Includes the English translation to Benito Mussolini’s address of May 9, 1936 proclaiming a
New Roman Empire.
While a great deal of Third Reich music has become familiar to 21st Century audophiles — thanks in large measure to the proliferation of compact disc production — they are far less well acquainted with the marches and anthems of Germany’s ally, Fascist Italy. That oversight has been redressed by the appearance of “Il Duce Victoria” , a new album introducing the unique musical output of “The Third Alternative”, as Benito Mussolini described his opposition to Communism and Capitalism. He, in fact, opens the collection with a speech excerpt announcing the conquest of Ethiopia.
The nearly two dozen instrumental and choral selections that follow are entirely unlike their heavier German contemporaries in that they sport a verve and passion no less Fascist than Italian. Our personal favourite is “San Marco”, sung by the men of that most remarkable army division which demolished Churchill’s “Operation Agreement” at Tobruk, so much so, Allied historians are still loathe to even mention it.
The only selections listeners may recognise is an Italian version of “Lilli Marlene” (probably the most beautiful rendition of this famous song ever recorded), and La Giovinessa, “Youth”, the Fascist anthem, made all the more exciting to hear when we realize that it is still banned in “democratic” Italy, where listening to it can land you in jail. The Inno a Roma, or “Hymn to Rome”, was written by none other than the world-renowned opera composer, Giacomo Puccini, and was generally regarded as Fascism’s second official song. Another formerly famous piece is “Vincere” (“Victory”), especially popular during the Spanish Civil War, where, after all, Italian arms were victorious. If the poundingly powerful Il Passaggio Battaglioni conjures images of Black Shirt armies on the march throughout Italy, then Ala Imperial, “Imperial Wings” soars with the pilots of the Regia Aeronautica, the Fascist Air Force.
As music, these performances, preserved with clarity and arranged so dramatically on “Il Duce Victoria”, are as thrilling as they are catchy. As history, they comprise a time-document capable of providing us with a palpable feel for the times in which they were so lustily sung and enjoyed by millions of listeners.
TITLES ON THIS CD:
From original Third Reich Recordings
- Mussolini speech May 9, 1936 2:54
- L’Impero 2:02
- Giovinezza 3:53
- Canto Della Victoria 1:57
- Camerata Richard 3:11
- Inno A Roma 3:20
- Figli Della Lupa 2:27
- All’ Armi Inno Del Fascisti 2:50
- Balilla 2:12
- Fischia II Sasso 2:11
- Inno Degli Studenti Universitari Fascisti 2:43
- Battaglioni M 3:02
- La Marcia Delle Legioni 2:12
- San Marco 2:11
- II Canto Degli Arditi 1:46
- Giovani Fascisti 2:48
- Il Passaggio Battaglioni (Battalions Pass) 2:20
- Ala Imperiale 2:57
- Fanfara Dei Bersaglieri 2:35
- Ciao Blondina 2:29
- Vincere 3:33
- Mussolini speech March 26, 1939 0:53
- Mediterraneo 2:48
- Lilli Marlene 3:22
TOTAL PLAYING TIME 63:11