Movement I: Mediterranean Life: John’s parents were born in Sicily – the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea – golden beaches, magic Medieval castles, impressive cathedrals, fair cone-shaped houses, and old fortified farmhouses, are some of the features of this fascinating country as well as its rich history of the best Apulian gastronomic traditions. This movement attempts to capture not only the cultural heritage of John’s family but also his love of jazz. 7’23
Movement II: Tragedia (tragedy) The theme for this movement was originally commissioned by documentary film director John Cork for the forthcoming 20th Century Box set release: Murnau, Borzage, and Fox. John asked for a theme to personify the reclusive and conflicting personality of the German expressionist filmmaker, F. W. Murnau. He also wanted the theme to sound like the famous Adagio sostenuto from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. After composing the Murnau “theme”, I knew immediately that I wanted later to expand on it. Beethoven dedicated the sonata to his pupil and passion, the 17-year-old Italian Countess Giulietta Gucciardi. 5’12
Movement III: Tarantella (Italian wolf-spider) a dance saved for cultural events and weddings in the south of Italy. There are many theories on how the Tarantella began, the most popular being The Bite of a Spider in which the dance was used apparently to cure the bite of the spider presumed to make one hallucinate. The town’s folk played music while the afflicted person would dance nonstop, to ward off the spider’s venom. The dance’s musical “vocabulary” was a fusion between the Spanish fandango and the Moresque. In my version, the vocabulary adds jazz fusion and circus music to exaggerate the dance’s original intention – to cure through perspiration the delirium and contortions attributed to the bite of a spider at harvest time. 4’12
Total Duration: 17 minutes
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