But unfortunately the result was very sad - no acces for all from my country. I've checked it also  with my Russian friends and they confirmed it!  What a shame, what a disgrace! 



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-------- Исходное сообщение --------
От: Derek McGovern <derek.m...@gmail.com>
Дата: 06.08.2020 17:07 (GMT+03:00)
Кому: "Mario Lanza, Tenor" <mario...@googlegroups.com>
Тема: Re: [Mario Lanza] Re: "Mario!": Lanza's Masterpiece --- a YouTube tribute by Vince Di Placido

I have no idea why the site is not accessible from Russia! The security certificate for the site is up to date.

If anyone else is experiencing problems visiting mariolanzatenor.com, please let me know. 

By the way, when you're not able to visit a site and want to check if the problem is with your own server (or country) or the site itself, this is a useful website:



Just type in the url. Then, if the problem is at your end, you'll receive an instant response like this:
Screenshot (169).png
   
On Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 10:53:51 PM UTC+9, kuzmishinairina wrote:
By some unknown reason the site mariolanzatenor.com is banned for Russian users. Very distressing! 

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To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to mariolanza+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.

kuzmishinairina

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Aug 6, 2020, 6:53:19 PM8/6/20
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   My comment is there since yesterday, and I admire it with all my heart! 



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-------- Исходное сообщение --------
От: Steff Walzinger <Stefanie....@t-online.de>
Дата: 06.08.2020 21:33 (GMT+03:00)
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to mariolanza+...@googlegroups.com.
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kuzmishinairina

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Aug 6, 2020, 7:16:56 PM8/6/20
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   I'm very sorry, but it's really so: the site doesnt open for Russian users, I asked several friends and they confirmed it: it's not acceible any more for alredy a half  or year or even more. The answer to my request was : "The site is down". As far as I understand it's not the fault of those nice  and truly knowledgeable people who had created it. 



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-------- Исходное сообщение --------
От: Derek McGovern <derek.m...@gmail.com>
Дата: 06.08.2020 17:07 (GMT+03:00)
Кому: "Mario Lanza, Tenor" <mario...@googlegroups.com>
Тема: Re: [Mario Lanza] Re: "Mario!": Lanza's Masterpiece --- a YouTube tribute by Vince Di Placido

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Derek McGovern

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Aug 6, 2020, 10:14:51 PM8/6/20
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It was good to be reminded while watching Vince's video yesterday as to which of the two arrangers who worked on Mario! was responsible for each song:

Screenshot (170).pngOf the two arrangers, Carlo Savina and Ennio Morricone, I think it's safe to say that the latter was the more innovative, but Savina did a fine, tasteful job, and I'm especially fond of his work on Fenesta che Lucive and 'Na Sera 'e Maggio. Exquisite stuff! 

I think people tend to overlook the importance of the arranger's contribution (and, certainly in Mario's time, they were seldom credited on the back of album covers), but a bad arrangement can easily wreck a song, and I've found that Neapolitan songs---more often than not---suffer in that respect. (And I'm not just referring to the Coke Show arrangements! Contemporary arrangements of Neapolitan songs are often hopelessly overblown or otherwise inappropriate.)     

Morricone obviously came to this project determined to upend the traditional arrangements of warhorses like Funiculi' Funicula' and 'O Surdato 'Nnammurato. While we may well have got a better rendition from Mario on the former if Morricone hadn't given it such a radical makeover, I'm fond of what he did with the latter (and I like the slower-than-usual tempo too). But his best work, for my money, is on Voce 'e Notte (unnecessary angelic choir aside!) and Santa Lucia Luntana. On his video, Vince points out that the beginning of the latter (with its lovely shimmering evocation of the sea) is quite unlike any other version of the song---and Mario certainly makes the most of it. Just gorgeous! But the same could also be said of Voce 'e Notte, which allows Mario to shine and create magic in a way that a conventional arrangement probably wouldn't have allowed.  

It's too bad that Morricone, who died only a month ago, never publicly shared his view on Lanza's interpretations of these and other songs that he arranged. He did talk a few years back about how the conductor, Franco Ferrara, had experienced fainting spells during one of the Mario! sessions, but that was it.

I did speak briefly on the telephone to Carlo Savina in 1986 on one of my early visits to Rome, but my Italian wasn't good enough for any meaningful discussion. He was very nice, though, and obviously fond of Mario (as indeed most of the people who worked with him in Rome seem to have been).   

Anyway, thanks very much, Vince, for highlighting the work of the arrangers in your commentary. You really rammed home the importance of every "ingredient"---from singer, conductor, arranger, to recording engineer, etc---needing to come together in order to create a true masterpiece! 
   
Cheers,
Derek 

Steff Walzinger

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Aug 7, 2020, 7:08:50 AM8/7/20
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Ciao Derek,

As for "Voce 'e notte," can you tell me what instruments are heard in the opening sequence? I have always been puzzled about that. Are these mandolins? And if so, apart from them, there's another "instrument" which actually sounds a little bit as if it was created electronically. Actually, I have a good hearing, but here it fails.

Steff

Derek McGovern

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Aug 7, 2020, 7:18:20 AM8/7/20
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That's a very good question, Steff!

Honestly, I don't know---and now you've made me curious to find out too. Can anyone assist?  

Steff Walzinger

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Aug 7, 2020, 7:25:35 AM8/7/20
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Could it be kind of glass harp?
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Jim Thompson

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Aug 7, 2020, 8:34:47 AM8/7/20
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Derek, this is a wonderful site.  Due to circumstances I haven't posted in quite some time but always enjoy reading the intelligent, heart-felt comments made here.  Vince, your description of "Mario" is not only overwhelmingly well done and interesting but I believe it will be a marvelous opener for people who may not know Mario as we do.  Congratulations to you Derek and to all of you on this site... be well and stay safe!

Derek McGovern

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Aug 7, 2020, 8:54:06 AM8/7/20
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Welcome back, Jim! And I completely agree with your assessment of Vince's video! 

Armando

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Aug 7, 2020, 8:17:58 PM8/7/20
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It sounds like a combination of either mandolin /guitar and piano with added sound effects.I don't think it's a glass harp although the sound is similar. 

leeann

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Aug 8, 2020, 3:38:02 PM8/8/20
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Vince, this is a totally magnificent work you've done on this totally magnificent album. The combination of the artistic and the personal, the songs and the backstories, the interwoven narrative and the music is brilliant. You hit the heart and the mind. Thank you so much.
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