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Quaterna Requiem (Wiermann & Vogel) - Velha Gravura  CD (album) cover

VELHA GRAVURA

Quaterna Requiem (Wiermann & Vogel)

 

Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 46 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars South America is to Europe as Brazil is to...Italy? Apparently so at least where QUATERNA REQUIEM are concerned. This early 90s instrumental debut album seems inspired as much by the classical aspects always near the surface in the RPI giants, while hardly ignoring the British masters along the way.

If Elisa Wiermann leads the group and grants herself free reign on keyboards, "Velha Gravura" succeeds as much in spite of as because of her contribution. The violins of Kleber Vogel are the real leaders, dominant in most tracks and toeing the line between effusive warmth and jazzy cool. QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA at their best might be a helpful point of reference. While Wiermann's synths occasionally border on strident, and she may have been better to limit herself to her brilliant organ and piano workouts, Vogel's strings take chances and succeed brilliantly. "Aquartha", "Tempestade" and "Madrugada" together form the core of this precise yet vivacious disk. "Aquartha" is perhaps the standout, a quasi medieval romp reminiscent of PAUL BRETT's "Eclipse" but with that angular Latin attack. The rhythm section, consistent throughout, shines especially brightly here.

I should also mention the opening tune which finds sprightly flute and oboe in charge and recalls the achievements of SOLARIS. The title piece, while being the most ambitious, borrows so from CAMEL's "Rhayader" as to be a distraction, the blatant idolatry hijacking clarity for about 12 minutes. Luckily, this is but a misstep on a disk that keeps sounding better to me, like an old engraving that magically returns to focus, proving that what is old is new again, only better.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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