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Piero Piccioni

L'Alba dell'Uomo

Label: Beat Records

Format: CD

Genre: Library/Soundtracks

In process of stocking


Beat Records is pleased to present on CD the complete edition of the score by Piero Piccioni for Folco Quilici's TV series L'alba dell'uomo (Dawn of Man), broadcast by RAI between 1970 and 1974. The origins of man and his culture are "rediscovered" in the contemporary world through a series of eight one-hour episodes which won the Italian Television Critics Award in 1975-1976. The documentarian, writer, and explorer Folco Quilici has always given great importance to music in the productions he directed, working with great names in local film music such as Roberto Nicolosi (Sesto continente), Angelo F. Lavagnino (L’ultimo paradiso), Francesco De Masi (Dagli Appennini alle Ande, Ti-Koyo e il suo pescecane), Teo Usuelli (Le schiave esistono ancora), Ennio Morricone (Oceano, Cacciatori di navi), and Piero Piccioni (Il dio sotto la pelle, Fratello mare). The same goes for the television productions written and directed by Folco Quilici: Francesco De Masi (Alla scoperta dell’Africa, Alla scoperta dell’India, and L’uomo europeo), Piero Piccioni (Islam, L’alba dell’uomo, and Genti e paesi), and for L’Italia vista dal cielo, produced between 1968 and 1978, the director had at his disposal a entire team of composers including Giancarlo Gazzani, Francesco De Masi, Piero Piccioni, Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Luis Bacalov, Giorgio Zinzi, and Giorgio Carnini.

At the time, not a single note was released from this soundtrack in official form, so we had to wait until 2009, when the Japanese label Verita Note released an anthology CD (VQCD -1027) by Piero Piccioni with eighteen musical selections from L' alba dell’uomo combined with themes from Genti e paesi, Russia allo specchio, and L’Italia vista dal cielo. These eighteen tracks then appeared on digital platforms, but for this special CD edition, we used the stereo master tapes of the original recording sessions, which allowed us to discover sixteen unreleased songs that bring the album to a total duration of 71:00.

For this series, Piero Piccioni composed a decidedly varied soundtrack. In the opening credits, a slow main theme emerges with ethnic flavor provided by the horns, rhythm section, chordophones, and flute (Tr. 1), reprised with the organ (Tr. 4), with a similar instrumentation as in the opening credits (Tr. 7 ), for organ and celesta (Tr. 26), for piano and organ (Tr. 30), and the finale reprise (Tr. 34). To describe the various environments where man lives, from the dawn of humanity to the modern era, Piero Piccioni creates many fascinating sound dimensions. Music between experimental and psychedelia describes the creation of the cosmos or scenes of hunting in the wild (Tr. 3, Tr. 9, Tr. 12, Tr. 18, Tr. 20, Tr. 22). The composer also wrote memorable shake themes that represent the evolution of man towards modern progress (Tr. 2, Tr. 6, Tr. 11, Tr. 15, Tr. 21, Tr. 24, Tr. 27, Tr. 32). Worthy of note is a mystical pastoral theme (Tr. 5, Tr. 10, Tr. 17), also reprised with pop rhythms (Tr. 19). This CD is released as a sincere homage to the visual art of Folco Quilici and the musical art of Piero Piccioni.

Cat. number: BCM9616
Year: 2024

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