|Millennium Choir at the "Sala Nervi", in the Vatican|
All the compositions are original works and have been composed, arranged, orchestrated & conducted by Maestro BEPPE CANTARELLI for Shiva Diva Music & Baby Baron Productions.
1. "MAGNIFICAT" (for Choir & Orchestra): In the past centuries many composers such as J.Sebastian Bach, his son Emmanuel Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Strauss, Monteverdi (to name a few) have put to music this famous Latin prayer from the Gospel of Saint Luke. In 1996 Maestro CANTARELLI was commissioned by Madre Luigia Aguzzi, the abess of the "Santuario Della Madonna Del Divino Amore" in Rome, Italy, to compose a new work to this text for the opening of the new sanctuary on June 20, 1999. After several months of unsuccessful attempts (due to the fact that he obviously felt extremely intimidated by the impressive roster of composers who had come before him), he finally came up with a new version of the "Magnificat" of which he was proud. After recording it with the MILLENNIUM CHOIR, he was finally able to present it to the Sanctuary on September 1998. It wasn't long before Radio Vatican was playing the "Magnificat." As a result, BEPPE CANTARELLI received a phone call from legendary contemporary composer and virtuoso flutist ROBERTO FABBRICIANI, who has worked with such greats as Von Karajan, Luigi Nono, Claudio Abbado, to name a few, and who now champions CANTARELLI's music in the most prestigious music circles in Europe, including the BBC London, the Berlin Philharmonic, and in the Vatican itself, at the Sistine Chapel. The "Magnificat" was finally premiered on December 25, 1999, at the Sala Nervi Auditorium in the Vatican during a live worldwide telecast where the Pope opened the Holy Doors to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and to the New Millennium.
2. "PADRE E` GIUNTA L'ORA": Maestro CANTARELLI composed and wrote the music as well as the lyrics of this composition for Polyphonic Choir, Acoustic Guitars, Piano and Strings. The words are inspired by a very famous and emotional moment of the Gospel when Jesus Christ realizes that He is going to die and therefore prays to His Father saying - "Father The Hour Has Come" ("Padre E` Giunta L'Ora") - and asks Him not to forget about Humanity after He is gone. This composition, already recorded by the MILLENNIUM CHOIR, made its debut with the choir of the "Collegiata di San Bartolomeo" on December 22, 1998, at the Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew in Busseto.
3. "VENI SANCTE SPIRITUS": The lyrics are an ancient Gregorian chant from the 9th century. In 1995 Monsignor TARCISIO BOLZONI, the Music Director of the Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew in Busseto (Parma), Italy, commissioned Maestro CANTARELLI to compose a new polyphonic work to these beautiful words that have been sung for centuries in a monophonic form only (with no harmonies) in the Gregorian chant style. Maestro BEPPE CANTARELLI scored the piece for Polyphonic Choir (Soprano, Contralto, Tenor & Bass), Piano and Strings. It premiered in 1995 on Pentecost at the cathedral in Busseto, and was performed by the choir of the "Collegiata di San Bartolomeo."
4. "ECCO UN'AURORA MAI VISTA / MENTRE IL SILENZIO": For several years Monsignor TARCISIO BOLZONI had been performing Maestro CANTARELLI's intrumental compositions within numerous liturgical functions at the Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew in Busseto. In 1993 he commissioned CANTARELLI to write some music for polyphonic choir to the beautiful Christmas poem by the late theologist David Maria Turoldo. This was Maestro CANTARELLI's first composition for polyphonic choir, which officially launched the MILLENNIUM CHOIR project. The premiere of this composition, with Prelude ("Ecco Un'Aurora Mai Vista") for A Cappella Choir, and Pastorale ("Mentre Il Silenzio") for Choir & Strings, was on Christmas 1993.
