The Heart of Wax

The heart of Wax” is a ballet music scored for strings quartet, clarinets, flutes, saxophones, piano, double bass, keyboards and percussion. Based on the surrealist painter Alberto Martini libretto and sketches, has been composed by Centazzo for the first staging of the un-issued ballet. A new dimension in ballet music. Re-mastered for this edition.

released January 15, 2021

1) Third Dance: Mystery/ The possessed
2) Twelf Dance: Nanuis
3) Seventh Dance: Mock-eroic
4) Fifth Dance: Grotesque/The doctors
5) Ninth Dance: Great Dance of the wax statues – Interlude
6) Fourth Dance: Pantomime/The mask
7) Tenth Dance: The heart of wax
8) First Dance: Great Dance of the wax statues – Prelude
9) Second dance: Grand Guignol/The murderer
10) Eight Dance: Erotic
11) Sixth Dance: The lovers
12) Fourteen Dance: great dance of the wax statues – Finale

All compositions by Andrea Centazzo

Andrea Centazzo Large Ensemble conducted by the composer

This album is also available for digital purchase on


SKU: Ictus 301 Category:

In 2001, Italian American composer/percussionist Andrea Centazzo assembled a first-rate ensemble of strings, winds, keyboards and percussion to record his adventurous ballet suite, The Heart of Wax. The music was written for a forgotten libretto by Italian artist Alberto Martini (1876-1954).

Newly edited and re-mastered for Centazzo’s own Ictus Records, The Heart of Wax casts the Italian American free-jazz pioneer in the role of composer/conductor, demonstrating superlative mastery of orchestration. There is virtually no improvising to be found on The Heart of Wax.

Although Centazzo incorporates lush, jazz influenced harmonies into his pieces, the emphasis is on the repetitive, minimalist blending of percussion and keyboards. What prevents the music from taking on an all-out minimalist stature; however, is the intriguing contrapuntal developments found within the melodic content of each movement.

Centazzo finds beauty within Martini’s subject matter, described by the artist as a “bizarre spectacular game, grotesque fable, dramatic macabre and ultimately joyous” . The careful choices in timbre along with the hypnotic, ethereal effect of his rhythmic layering catapults the listener into a world of sonic serenity, enveloped in warmth.

While each individual movement of The Heart of Wax stands on its own as a distinct musical statement, the resulting whole performed with seamless perfection, is a bold statement from an under appreciated visionary.

John Barron ( 2007)

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