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Angelo Branduardi - Branduardi Canta Yeats CD (album) cover

BRANDUARDI CANTA YEATS

Angelo Branduardi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.94 | 6 ratings

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octopus-4
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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars After having put in music the Russian Esenin on his debut, Angelo Branduardi makes an entire album based on the poetry of the Irish William Butler Yeats translated and adapted by Luisa Zappa (No relation with Frank). It also contains a cover: the third track is "The Song Of Wandering Aengus" translated into Italian that comes from Donovan.

For who doesn't know Branduardi let's say that this is not properly RPI. His music based on a strong classical background and world folk traditionals mainly Celtic and British is closer to artists like Alan Stivell or Malicorne.This is what you can expect. In general, when one of his albums has a concept it's more a collection of songs tied together by a common theme, like in this case the poetry of Yeats, than properly a concept album.

"I Cigni Di Coole" (The Wild Swans at Coole) is mainly classical guitar and voice with few percussions. It's a melodic ballad. (almost all the album is made of melodic ballads).

"Il Cappello a Sonagli" has a more medieval mood, (The Cap and the Bells) is about a joker in a court and this is a typical medieval thing. A very good song still based mainly on classical guitar and voice.

If I hadn't known that this song is from Donovan I couldn't guess it. Of course the song is arranged closer to Branduardi's style, but it doesn't sound too different from some of his best songs like "La Sposa Rubata" just to mention one similar enough. I don't know the original but this appears to be a great song.

"Il Mantello, La Barca e la Scala" (The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes) starts as a slow samba, but still sticks in the usual classical/medieval genre.

"A Una Bambina Che Danza Nel Vento" (To a Child Dancing in the Wind) is a veru short song but still similar to the rest.

"Il Violinista di Dooney" (The Fiddler of Dooney) was the "hit single". Effectively this album didn't sell a lot, but this is the song which had more radio passages actually and effectively is the most interesting also in terms of signature and when Angelo plays his instrument that's the violin it's always a pleasure.

"Quando Tu Sarai" (When You Are Old) is sad and has a very "Old British" sound. I remember old Clannad of the 70s. Musically also this reminds to "La Sposa Rubata".

"Un Aviatore Irlandese Prevede la sua Morte" (An Irish Airman Foresees His Death), regardless the dramatic theme the music is peaceful and based on major chords. Effectively the poem says

" I KNOW that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love; ...... (not pasting all to avoid copyright issues) The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death."

It has been published by Yeats just after the end of the 1st world war (1919).

"Nel Giardino dei Salici" (Down by the Salley Gardens) Is a love poem so it's a love song, too. two minutes of dreamy guitar and whispered vocals.

Finally "Innisfree, L'isola sul Lago" (The Lake Isle of Innisfree) is more symphonic and reminds to another old Branduardi's song, "La Favola Degli Aironi". In this song he tries to recreate the contemplative state of mind of the poem, but at the end it results in being a little boring.

So an advise: I'm going to rate this album high, but you won't find any electric instrument, neither drums or bass. It's almost classical or folk music with celtic influences. Grab a copy of Yeats' poems in your preferred language and follow the music. Don't try this album while driving :)

One curiosity: Yeats was a member of the Golden Dawn, an esotheric secret society connected to the Egyptian Massonery which included people like Bram Stoker. There's a lot of prog from the dark side inspired to those guys, maybe some modern adepts are included on PA, too.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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