Ancient Rome

Music from Ancient Rome
Volume 1 - Wind Instruments
Synaulia - Walter Maioli
Amiata "Secret World" 1396


  1. Walter Maioli / Natalia Van Ravenstein: Pavor (double flute, pan flute, tibiae, cymbals, voices, 2 tympanum)
  2. W. Maioli / Ravenstein / Luce Maioli: Animula Vagula (double flute, 2 tympanum, crotales, cymbals)
  3. W. Maioli / Ravenstein: Etruria (double flute, scabillum, cymbals, 3 tympanum, voices, crotales)
  4. W. Maioli / Ravenstein / L. Maioli: Baccus (double flute, cymbals, tympanum, voice, crotales)
  5. L. Maioli / Ravenstein: Magna Mater (tibiae, 2 tympanums, voices, crotales)
  6. Roberto Stanco / Cristina Majnero: Mare nostrum (2 tibiae, cymbals, crotales, scabillum)
  7. W. Maioli: Imperium (2 horn trumpets, tuba, double flute, cornu, cymbals, tympanum)
  8. W. Maioli: Diana (3 horn trumpets, cymbals)
  9. Gaetano Delfini: Arena (tuba, cornu)
  10. W. Maioli / Stanco / Majnero: Lares (wedge flute, reed tibiae, 2 tibiae, bells)
  11. W. Maioli: Acutus (shrill flute, tympanum)
  12. Stanco / Majnero: Pastorale (tibiae)
  13. Stanco / Majnero: Tibiae impares (tibiae)
  14. W. & L. Maioli: Pompei (double flute, tympanum, cymbals, crotales)
  15. W. Maioli: Aetherius (3 pan flutes, tympanum, bells)
  16. W. Maioli: Venus (pan flute, voices, bells)
  17. W. Maioli: Isis (open mouthpiece flute, voice, conch trumpet, bells)
  18. W. & L. Maioli / Ravenstein / Wjnand Simons: Fortuna (tympanum, horn scraper, bells)
  19. W. & L. Maioli / Ravenstein / Wjnand Simons: Oraculum (narration, pan flute, bull roarer, 3 discòs, cymbals, tympanum, voices)
  20. W. Maioli: Tibia duplex (double flute)
  21. Romeo Mangino: Tympanum (bull roarer, tympanum)
  22. W. Maioli: Ludi inter Pana atque nymphas (double flute, voices, cymbals, 3 tympanum)
  23. W. Maioli: Neniae (double flute, cymbals, voices)
  24. W. Maioli: Jupiter (stones)
  25. W. Maioli: Salii (skins)

Performers: Walter Maioli (double flutes, wedge flute, pan flute, shrill flute, egyptian open mouthpiece flute, Roman bugle conch trumpet, Bull roarer, beaten skins, discòs, scabillum), Luce Maioli (cymbals, tympanum, bugle horn trumpet, pan flute, resonant stones, voice, bells), Natalia Van Ravenstein (tympanum, voice, cymbals, pan flute, horn scraper, tympanum with bell harness, sound stones, bells), Wjnand Simons (pan flute, crotales, bugle horn trumpet, tympanum, sound stones, reed tibiae, beaten skins, tympanum with bell harness, voice, bells), Cristina Majnero (tibiae, bugle horn trumpet, voice, cymbals, discòs, narration), Roberto Stanco (tibiae, tympanum, discòs, cymbals, scabillum, beaten skins), Gaetano Delfini (bugle horn trumpet, tuba, cornu), Romeo Mangino (tympanum), Caterina Welffens (cymbals), Elvia Impagnatiello (voice), Renata Chiesa (voice), Athon Veggi (voice)

Playing time: 59'

Production date: 1996

Note: This recording is packaged in an oversized binder which would not fit in ordinary CD filing systems.

The musical contents consist of original compositions by members of the group, based on the capacity of Roman instruments and the surviving theory. Composers are named above. Apparently no performable sources survive (although note that there are Greek fragments from the Roman era, and these are included in the ancient Greek anthologies). The performers suggest that winds were the most idiomatically Roman of instrument families.

The documentation is ample, especially as regards instruments (sadly not, as regards theory) and the lavish booklet includes many high-quality color prints and descriptions. The credits for the instrument makers and other production assistants fills a full page.

The production is certainly direct & inspiring in its artistic vision, and virtually non-derivative. I do hear echoes of other styles, but this is almost believable as Roman music. If anything, it sounds less directly postmodern in its articulation than the major Greek production. While it would be impossible to call an endeavor of this type "authentic" the present result is definitely stimulating, and its sonorities suggestive.

The next volume in this series:

Music from Ancient Rome
Volume 1 - String Instruments
Synaulia - Walter Maioli
Amiata Records 0302

Another recording by some of these performers:

E Tempore Emergo
Ludi Scænici
Emmuty Records VE 003

And another Roman production:

Somnia Imperii
Praecones Provinciae Britanniae - David Marshall
Riverrun 70

Finally, a production which attempts to recreate the sounds of Northern Europe during this era:

Sine Missione
Emmuty Records 005

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Todd M. McComb