5. "NON E` PIU` QUI": Maestro CANTARELLI co-wrote this piece with MILLENNIUM CHOIR Co-Founder and Choir Mistress SUSAN YOUNGBLOOD. For the lyrics, he took inspiration once again from the Gospel. On Easter morning, when the women went to visit Jesus' tomb, they found it open. Two Angels were seated upon it. They said to the women, "He's Not Here Anymore" ("Non E` Piu` Qui"). Monsignor BOLZONI, who heard it last January during a visit here in L.A. at one of the choir rehearsals, asked Maestro CANTARELLI for a copy of the full orchestration because he wished to premiere this latest composition during the next Easter festivities in Busseto.
6. "VERGINE IMMACOLATA" (Giaculatoria del Santuario del Divino Amore): This is a very simple three-line prayer called a "giaculatoria," which has been used at the Sanctuary of "Il Divino Amore" for over two centuries. Several famous Italian composers, the last of them being Perosi in 1948, put this popular "giaculatoria" to music. "Il Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore" is very popular, especially among Romans, because of the various miracles that have occurred there during the centuries. The most recent miracle took place in 1944 when Pope Pius XII and the Romans made an official plea and vow to the "Madonna del Divino Amore" that if She saved Rome from the Allies' bombing and from the Nazis evacuating the Eternal City, they would go in pilgrimage every month from the Vatican to the old Sanctuary (10 miles walking) until the day that they had built a new sanctuary. Fifty-five years later, on July 4, 1999, the Pope attended the opening of the new sanctuary. During the mass He finally released the Romans from their vow. For this momentous occasion, the sanctuary commissioned Maestro CANTARELLI to write a new work to be performed during the ceremony.
7. "AVE MARIA (Mai Piu` La Guerra)": This is a new "Ave Maria" that Maestro CANTARELLI composed for Lead Tenor and Polyphonic Choir. It features the famous Latin prayer as the verse, while the chorus, in Italian, is a message of peace which Maestro CANTARELLI took from a famous prayer called "Mai Piu` La Guerra" ("No More War"), which the Pope delivered in Sarajevo (Bosnia) during His last visit in 1996. This composition, one of the most recent recordings by the MILLENNIUM CHOIR, features Maestro CANTARELLI as the Lead Tenor.
8. "NOI LIBERAMENTE PERSI": Adagio for Flute, Choir & Strings recorded by the MILLENNIUM CHOIR with ROBERTO FABBRICIANI, arguably the number one flutist in the world today. This selection is featured on FABBRICIANI's latest CD. He premiered the piece on August 28, 1999 at the Abbey of Pontignano, in the famous Certosa of Siena, Italy. This composition has also been recorded by the choir with an arrangement for Lead Tenor and Polyphonic Choir
with BEPPE CANTARELLI as soloist.
9. "SANCTUS": The Millennium Choir is also recording a second CD featuring a new Mass composed by its founder and music director BEPPE CANTARELLI. The Sanctus, however, is featured in the current Album/CD "Magnificat" as well. The famous Latin lyrics, along with the beautiful verses by Isaiah (6,4-5) in contemporary Italian, are set to music and orchestrated for choir (SATBB) and orchestra.
10. "DESIDERATA": A very intimate moment with lyrics by FRANCESCO DI GIACOMO, the lead vocalist and worldwide renowned poet and lyricist from the rock group "BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO", suggestively orchestrated for polyphonic choir (SATBB) and acoustic guitars.
11. "MAGNIFICAT" (for Lead Tenor, Choir & Orchestra): Maestro CANTARELLI also received a very flattering request by his mentor and teacher, legendary tenor CARLO BERGONZI, to compose a new part to a variation of the "Magnificat" for Solo Tenor, Choir and Orchestra. Maestro BERGONZI had just been presented with the Life Achievement Award as the best living Verdian tenor, by Music Director James Levine at the Metropolitan in New York. Such an interesting version of the "Magnificat" is the last selection that closes the homonymous album/CD.
P.S.: For further information regarding Maestro BEPPE CANTARELLI, you can visit his more "secular" websites at: