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Le Orme - Felona E Sorona CD (album) cover

FELONA E SORONA

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 628 ratings

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Alberto Muñoz
5 stars For many specialists and fans of Progressive rock, this work of 1973, is the quintessence of all the long discography of Le Orme, the most algid point of their discography and the most finished album of whatever they recorded, as information of this record over the internet can be observed when looking for. Nobody can be indifferent before the fact by these excellent musicians, who, conserving the alignment formed by Pagliuca, Tagliapietra and Dei Rossi, offer a work that in truth can be summarized like the crystallization of all their musical knowledge, the acquired influences and their huge imagination, a work where it express the love and the glory is raised and that without a doubt this is descriptive music, dramatic and symbolic.

In this recording Le Orme uses a more colorful, but human and tormented language, that becomes plenty of melodic and harmonic forms, with texture and timbre; additionally this suite has a very interesting concept, that is about the life in two planets that have an identical structure, but that the difference is in which one is favored by the Creator and the other simply can do what they can, the same lyrics reflect epic and mythological characters that try to understand to the listener and thus to be transported to this universe, enchanted and suggestive, obviously the music contributes largely to understand the ruling atmosphere in these two worlds which they have been named Felona and Sorona and they are inhabited, by a form of life similar to the human one.

The lyrics have several meanings as i point early, elements that are present in any ancient mythology or religion of the different civilizations have used. Here fits here the Biblical example of Caín and Abel, where God benefit and watch with more affability towards Abel that to Caín strived and that finally, unlike this work, Caín kills Abel, nevertheless we can find parallelisms of this brotherhood murder in Felona and Sorona, since the creator when turning around to take care of Sorona, Felona initiates a decay, which to "approximately" could represent a "crime".

Following this line of thought, also taken from root philosophical elements, like the representation of two moments during a day, the day (Felona) and the night (Sorona), and the different forms from life between both, as well as the change of humor in the human beings depending what mood pleases more to them. In the animal kingdom they are animals that only have activity at night and others animals that do have activity during the day. Reasons why we must understand this work of a arquetypical way, that is to say looking within the history of the religions and the philosophy the answers, since almost all the gnoseologic and ontological theories (it on the matter sees the theories of philosopher A. Kojeve), these, have deal with to explain that a struggle with a twin brother and them represent a "Sacred Unit", but this are "horse of another color".

In fact history turns I said earlier, on two planets in which are identical to each other, created by a divine unit that only favored to one of them (Felona) and to it neglected the other it (Sorona), and it assumes that in one the people are happy and realized like human beings whereas in the other could be the hell itself, where only lives sadness and bitterness, and asking for to the divine unit aid, and throughout this admirable work, illustrate that the creator maintains a precarious balance, at the cost of one of worlds (Sorona), to be able to continue providing the quality of life that has the other (Felona), but something happens that within the indulgence melancholy of the creative divine unit, and thinks that it is time to see towards the other side (Sorona) and then something unique in the life of this worlds takes place, and for a moment, they were illuminated from the being in simultaneous ways and that would bring about the almost simultaneous transformation of worlds, having changed places and therefore Sorona became the privilege place and Felona little by little would be fail, and have to happen later to reform and an apocalyptic end, where all one mixed and returned to the divine primary unit, that is to the Creator, what it makes us above confirm the theories already indicate above lines.

The music created in the album is from very high quality standards and that has dated very well, and it places to this magnificent group in the heights of Progressive heaven and a place reserved in the pantheon of the progressive rock.

The edition for the English market, which the leader did of Van der Graf Peter Hamill on this work and tour by England confirms the internationalization of this great Progressive group. As far as music, Tony affirms once again like the great master of the keyboard that he is, giving us good doses of Hammond, Mellotron and synthesizer, and showing us his great varied style and whose solid writing indicates their greatness. On the other hand Aldo delights to us with that prodigious voice that is the delight of many of us and who, aside from Francesco Di Giacomo of Banco, is one of the most identifiable of Rock Progressivo Italiano, where he speaks a colored language and also shows an inexhaustible verb, as well as the use of the acoustic guitar of a rare and shady refinement and his bass where it finally maintains a sovereign and a unquestionable balance in between the other instruments and finally Michi displays the knowledge and the technique that shows with the percussion instruments, mainly the drumkit, and the rhythm with which overwhelm the melodies and he owns a seal of incontestable greatness.

