Michéal Castaldo Announces Extravergine, A Mediterranean Christmas Music Folio
Michéal Castaldo’s first Christmas Music Folio, entitled Extravergine: A Mediterranean Christmas Folio, (in Italian, Natale nel Mediterraneo) offers up sacred, liturgical Christmas carols in Italian and Latin in lead sheet form. Castaldo has arranged these carols completely with the power deserving of these immense classic with some special effects and novel interpretations of Christmas classics.
The folio includes the music for 15 carols, including the following seasonal favorites: “Oh Santa Notte (Oh Holy Night),” “E Nato Il Bambino Gesu (What Child Is This?),” “Batte nel Cuore, Suona Natale (Little Drummer Boy),” a very upbeat, uplifting spirit for the Christmas Season, “Gioia Nel Mondo (Joy To The World),” “Puoi Sentire Quel' Che Sent Io? (Do You Hear What I Hear?),” “Astro Del Ciel (Silent Night).” In addition, “Piccolo Jesu,” an Italian translation by Castaldo of the well-known Polish carol, “Jezus Malusuenki.” Castaldo is said to be the first to perform this lovely carol in Italian on his “Extravergine” CD. Completing the perfect package, Castaldo also offers up a mash-up medley of “Day’o” (The banana boat song) and the classic Italian carol, “Gloria In Excelsis Deo,” as well as “Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle,” “Va Pensiero,” and “Adeste Fideles (Oh Come All Ye Faithful).” Rounding off the folio’s final musical selections are “Ave Maria,” “Panis Angelicus,” and Leonard Cohen’s “Allelulia.”
Extravergine does not shy away from embracing songs of faith. For Italian-Americans, the folio serves as an Italian language lesson. We know almost every song and can sing them in English. And now thanks to Castaldo’s translation efforts, we can grasp the meaning of a host of Italian words in the best way possible, through song. Playing these carols repeatedly, an Italian-American wanting to learn Italian can benefit by singing along with Castaldo arrangements.
Extravergine: A Mediterranean Christmas Folio is available on Amazon at tinyurl.com/CastaldoChristmasFolio, JW Pepper.com, michealcastaldo.com, and select book stores in the USA, Canada, and Italy. The accompanying “Extravergine” CD is available on Amazon, michealCastaldo.com, and other online music retail outlets. All the songs are recognizably pleasing to the ear in their own right, and as co-arranged by Castaldo and fellow Berklee College of Music alum, Stein Berg Svendsen, they are elevated to the status of contemporary classics.
Castaldo is an award-winning Italian classical-crossover tenor whose work has been called a “plush world of ballads and utter sweetness” by celebritycafe.com and “the perfect complement to an Italian music collection” by La Gazzetta Italiana.
In the folio’s Foreword, celebrated writer/columnist Cookie Curci writes: “Michéal Castaldo is a creative composer, arranger and artist who not only brings to his recordings a magnificent singing voice, but also his talents as a visionary composer and arranger. He knows the language and the love of each cultural song he performs. Michéal conveys to his listeners a new refreshing approach by way of the rearranging of familiar classics as well as the new songs of his own composition. More than most, Michéal has been blessed not only with the voice to sing the melodies he creates but also the inspiration to design and generate new ideas in sounds and words that, in some cases, give a rebirth to traditional old standards. In this way, he constitutes a whole new meaning to an old tune.”
The folio, published by Woodpecker Press, Bayville, NJ (ISBN: 978-1-937397-30-2) and distributed by Sumthing Distribution (A Nile Rodgers Company) New York, NY, also contains photos, a “Community Connections” page, and a reprint of a review of the Extravergine CD by the Primo Magazine editor, Truby Chiavello, who proclaims: “Italian-Americans are indebted to Michéal Castaldo who raises the bar on the music of Italian-Americans. He brings the appreciation of the Italian language to a broad audience, but this time through beautiful Christmas melodies. Michéal has contributed mightily to the great canon that is the music of the Italian-American experience. The Extravergine Music Folio is highly recommended for Italian-Americans to purchase as a Christmas gift for a loved one or friend, or yourself, any time of the year.”
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