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Contrappunto - Elegie d'Inverno CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.74 | 14 ratings

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2 stars The inside of the back cover says "Instructions for use: Play it loud with lights off". Actually, neither is that important or makes much difference to the music.

Unlike CONTRAPPUNTO's two previous albums, the instrumental "Elegie d'Inverno" was released under the name of CONTRAPPUNTO PROJECT. I have not yet heard the previous albums but, judging by the reviews of those I have read, this album is quite a departure as it is much less like Progressive Rock. This album is more akin to modern chamber music or classical-jazz fusion (plus a nod to TANGERINE DREAM on several occasions). The artist used acoustic instruments (piano, celeste, flute, clarinet, tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, French horn, xylophone, bandoneon. you get the picture) with some occasional backing from synthesizer, electric piano and other keyboards. Andrea Cavallo is the composer of all the pieces and also played many of the instruments.

Despite the predominant use of acoustic instruments and the classical-jazz pretensions, the compositions are relatively simplistic (sometimes rather unimaginatively repetitive) and, in my opinion, verge on the pretentious. The music is pleasant enough but by no means stellar. My favourite parts are the relaxing TANGERINE DREAM-like soundscapes on a couple of the tracks, and the final track (a live version of a track from the first album) using just piano.

The mention of Gershwin and Piazzolla in the write-up on the Mellow Records Web site, plus the evocative album title and attractive cover photograph of a tinted cloudy sky, were what attracted me to the album, and I decided to take a chance. The sleeve notes mention Gershwin and Piazzolla specifically with respect only to the track 'Vivaci Acrobazie', and indeed in that track there is a snippet of bandoneon plus a few bars almost straight out of Summertime from Porgy & Bess, but that's about as far as the similarity goes. The music is predominantly calm, ponderous and, as I said, somewhat simplistic. An interesting project and pleasant enough music but certainly not essential. I would not have bought it if I had listened to it beforehand, to be honest. If it were possible I'd award the album 2.5 stars but, as it isn't, I'll go with 2 stars (Collectors/fans only). You might enjoy this but do try before you buy, to avoid disappointment (I have since discovered that you can listen to several of the album's tracks on the group's Web site).

Fitzcarraldo | 2/5 |


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