Derivative of the previous thing, we can support that as well as the lyrics of this work, takes to us to that universe animated and suspended in a strange time, music do the own thing showing like the nature of the feelings are perfectly compatible with the musical notes that are constructing a unique and continued structure and that are passing of the simple joy (e.g. Felona) to an evident sadness and desolation (e.g. Sorona, Attesa Inerte), to the hope that gives a life spark (e.g. Ritratto I gave a mattino), and to the chaos and return to the absolute null (e.g. Ritorno to nulla), there is no doubt that the work characterizes by a capable and prodigious structure where showcases the melody and where the group is pleased in valorizing the different sonorous planes, the games and the timbres of their instruments.

This work is made up of 9 musical pieces that go interlaced with others, in the style of a great Suite and also they use of intelligent way, to unite the songs of longer time with short intervals, where in the majority of the songs, Taglapietra use of his voice do in a very great way, and the simple but effective chords of his acoustic guitar, to obtain in a skillful way a unique work and, which remembers a little to me in how operates in the theater of Euripídes, and similar aspects that was used in those arts (e.g the function of the choir fro example), these songs are of variable time and contain the rare virtue that also is possible to listen to them individually and in this way it does not discredit in anything to all the work; also the experience assimilated in its previous work Uomo Di Pezza is also clear, and the musical elements that they developed there are used in a exhaustive way in this great work, but with the difference that the subject is more concise here, concrete and more organized than in that one.

Finally it is necessary to mention the art contained in the album and that assumes it represents worlds at issue, Felona represented by the woman and Sorona who in this case is a masculine figure, and that shows a surprising similarity with the works that realize his countryman Giorgio de Chirico, at the beginning of the XX century, who is of an exquisite and mysterious surrealism, as well as exhausting and enigmatic., without a doubt a very shady art, showing a nostalgic pessimism that few works, in the covers art of records have managed to transmit and to be consistent with the music contained in them, in this case absolutely and totally integrate with music developed here by Le Orme.

1. Sospesi nell' incredibile. Like in the previous work of this great group, they initiate with a long musical piece and with exquisite changes that they are only able to realize, a piece that serves as perfect introduction to which will be this Suite; Is undeniable "the classic" influences and note by miles the use that Tony do about the flexibility of the melody in his keyboards, combined with rigorous the counterpoint, that is marking the bass guitar of Tagliapietra and the incessant and frenetic rhythm of the Drumming of Michi, to create an superior and envy art, but at the same time majestic and glorious, like music of angels, mainly when Aldo begins to sing first verses of the lyrics of the song; without a doubt is a time of absolute sublimation and that anyone that does not feel that, definitively it would not have to listen to any music at all. The change to a more dynamic rhythm is notorious, but also with a bit of nostalgic, as of the minute 5:30 and that thanks to the Hammond of Pagliuca and the ethereal line of the melody of the bass, makes feel that state of brings back to consciousness, which it is of an abandonment or a species of stumped affliction, but that serious adorned with extraordinary musical shades of the Moog of Tony and the decided rhythm of Michi, doing a show of his meticulousness as a percussionist, without hesitation is a passage with much melancholy and ends with a mini drum solo, nevertheless is a rare finish of a song.

2 Felona. Immediately start this pleasant song, played by Taglapietra with an extraordinary freedom and on the basis of a very simple harmony, it reflects the benefit by the life and the joy that assumes lives the inhabitants on Felona, adorned with small but effective motifs in the part of Tony and the percussion used by Dei Rossi with a great care of exactitude and extreme, like a Swiss clock, but living! This one is in fact a single for the Italian market with a good success; and with a subtle rate and a fresh sensation, it infects by his simple structure, a sound that seems to appears as a flute almost at the end of the musical piece, to embellish the festive character even more than it contains.

3. La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo. One of the melodies that denote the influence that "the classic" musicians as Scarlatti or Chopin exerts in the form of playing of Pagliuca, a full piano of majesty, plenty of notes and that accompany by an effective way in the brief but effective vocal line that realizes Aldo, that with his impressive loaded voice of a discreet dramatic quality and which I believe would envy any vocalist of Progressive rock, emphasizes this brief but showy musical creation, very evocative and fantastic, also notices a little caterbury inspiration (Mike Ratledge).

4. L'equilibrio. A Song where Pagliuca uses his well-known technique like "Walls of Sound", that used before with great effectiveness the saxophonist John Coltrane, and that, combined to the phenomenal use of the drums of Michi and to the poetic voice of Taglapietra, offers to us one of the best pieces of the record, that describes the relation that unites both worlds (Felona and Sorona) as well as reflecting the effective use of the synthesizer and combined to it the enchantment, the fantasy and a series of verses of rigorous purely polyphonic progressive style and, mainly as of the minute 1:40 where the dominion of the Moog is listened to in order to happen immediately to the use of a piano with ascending and descendent notes, that when listening of an emergency feeling and balanced urgency (for that reason the song L'equilibrio. is named), and an end with delicate notes, verses and a great use of musical silence.

