The Mediterranean the 90s and latin knowledge

Eduardo’s voice is so beautiful that it instinctively captures any type of listener. It is a naturally perfect instrument for color, extension and an incredible load of harmonics. It is clear right from the start that Eduardo “plays the voice”, since that first appearance in Sanremo in 1981 when, towards the end of the song, he neglects the main melody and abandons himself to an amazing solo that becomes an integral part of that historical interpretation. The appellatives are a waste: “The Italian Stevie Wonder”, “Stevie Wonder plus Pasquariello” Federico Vacalebre will say, music critic of Il Mattino, the city’s newspaper. Extremely courted by all the artists, by the musicians, his recorders will say, “He can also sing the telephone directory” because the thrill would come anyway. However, Eduardo’s natural talent is non-exhaustive of his sonorous world. The sound of “that voice” is the result of a more complex work: study, inspiration, style research; behind that voice there is the direction of the composer, of the instrumentalist, and his singular artistic sensibility. His distinguished admirer, Omar Calabrese, describes it well in 1995 – at that time a professor of Semiotics of the Arts at the University of Siena – in a text titled “La Sapienza Latina”.

La sapienza latina

De Crescenzo is certainly endowed with an extension and a melodic capacity out of the ordinary, but he has been able, over the course of a few years, to refine it, making it an emblem of a thousand musical memories. There is, for example, the sharp tone of the Italian (and Neapolitan) chansonniers of the first half of the century, all of them aimed at giving substance to the role of the light tenor. On the other hand, there is the virtuosic warbling of the gypsy-Andalusian flamenco singer, a mixture of power and deliberate aphonic at the same time. Again, we find the passionate vibrato of the Argentine tango singer, in the most cultured version of modern times but we could continue with other African “ethnic” forms, such as, quoting at random, the “sung stories” of the Congolese Mory Kante. In short, Mediterranean and Latin music of vast extension with another basic element: its characters are defined not only in the abstract composition (rhythm, melody, orchestration) but also above all in the execution. When you listen to De Crescenzo, the thing “jumps to the ear”: beyond the recognition of various genres, in fact, in his songs you can perfectly perceive the existence of a margin of risk and unexpectedness, as if the score was only a canvas from which variations and improvisations can be produced as desired. Almost instinctively, so, it happens that we let ourselves go – despite an unquestionable sophistication of words and music – to the sentimental effects produced by the author. Emotions like those of nostalgia, of regret, of elegance, flow direct, poetic, lyrical from these executions, also here in the perfect Mediterranean tradition. Yet we must swear that nothing of De Crescenzo’s songs is spontaneous. The most astute critic will recognize the study, the culture, the virtuosity of certain passages. Nevertheless, this is the beauty of art since the world is world! A sixteenth-century theorist, Baldassarre Castiglione, defined this dowry with the name of “modesty” and, in the seventeenth century, another court wise man, Torquato Accetto, called it “honest dissimulation”. They wanted to say that the true scholar never does anything by chance and that his ability in this can be measured and the public perceives his work as natural and immediate. All of this, perhaps, is also the secret of Eduardo De Crescenzo. Omar Calabrese 1995.

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