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Angelo Branduardi - Alla Fiera dell'Est CD (album) cover

ALLA FIERA DELL'EST

Angelo Branduardi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.17 | 22 ratings

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rupert
4 stars Branduardi's most successful period started with this album which is really an encounter with medieval folklore arranged and performed with a strong classical taste on acoustic instruments ( including strings and brass ) and no "prog" or "rock"-music at all, so beware.

The beautiful voice of Angelo can sound joyous as well as sad and languishing, as the music is a varied offer of uplifting celebrations and reflective ballads. Sometimes ( with the title track, "Il vecchio e la farfalla", "La serie dei numeri", "Il dono del cervo" and "sotto il tiglio" ) you almost feel like being a guest at a lively feast held on an old king's castle, other times you can imagine yourself a princess sitting in the tower with a minstrel standing underneath the window, trying to enchant you with soft melodies and sensitive stories about life and death ( "La favola degli aironi", "Il Funerale" ) and Lullabies ( "Canzone per Sarah" ), as if nature itself would weave the gentle sound of an orchestra around strange lovestories like the one about a man and a cloud ( "L'uomo e la nuvola" ). It's music to fall in love to ( and to fall in love with ) and meant to entertain in a rather contemporary way - but it's so charming and full of lovely little details that it ought to succeed.

Imagine a bunch of grown up children making noise for children of any age who are willing to listen and think about the stories they can hear - and then you get a glimpse of what Branduardi and his versatile ensemble were up to. Talking about himself in later years, the artist said he was "a fivehundred year old child"... well, that might be a fitting description ! This music is out to make you feel good and comfort you even when it's sad, it's a well of empathy and harmony in a world that more than often is giving you the opposite. Branduardi was just about finding his formula, and while there were better albums before ( "La Luna" ) and afterwards ( "La Pulce d'Acqua", "Canta Yeats" ) it still remains a classic in its own right and a five-star for fans. It established Branduardi as an artist who in his unique way held on to traditional values and didn't care about trends and fashion but nonetheless found the wider audience he deserved. A special mention must go his great guitar-duellist and arranger Maurizio Fabrizio - there could have been no better partner and it was always a pleasure when the both of them got together.

4 stars for the open-minded who are willing to lend their ears to something else than "prog" and five for lovers of folk and medieval music.

rupert | 4/5 |

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