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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Per Un Amico CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1529 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My first encounter with this legendary band (and genre) from Italy, it has been very satisfactory, if not really a match made in heaven.

I don't have much else to add regarding description of the songs or music, as that has been done till exhaustion. Let me just say that I find PFM's music very, very rooted in classical music, with heavy use of wood wind instruments, interesting counterpoint and texture work, and classical-styled passages. The jazz influence is also there, evidently, and there's also rock thrown into the mix (it's prog-rock after all). I would say that, if we were to describe how each influence balances in the music, classical would outweigh jazz. There's lots of mellotron in use, too, a typical instrument of the progressive era.

I found the music classical-influenced mostly in the instrumentation and the harmonies, though, but not so in the structures. I failed to detect symphonic structures (true symphonic structures) and at times I felt like I was listening to an improvisation (very skilful one) and not a pre-conceived product. On one hand, that makes the music sound fresh, alive; on the other hand, it's easy to get lost if one doesn't hear the album at least three times before starting to grasp it.

I can't rate this album with absolute fairness. As a piece of history, in the context of 1972, but also as a piece of progressive-rock, it can't get anything else than 5 stars. It's a showcase of the art of the 70's, of the heights that some musicians were trying to reach. But that wouldn't be completely honest as I have to say that this kind of instrumental, heavily classical-influenced music is not my cup of tea. So just for subjective reasons, I'd have to give it 3 stars. In the end, it's me writing this review, isn't it?

Let's average that and give Per Un Amico 4 stars.

The album is essential and if you are new into prog, you HAVE to get it.

I'm happy I was able to hear this and know a little bit more about this marvelous art that is music. And now that I've finally met PFM, I can leave it be, and hear the music I prefer. Probably I won't touch this disc in a while.

But it's essential that every prog-lover with an open mind and anxious to know the history of the genre hears this.

The T | 4/5 |


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