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Angelo Branduardi - La Luna CD (album) cover

LA LUNA

Angelo Branduardi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.43 | 11 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Angelo Branduardi can't be defined in a sub-genre. He's almost unique, even if the influence of medioeval madrigals, leids, and british folk is more than evident. La luna can be considered his debut album, as it contains songs already present on his first work that was everything but a best-seller.

"La Luna (The Moon)", the title track, is a relxing song lead by soft percussions (bodhran?) classical guitar, flute and various acoustic string instruments. Angelo's voice is soft and whispered. Think to a full moon in a clear night and enjoy it.

"Tanti Anni Fa (Many years ago)" Is driven mainly by bass and light drums. The guitar is played in a folky style: not properly a finger picking because Angelo is a classical player. Another relaxing song with interesting passages.

"Donna Mia (Oh my Woman)" starts with a mellow piano intro, immediately followed by the voice that sings on high notes. Maybe a bit too mellow; just a short love song.

"Gli Alberi sono alti (Trees they do grow high)" is a traditional British song about a young princess constrained to marry a young boy. She betrays and has a son, then her husband dies in a war (at least this is what I remember of the lyrics). Angelo added an intro of classical guitar, that's almost the only instrument helped by just some harmonica. A jump to the 15th century. I'm quite sure that versions of this song exist played by Pentangle, Clannad and Greenoch Duo.

"Notturno" is probably progressive as we intend it. The initial part is slow and dark. Lyrics speak about animals, plants and Earth itself sleeping. This is followed by a 12-strings guitar, violin and later drums and bass. Now the lyrics speak of dreams. The coda is instrumental and goes back to the initial theme. Prog lovers will likely appreciate this as the best album's song.

"Rifluisce il fiume (The river flows)" has a south-american mood, maybe because of mandolin and cuatro, even if the melodic line is similar to Notturno. Reference: Los Jaivas

"Confessioni di un Malandrino" should have an entire review. It's the translation of a poetry from the Russian poet Esenin. A legend says that Esenin wrote it with his own blood the day he committed suicide. If you pay attention to the lyrics it's not hard to believe even if I don't know if it's true or not. It's a so intense poetry that I remember Angelo playing it in concert in 1977, alone on the stage with his guitar only and the head covered by his long hair. When he finished playing, he raised his head and his eyes were full of tears! Find a good translation. The music is pure classical guitar incredily appropriate to the lyrics. An absolute masterpiece.

"Primavera (Spring)" is a counterpart to the previous song: a jazzy piece in Canterbury style. If it wasn't for the voice, it could have found room on "In the land of Grey and Pink".

"La Danza (The Dance)" Is a closure song. Back to the spirit of the first two album's songs, it starts with a slow classical guitar, followed by a sitar. Good for meditation.

To be noticed: all the songs of this albums were reprinted later with the addition of "Gulliver" on "Gulliver, la Luna E Altri Disegni".

This album can't be classified into a sub-genre even if the most appropriate is probably prog-folk. Not all the prog fans will appreciate it, probably, but this is the album that introduced me to the world of classical guitar and helped me to appreciate non-rock music.

4.5 stars, but "Confessioni" is one of my all time favourites and after 35 years, I still play it sometimes at home for myself on my guitar.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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