5. Sorona. Without a doubt this is one of the saddest songs composed by Le Orme. It is emaciated, devastating, somber and shattering the description than it is the world of Sorona, (one sees for example what causes the contamination of the planet, or the indiscriminate slaughter of some animal species or the extreme hunger and extreme poverty in some parts of our planet and we will not be far someday of this description), really Taglapietra causes that the tragic force of its interpretation causes that one wanes of discouragement and affliction by the unjust destiny of the inhabitants of Sorona, and can be breathed through all the work a scent to destruction, pain and death, and that Tony accompanies with a series of musical notes very similar to which it is transmitted with the lyrics of the musical piece, (and to make mention that those same notes will serve to be the final theme of the album, but touched on a faster way), really chilling! But here the group reaches the height until incredible levels that would not return to do. So this is a serious contender to be the best song of the entire album

6. Attesa inerte. The sixth song of this work and that with descriptive bass guitar playing, that shows an elegant execution of Aldo, is taking to us through the song, that would come to be most experimental from all, with an atonal time and a series of dissonances on the play of Pagliuca, and that alternates with the synthesizer and the rhythmic of Dei Rossi. They are describing what the lyrics, through the interpretation of Taglapietra, happen to the inhabitants of Sorona (which finally they see his realised desires), and that the urgency of the composition gives to understand that something is going to change? for good or evil.

7. Ritratto di un mattino One delicate melody in which, Tagliapietra delights to us with a brief but effective vocal line that says thus translated the English: "the happiness you cannot find it in itself, but in the love that to the other to the day you will give!" With the use of the synthesizer on the play of Tony with a very eloquent way and that alternates passages of joy with downhearted passages, and which they demonstrate that the group has feature artists of mobility and matchless talent, and that they have compositions, like this that are very deep, combined with an harmonic and rhythmical flexibility.

8. - All' infuori of the tempo. - One delicate and pastoral melody based on two spontaneous chords in the acoustic guitar of Taglapietra, very similar to Felona, but more slowed down and with a different dynamism, also the excellent voice of Aldo returns here to shine in the firmament with the description of the work that communicates the change of situation in worlds, as Sorona begins "to live up" and Felona to decay, Tony creates with the use of synthesizers and the distinguishing mastery of the instrument, passages of incredible melodies and timbres that give a colored and elegant language, and Michi playing what it seems a strange rhythm within the musical structure of the song, but that it connects in a categorical way in the final product. There is no doubt that these baroque passages that create a wealth of sounds, and that in this case is with base in a frank rhythm maintained by the guitar, are one of the aspects that this album is considered by many the best of Le Orme, is really a marvelous melody and with a matchless mystic.

9. Ritorno to nulla. The theme that close the suite that presented Le Orme and the most vibrant, dynamic and delirious melody of all the album, and that really reflected what the title says to us, a end of anthology, tremendous, superb, and that show to us the different sonorous levels, the games and the timbres of the instruments which they use, with a dominant rhythm, with a take no prisoners onslaught to the listener, Tony shining the use of practically all their harmonic, melodic and contrapuntist arsenal, and shows the virtuous quality that always have own in the control of his keyboards, you only listen the principle of the song for a sharp example. Aldo with his obstinate and furious bass, taking the reins from the rabid and chaotic rhythm with sober and mastery, and Michi finally multiplying the hands to play in a sovereign, overflowing way and with a tremendous, ecstatic and colossal rhythm, (showing how we have to play a double bass drum), that leaves to the listener in state of shock by the majestic and superhuman end. The musical piece reflects the return to the primary, the original state in which everything is one and is absolute (to the purest Hegelianism), and that finally thence becomes to begin and for me remembers, to a cosmic black hole, which absorbs and destroys everything of inexorable way, precise and final and that until to the same it turns aside it light, leaving everything totally annihilated. It is possible to assume that it is t one of the best songs of the entire repertoire of Le Orme, really tremendous and non for the faint hearted!

Then we have analyzed 34 minutes of the best and higher Progressive rock albums than any group has given us and serious more than to say than this conceptual work is one of the most finish examples about the music of Le Orme, and RPI and his place in a first absolute Level between those groups whose science of the instrumentation, creativity, fantasy, lyrical and musical genius only can ask for our astonishment and admiration.

Alberto Muñoz | 5/5 |

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