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Il Mezzogiorno” is a musical ode to my love of Italy. I have always felt a close connection to the country because of my mother's Italian ancestry, and have long been attracted by its culture and people, their language, and the scenery and climate. The title translates literally to “midday”, but is also a poetic term for the south — a macro-region roughly equivalent to the former Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily — where the midday sun has more intensity. In this piece it reflects the warmth of summers throughout the country and the warmth and passion of the Italian people.


Musically the piece draws inspiration from one of my favourite TV composers: Franco Piersanti, in particular his themes for Il Commissario Montalbano. Scored for Italian musette accordion, classical guitar, clarinet in B-flat, string quartet and double bass, it features a romantic main theme, tinged with nostalgia. The bright, quirky middle section in double time is a stylistic gesture to Piazzolla's tangos, an idea that came from similar influences in Piersanti's Noir Concertante. Some aspects of the string writing owe to another great Italian composer, the late Ennio Morricone, specifically the quartet version of the love theme from Cinema Paradiso. It is dedicated to one of my friends, Michael Apichella, an encouraging, kind and passionate artist, writer, university lecturer, columnist and award-winning journalist who passed away while I was writing the piece.

Music composed by John Young

Clarinet - Ivan Rogachev

Accordion - Romano Viazzani

Guitar - Fábio Fernandes

Violin I - Athena Hawksley-Walker

Violin II - Sean Dunn

Viola - Nakyung Park

Cello - Angus McCall

Double Bass - Emma Prince

Conductor - John Young

Sound recordist - Tim Davies

Session venue - St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens

Audio editing and mixing - John Young

Mastering - Simon Gibson

Session cinematographer - Nicolás Lejtreger

Stock footage - StoryBlocks

Video editor - John Young

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