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John A. Carollo’s fourth Navona Records release, and follow up to 2017’s THE TRANSFIGURATION of GIOVANNI BAUDINO, is a wondrous musical journey through the world of desire. With MUSIC FROM THE ETHEREAL SIDE OF PARADISE, Carollo makes an impassioned plea for the power of romance.

From the opening tensions and mystery of “Awakenings for String Orchestra” through the surprising, amorous joy of “Romanzo!” “Splendido Affare,” and “La Tortura dell’ Amore,” Carollo’s compositions communicate what mere words cannot:the inner rapture, utter fulfillment, and yes, the torture, of being in love.

Shifting slightly, and perhaps more into the ethereal, “Metamorphosis No. 3 for Solo Violin” introduces a newer, more contemplative element. With short notes and runs, the violin first cries out with unanswered questions followed by furrowed introspection. Two Guitar Etudes follow, demonstrating both intimacy and technique, while maintaining an inquisitive tone throughout.

As the album continues, we arrive at a vocal suite with “Little Gems” to be discovered throughout.

T.S. Eliot wrote “…the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time.”MUSIC FROM THE ETHEREAL SIDE OF PARADISE does just that. Concluding as we began with a sumptuous string orchestra, we arrive where we started – enlightened and wise from our journey.

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