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Stefano Torossi’s Michelangelo e il Rinascimento (1971) Canopo

In 1971, Stefano Torossi’s Michelangelo e il Rinascimento was released on Flippermusic’s Canopo label. The album of classical music inspired by the Italian genius and other Renaissance artists of the late 1400s and early 1500s was composed by Torossi around 1963 for a series of documentaries by national broadcaster RAI.

Stefano Torossi - Michelangelo e il rinascimento (1971) Canopo CNP 0058

Stefano Torossi – Michelangelo e il rinascimento (1971) Canopo

The first side of instrumental pieces includes Torossi’s “Laurenziana,” “Pietro e Paolo,” “Profeti e Sibille,” “Apollo,” “Porta pia,” “Campagna veneta,” “Barocco,” “Genesi,” “Campidoglio,” and “Tomba di Giulio II,” while side B of the LP contains seven vocal pieces: “San Pietro,” “Mose’,” “Sacristia nuova,” “Tomba di Lorenzo,” “Tomba di Giuliano,” “Coro dei Luterani,” and “Coro dei difensori.”

When asked recently about the Michelangelo e il Rinascimento album, Torossi commented:

It is my very first paid commission. I was asked to do the music for a series of documentaries for RAI called “Le opere e i giorni di Michelangelo” (The Days and Works of Michelangelo). The year was, I believe, 1963. The music remained sitting there unpublished until Flipper began producing LP’s of background music.

Stefano Torossi’s “Porta pia,” a short instrumental piece, is on SoundCloud:

The vinyl album has not been reissued in any format since the initial 1971 pressing by the Italian production music label and is now a hard-to-find collector’s item. However, half of the tracks were included in Middle Ages & Renaissance, a 1988 CD compilation by Flipper on their Primrose Music imprint that was reissued as a digital download in 2014.

Middle Age and Renaissance (1991) Primrose Music PRCD 011

Middles Age & Renaissance (1988) Primrose Music CD

The ten tracks from the Michelangelo e il Rinascimento album on the Middle Ages & Renaissance compilation were all renamed including:

  • “Laurenziana” aka “Renaissance Art”
  • “Pietro e Paolo” aka “Florentine Landscape”
  • “Profeti e Sibille” [#1] aka “Harpsichords Theme” [#1]
  • “Apollo” aka “Harpsichords Theme” [#2]
  • “Genesi” aka “Afar From Thy Heart”
  • “Campidoglio” [#1] aka “The Evening Star”
  • “Campidoglio” [#2] aka “Baroque Theme”
  • “Tomba di Giulio II” aka “The Doom”
  • “Profeti e Sibille” [#2] aka “Intimate Thought”
  • “San Pietro” aka “Holy Elevation”
  • “Mose’” aka “The Peace Of The Cloister” [edit]
  • “Sacristia nuova” aka “The Fair Maiden”

Stefano Torossi’s “Profeti e Sibille,” renamed “Harpsichords Theme, Part 1” on the 2014 digital reissue, was also used in the second season of the current American historical fantasy romance TV series Reign: 

More than half a century on, the names of the musicians and vocalists are unknown, although Stefano Torossi remembers:

They were session musicians, of course. What I recall is doing the recordings in a private studio I paid for, along with the performers, because It was a complete commission by RAI.

Several of the Stefano Torossi compositions on Middle Ages & Renaissance have also appeared on other Primrose Music releases including “Florentine Landscape,” “Harpsichords Theme,” “The Doom,” and “Intimate Thought” on The Primrose Music Bank Vol. 3 (1995?) and “The Peace Of The Cloister” on Sacred Moments: Meditative And Religious Music For The Heart And Soul, a 1990 compilation. Both of these collections were reissued as digital downloads in 2009 and are currently available.

Sacred Moments - Meditative And Religious Music For The Heart And Soul (2009) Primrose Music [Italy] PRCD 121

Sacred Moments: Meditative And Religious Music For The Heart And Soul (2000) Primrose Music

“The Peace Of The Cloister” aka “Mose” is the only track on Michelangelo e il Rinascimento to be shortened when it was reissued on CD and as a digital download.

Middle Ages And Renaissance (1988) Primrose Records (PRCD 011)

Middle Ages & Renaissance (2014 Reissue) Primrose Music Download

The complete version of Stefano Torossi’s “Mose’,” which is also the only album cut featuring a men and women’s Gregorian choir, is here:

Excerpts of “The Peace Of The Cloister” and “Baroque Theme” are also found on the recently surfaced 1992 CD entitled Demo. The limited release promo also includes excerpts from nineteen additional tracks that were either composed by and/or produced by Stefano Torossi.

Demo (1992) Primrose Music

Demo (1992) Primrose Music

It appears the final four pieces that close Michelangelo e il Rinascimento have never been issued again.

Here’s one of them, an audio file of Stefano Torossi’s “Coro dei difensori,” the final selection from the all-choral side B:

Note: If any legal rights holders object to the posting of these rare, out of print, and unavailable tracks ripped from this correspondent’s personal collection, please drop a line and they will be removed immediately.

First Two Torossi Soundtracks Also Composed in 1963

Later in 1963, Stefano Torossi did his first two movie soundtracks as a composer*: Giorgio Simonelli’s I due mafiosi (The Two Mobsters) and Giuseppe Veggezzi’s Sfida al diavolo (aka Katarsis).

movie poster for I due mafiosi (The Two Mobsters) (1963)

I due mafiosi (1963) film poster

Thus began a prolific career in library and soundtrack music that continues through the present–individual compositions composed and/or produced by Stefano Torossi have been used in recent films such as director Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends with Kids (2011), Isaac Florentine’s Assassin’s Bullet (2012), and Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club (2013).

Sfida al diavolo (aka Katarsis) (1963)

Sfida al diavolo (aka Katarsis) (1963) film poster

*Stefano Torossi appears as a performer in two earlier films, both released around 1962. In each case, Franco Rossi’s Odissea nuda (Nude Odyssey) and Roberto Bianchi Montero’s Un alibi per morire (An Alibi For Murder), Torossi plays double bass with the pop group The Flippers.

Neither of the 1963 soundtracks were released as albums. However, Stefano Torossi’s “Giri Twist,” a co-composition with pop singer Tony Del Monaco, one of at least four sides the two collaborated on between 1962 and 1964, is on YouTube:

More Music from Stefano Torossi Online Released Around 1971

The following online sampler is a selection of compositions and excerpts of music from Stefano Torossi taken from seven albums released in or about 1971. The albums include:

  • Giancarlo Gazzani’s Musica per commenti sonori (CO 10006) Costanza Records
  • Giancarlo Gazzani’s Musica per commenti sonori (CO 10007) Costanza Records
  • Gianna Mazza’s La citta N. 2 Fly Record
  • Stefano Torossi’s Un tema: Tante variazioni Lupus
  • Stefano Torossi’s Qualche tema lungo Lupus
  • Stefano Torossi’s Tensione e distensione Lupus
  • Stefano Torossi’s Michelangelo e il Rinascimento Canopo: