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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Il Tempo della Gioia CD (album) cover


Quella Vecchia Locanda

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars My favourite Italian Prog band , I concider this far superior to PFM, BMS and Le Orme decause this does not contain too many Italian excesses (in my own humble opinion) that I find so present with other groups. Too bad both albums are so short. My colleague reviewers describe this well so there is no point in redundancy.
Report this review (#5942)
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Fans of the classic Italian Prog era will drool over this cd re-release. QVL were one of Italy?s pioneering prog acts who release 2 classic albums of which "Il Tempo Della Gioia" is my personal favorite. QVL blend the harmonics of PFM with the gentleness of CELESTE , but rely heavier on the violin throughout and less on the mellotron. There are some absolutely brilliant musical moments which must be heard to really appreciate. Truely one of the all time greatest Italian prog masterpieces. Essential...!!!
Report this review (#5945)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Founding Moderator
3 stars Given my "stingy" rating scale, let me first say that this album is definitely deserving of an additional half star. Contemporaneous with Genesis' "The Lamb," Nektar's "Remember the Future," and Gentle Giant's "The Power and The Glory," this is another album (like Cervello's "Melos" and Alusa Fallax's "Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione") notable for its fairly early entry into the genre, and the way in which it both takes from and adds to the prog "lexicon" of the time. The influences are not easy to discern, though King Crimson (esp. Islands, and Lizard) and Gentle Giant are evident. Rather, there is a great deal of experimentation going on here, the majority of which is not only successful compositionally (in a disjointed sort of way), but played with great proficiency throughout. The vocals, particularly, are interesting (even compelling) in a way that many other Italian prog vocals are not: Giorgi's (?) approach and phrasing are both odd and appropriate, and add to the "Crimzoid" quality of some of the music. This is one that you will actually want to listen to a couple of times in order to properly get the "flavor" and intensity. A definite keeper.
Report this review (#5946)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Steve Hegede
5 stars "Tempo Della Gioia" is a prog album with stronger classical influences than what is usually expected. In fact, instruments like violin, flute, classical guitar, piano, and harpsichord dominate over electric guitar, bass, and drums(which do appear sometimes). QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA were also influenced by early jazz, and tend to mix it with classical on some of the later pieces (very unique I must say). The vocals are excellent, and typical of most 70's Italian prog bands. They are never harsh or overbearing, but rather soft, warm, and melodic. Anyway, this album is a classic!
Report this review (#5936)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well talking about its originality this album is not a winner, but if you regard this one as the classical and pastoral album with spare elements of jazz and rock in the course of the seventies. You should have to remain listening to it, above all if you compare it to another successful Italian work of the same period, "Principe di un Giorno", composed by CELESTE. I like to point out that the performance of each member shows a certain virtuosity and a good feel, even though the sound is always soft and not completely fitted into such usual 70's symphonic rock. For this reason the 1st natural comparison has been made with the work by CELESTE... expecially considering their use of classical acoustic instruments such as the flute, the clarinet and also the piano, being always pleasant; while the 2nd band that has been often compared is that one of PFM. They remind me indeed of the acoustic breaks through, in the vein of songs such as "Dolcissima Maria", that is the lightest moments of this "romantic pop" with elements of prog music, " ERRATA CORRIGE-like".
Report this review (#5937)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have been spinning this one for quite sometime now...and, I have to tell you if you do not consider this one an Essential/Masterpiece then I will have to quit!!..I am sorry, but this has everything you look for in an essential prog masterpiece, unique, variations, solid musicianship, solid vocals and tons of Instrumentation interplay. From the almost classical pieces "Villa Doria Pamphili" and "A forma di.." into the more Jazzy and Rock textures of the remaining tracks, being my favorite one the long suite "Un Giorno, Un Amico" this is a classic pastoral Masterpiece all the way thru...I would say IMHO at the level of Celeste. Now, being said that I perfectly understand if some of the Progheads around, will not give 5 stars to this one in the overall Symphonic genre, granted that when it comes to the "Italian Symphonic" genre you got to be kidding if you do not give this album 5 solid stars; Superb, this is a classic!!
Report this review (#5938)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Two years after their eponymous debut album, QVL released 'Il Tempo della Gioia', having experienced a couple of changes in their line-up - one of them took place in the relevant violinist's role. The fact is that the band assumed a different approach in the expression of their rich musical ideas, subduing the rock/blues factor while emphasizing the jazzier aspect. The colorfulness of baroque and romanticism keeps on very heavily present in the band's sound; hence, its combination with the exuberance of jazz allows QVL achieve a special exquisiteness in their performances. The sound production is also more polished, in comparison with the debut album. On the other hand, the intensity is the same, as you can notice from track 1. The keyboards fill a more prominent role, with multiple layers on synth, recurrent chord progressions on piano (the main keyboard factor) and harpsichord; meanwhile the guitars (both electric and classical) do the opposite, maintain a low profile (a couple of occasional solos, aside). As always, the violin is the most recurrent and distinctive ingredient in the band's sound, accompanied now and then by flute or clarinet (the latter, played by the guitarist himself). Given the jazzy ambience that occupies the album, the soloing tends to be freer in form, less restricted by academic patterns - one notable exception is track 2, a beautiful baroque- like sonata that includes a captivating choral arrangement. The last three tracks are in my opinion the most successful in terms of inspired writing and energetic performing (the closure's thundering climax is simply memorable); I only wish that 'Un Giorno, Un Amico' would have been developed a bit further, and the closing track would have been a bit longer. but as it is, 'Il Tempo della Gioia' is one of the absolute peaks of Italian symphonic prog.
Report this review (#5939)
Posted Friday, May 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars From the first notes of "Villa Doria Pamphili", this album establishes a lovely, low-key organic mood. This song particularly could be the flagship for the subgenre 'symphonic rock', as classical orchestration and rock elements are blended as seamlessly here as I've ever heard. The trend continues, with just a touch more modern character, in the cascading keyboard lines and choral segments of "A Forma Di...". While it falters a bit during the tremulous off-kilter jazz sections of "Il Tempo della Gioia", the disparate influences generally blend into the whole. The repetition of certain lines may start to irritate on "Il Tempo" as well as "Un Giorno, Un Amico"- which however actually rocks for a while; the violin work is outstanding and the piano adopts a more contemporary character. The infrequent electric guitars occasionally bring Howe's raw, direct guitar tone to mind. "E Accaduto Una Notte" starts with a lovely quiet classical/ traditional mood and deftly injects heavier rock and jazz elements piece by piece, occasionally sounding like KING CRIMSON.

Sometimes things seem just a bit incomplete; "A Forma Di..." seems as if it was faded out too soon, and "E Accaduto" sacrifices an organic climax for a strange sustained chord that ends with a bang. Both times it is most likely a compositional choice rather than any lack of songcraft, but I do rather like closure. The dynamics may actually be too wide (I've rarely made that complaint) in that some of the quiet parts are almost inaudible compared to when the band is playing hardest- this may point to production details rather than any quality of the band itself. The vocals aren't as high quality as BANCO or ALUSA FALLAX, but still emote well (especially in "Villa" and "Un Giorno"), and the choral segments (even if some of them may have been done with a Mellotron) are natural and otherworldly at the same time.

Strangely enough, as the album progresses, it gets more 'progressive' and yet loses a bit of the brilliance that is demonstrated on the first track, which on its own deserves an unreserved 5 stars. "A Forma Di" drops the score to 4 for the aimless ending, "Il Tempo Della Gioia" and "Un Giorno" let me down a little during the more modern- sounding passages, and "E Accaduto" wavers between inspiring and merely solid. So as an album, definitely wonderful and well worth hearing but overall not completely the masterpiece that it could have been.

Report this review (#5947)
Posted Friday, June 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have been listening to Quella Vecchia Locanda's IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA for a few weeks now, and I quite enjoy this fine, almost genre-defining example of 70s Italian "symphonic progressive." I do have some misgivings, however, which (as with reviewer James Lee before me) prevent me from awarding full marks to this 1974 release.

The album opens on a lovely note, with "Villa Doria Pamphili." Beautiful piano, violin that is laden with sad, soulful expressiveness, acoustic guitar accents, and Italian vocals that I simply cannot fault combine in a glorious example of just how magnificent this subdivision of prog can be. I should think that fans of classic PFM and Banco will embrace this terrific music whole-heartedly!

The second number, "A Forma Di," slowly rises out of silence with rhythmic strings and soaring flute, when some "treated" choral vocals join in to bring the piece to even greater heights of grandeur. Just as the listener is experiencing transports of aural ecstasy, however, the song quickly fades, in an ending that comes much too soon -- almost as if the band could afford limited studio time, and the producer was watching the clock with a miserly accountant's eye. (The entire album clocks in at just under thirty-four minutes, roughly half the length of many modern CDs, and all too short for music this good!)

The longer, more varied title track is another winner, with magnificent piano, strings, and feeling vocals. After a gentle introduction, the song suddenly (but not jarringly) veers off into more up-tempo territory, and we are treated to some electric guitar that evokes that of Gentle Giant, but with an Italian flair. Comparisons to PFM would not be unwarranted here. I particularly enjoy the interchange between the driving drums, guitar and keys on this one. Once again, however, the ending comes too soon, and leaves the song with a somewhat artificially-truncated feel.

The frantic violin on "Un Giorno, Un Amico" reminds me of that of (mid-70s) King Crimson's David Cross, and this faster piece should delight fans of Crimson, Giant, or PFM, whose influences, to varying degrees, can be discerned here. The bass, clarinet, and drums near the middle and end of this, the session's longest and most adventurous track, remind me particularly of LIZARD/ISLANDS-era Crimson. Yet again, though, I find the ending to be notably and disappointingly abrupt -- too bad that the band didn't expend the same degree of care on composing satisfying endings, as they clearly did on the introductions and bodies of their works. This stuff is just too darned good to have been so often marred by hasty, underdeveloped endings!

The closing "E Accaduto una Notte" is again quite dynamic, and the vocals, violin, and drums, especially, shine here -- BUT (here it comes again!) the ending, with its build-up to a sudden "explosion" or thunder-clap, seems to have either been dictated by the constraints of limited time, or -- more likely -- a simple lack of inspiration.

Overall then, my dissatisfaction with the endings of four of the album's five tracks would seem to point to a more middling rating of two or three stars, but for the fact that the material herein is so often truly awesome in its beauty, scope and power. I therefore award IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA four stars, and the accolade of "excellent" -- it would make a fine addition to the collections of all who appreciate classic Italian symphonic progressive rock. I could wish that the disc ran an additional ten minutes or so, and incorporated some better-planned endings for its very strong material, but -- in music, as in life -- we can't always get everything we want. I urge you to check it out anyway!

Report this review (#5948)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Right from the start, you know these guys can play. The first two tracks are very pastoral and classical no electric guitar anywhere, almost like an Italian Renaissance. It's not until track three "Il Tempo Della Gioia" that the electricity kicks in. The title track is very proggish , with mutilple time signatures and some bizarre operatic singing. The vocalist Giorgio Giorgi has a very good voice and at most times hits those high notes. Track four, "Un Giorno, Un Amico" is very jazz-like with two sax solos and one violin. The last track, E Accaduto Una Notte" reaches back to the first two tracks, warm and classical with touches of electric playing, it ends with a BANG, literally. Overall, an excellent Italian symphonic album to add to your collection, just a tad below the best of PFM and Banco for my tastes. So, a four star disc.
Report this review (#37191)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This one is a classic of Italian symphonic rock music. The influence of British bands as King Crimson with their original sound clearly appears...the result is rather nice, enchanting, well orchestrated with a beautiful old dated flavour. This is near to PFM with long, symphonic and melodic passages with many instruments and voices. The classical ingredients are evident as usual with abundant flute, violin, and piano arrangements. This is played with a particularly achieved sense of melody. Globally it presents rather soft, gorgeous romantic rock compositions, with time to time more stress on the rhythmical, electric guitar section. A good illustration of the neo-classical (chamber music mixed with symphonic rock) genre that can easily convince every fans of PFM, Celeste.
Report this review (#49963)
Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In 1974 Quella Vecchia Locanda (That Old Pub) released their second (and last, unfortunately!) album titled "Il Tempo della Gioia" (Joy's Time). Its fairy sound is very classical influenced, more than the usual Italian progrock scene. QLV brought it at highest peak, never abandoning the master hands of drummer Patrick Traina and bass player Massimo Giorgi (ex-Ritratto di Doria Gray, one of the first lines-up of what whould have been later Cherry Five).

"Villa Doria Pamphili" is the stunning opener, introduced by remarkable Massimo Dorelli's piano, Raimondo Cocco's amazing acoustic guitar and Claudio Filice's sad violin. It's a tribute track to the band's first national exposure to a much wider audience in 1972. Excellent! Ad Postera!

"A Forma di." is an instrumental song entirely written by the guitarist Cocco (who also provided vocals and clarinet). It deserves a special mention for the delicate mix between baroque sound and celestial chorus.

Then it's up to "Il Tempo della Gioia". Here comes the pure symphonic prog of QVL. Many shifting moods, intricate choruses and interesting distorted keyboards. Excellent arrangements and performance by all the band's members.

"Un Giorno, Un Amico" (One Day, One Friend) is the highlight of the album! My favourite one, indeed: 9,40 mns of pure prog pleasure! It's a unique violin-driven prog! I confess I never listen to something similar. Extremely recommended!

"É Accaduto una Notte" (It Happened One Night): another longer track (about 8,17 mns) in a more "anguishing" temper, more experimental than the other four pieces. Joy here seems really to disappear.the song ends in fact with an explosion!

This is another classic gem in all the Italian prog rock field of the seventies. Their masterpiece. Highly recommended! 5 stars.

Report this review (#63922)
Posted Monday, January 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the best Italian-prog bands, though it has been forgotten too soon, like many other bands of that period. Their second album, less rock compared to the first one, is absolutely outstanding and, in my opinion, it sounds musically less Italian! Sometimes you can hear reminiscences of King Crimson and Gentle Giant, sometimes it sounds jazzy. In the whole, all the tracks of this album surprise because of their variety and completeness! The great opener "Villa Doria Pamphili" is evidently inspired by the performance of the band in one of the most important pop-festivals in Rome (in Villa Doria Pamphili Park). The title track is wonderful, true "prog-pearl" of the album, with amazing games between keyboards and violin and well performed by vocals and choirs. "Un giorno amico" is another example of the greatness of this band, of their way to play prog, while E' accaduto una notte" is more experimental with echoes of jazz, evidently in the DNA of these amazing musicians! Although different from their first album I love this one as much as the previous work and I give it 5 stars !!!
Report this review (#67391)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The second work released in 1974 "Il Tempo Della Gioia". Symphonic rock that boldly takes classics and jazz. Especially, the piano and the violin are simple elegant performances. A free performance of the album in the latter half is an attainment point of this group. There is a problem like a poor recording and the instability of the rhythm. However, the thing that is one of the excellent works of Italian rock is correct.
Report this review (#70196)
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.5/5.0

On my review of Quella Vecchia Locanda first album I said I considered the two albums to be of equal value and I even already said on the forum that I prefered the first one... bcause I listened to " Il Tempo Della Gioia" so many times... In fact, I bought both this album and Locanda delle Fate's masterpiece at the same time, and was completely blown away. Theoretically, this one should probably be 4.4/5.0, but what the heck, let's give it 5 stars because it changed my vision of progressive music and helped me to discover a new universe, which is the symphonic italian progressive music scene.

I agree with Hughes Chantraine on this one: this is far better than PFM or Le Orme, and I am a huge PFM fan. "Il Tempo Della Gioia" is a short album, yes, but it is intense, profound, allying classical music with impressive percussions and keyboards, along with the gentle touch of flute, violin or clarinet. In fact, this is not only a band, but it sounds like an orchestra.

If you like early PFM, Le Orme, Locanda delle Fate and the Italian symphonic progressive scene, this is a must-own album, and certainly a masterpiece!

Report this review (#73619)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the best of the italian prog music. they mixed very well the folkish touch that all the italians bands have and the truly progressive feel. The use of Acoustic Instruments; flute, violin and clarinet; are well mixed with the guitars and bass. The music sometimes sounds very classical and others very hard rock Influenced, the keyboards sounds good but sometimes out of the music context they are playing. The thing i can see that differs to the other italian bands is that they dont try to put too much Adornments on the music and they balance very well this Components. Il Tempo Della Gioia also feel very nostalgic in a italian way and stronge in the overall context; too bad it only last 34 minutes. It could be a masterpiece if they focused more in long compositions.Although is a solid record and it will please to any italian prog lover. Highly Recommended to prog fans in general. 4 stars Excellent addition to any Italian/folk prog music collection.
Report this review (#75494)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Along with PFM and Banco,I cosider QVL to be the best Italian band with both their albums easily top ten Italian recordings of all times.this,second one is an absolute maserpiece of symphonic prog and can comfortably match any of classic Genesis,Yes or Gentle Giant albums,period.Album is a pure definition of symphonic progressive music,with classical overtones,excellent vocals and overall majestic sound only Italians are able to produce.This is miles away from Le Orme type of simplicity,yet still very accessible to get into.I recommend japanese mini lp replica editon for it has awesome remastered sound and glorious packaging.A must!
Report this review (#75911)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A beautiful album with some majestic moves and ethereal soundscapes.

It opens with the majestic sounding Villa Doria Pamphili. The violin and contrabass add to its grandeur and the piano gives it the necessary emotional aspect. A Forma Di starts as a fade in of a clavinova accompanied by a lovely flute part and violin. Then the band joins in with all their vocals, singing as a choir with the piano giving the support. The downside here is that it should have been developed more. It reaches a certain climax with the piano playing alone and then fades away rapidly. The title song starts very nicely and calmly and after 1:20 minutes speeds up. Here you get to hear more clearly the guitar playing but the piano is still very much in the picture as well. Track 4, Un Giorno Un Amico, starts with a marvelous violin part. This track is definitely the violins finest moments as the rest of the instruments are supporting it. This track changes tempo all along and it is very enjoyable. The piano, guitar and drums get to show their moves as well. In this one track you get all the different musical aspect of QVL. The last track begins with the band singing together as a choir again and without instruments. They fade out and in come the instruments, very softly and cautiously. Only after 2:40 minutes does the song get some clear form and the vocals join the music. A nice melody, slow and emotional. It has a very nice ending with the violin and the contrabass doing a short part of their own and then the piano and the flute do their ensemble. A fitting album-closing track.

My favourite tracks here are 1 and 4 as they represent what QVL does best. The vocals are quite good and are in line with other Italian vocalists. I personally prefer their first album to this one, but it is, nonetheless, a fine album and a worthy musical piece.

Report this review (#77287)
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Even if this is a good album, it's impossible not to compare it with their previous effort. "Il Tempo della Gioia" is more polished and "controlled", or even more personal than their first eponimous LP, and yet somehow it lacks in its spontaneous force and catchy melodies. The best tracks here are the first two ones. "Villa Doria Pamphili" is impressive; the band shows a more romantic approach to their music, piano and violin blend divinely and the vocal parts are very well performed, quite in the vein of the best Italian melodic tradition. "A forma di..." follows in the same vein, an instrumental displaying an emotional baroque main theme and wonderful choir/violin/harpiscord and piano variations. If the album continued this way, it would be far better than "Quella Vecchia Locanda" and overshadow some other contemporary bands, but with the title track things begin working differently. "Il tempo della Gioia" is a very good piece, indeed, with solid melodies and a wonderful "concerto" structure, mixing jazz fusion, rock and classical hints; nevertheless, lyrics are sometimes laughable and pretentious, some vocal harmonies annoying and the sound of the guitar a little inconsistent. Then, in the last two pieces, the band seems to lose the right path to a good song. "Un giorno, un amico" can be divided into two parts: the first one is instrumental, floating between heavy prog and fusion, never blending them in a convincing way and recycling some very abused tunes in Italian Prog Rock (key shifts, above all); then comes the sung part, quite more enjoyable, more in the good romantic approach the band had displayed in the first two pieces of the album - again: the problem is with the lyrics, which try to be symbolic and poetic, but end up being pretty clumsy. Finally, "E' accaduto una notte", since its very beginning with echoed choirs, sounds like a weird laid-back mix between the Balletto di Bronzo's "Ys", PFM and a bit of Le Orme. The piece is very well performed, the ability of the band members with their instruments is stunning, arrangements are very well proportioned and yet... you don't get the impression of listening to something more special than any other Italian Symphonic Prog effort from those years. Anyway, "Il tempo della gioia" is a good visiting card to Italian Prog (but check out for their first album!!!)
Report this review (#118355)
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The epitome of the Italian genre?

There is so much great Italian prog that I'm always raving about it only to be asked by others where to start. Then it becomes very hard to think of one album that captures all of the many wonderful and unique aspects of the classic Italian album. This would have to be one of the top candidates to suggest to someone as an essential Italian album and one that covers most of the traits that make them special: creative songwriting fusing the rock, classical, and jazz genres; immaculate production with great attention to recording details; exceptional use of violins, flutes, and other classical elements; warm and passionate Italian vocals; and perhaps most importantly an unabashed willingness to project a most romantic style of music. Some will say that the Italian stuff can't compare to the best English or German music but I disagree. True, the big groups from those other countries achieved far great commercial success but does that necessarily mean they are better? Or perhaps just different, with the luxury of more access and distribution that has allowed them to be more ingrained in our minds as the standard bearers of quality prog? The sheer beauty of "Il Tempo Della Gioia" would suggest it has a place amongst the greatest prog titles from anywhere in my humble opinion.

The album opens with a sweeping and gorgeous piano melody in "Villa Doria Pamphili" joined by acoustic guitar and violin. Achingly beautiful. The vocals begin and are very good by any standards. At 2:30 there is a unexpected crescendo. Then after another verse the song ends with such a wistful, haunting piano. What an opener!

"A Forma Di" begins softly with building violin and then flute and piano, the violins being tense and nervous while the other instruments are contrasted by a sense of calm. Around halfway we get some wordless vocals in a choir form. Then what I believe is a harpsichord adds an elegant feel before the song fades out.

The title track is next with vocals right away proceeding into somewhat jazzy waters. We get some trippy keyboards and operatic sounding vocals. Bass and percussion provide a solid backdrop here and we get a small taste of some nice guitar. The last part of the song begins to sound like an Italian version of Relayer's "Sound Chaser." But make no mistake, this band was not trying to mimic Yes or Genesis or Floyd, they made their own sound with this release.

"Un Giorno Un Amico" features some fiery violin playing in the first half of this near 10 minute prog gem. If you're waiting for things to get conventional, they won't. This track is just about exploration and emotion. After some vocals the second half opens up more space for some nice solos from several instruments. Again the combination of jazz/rock and classical elements is seamless. The sound quality is pretty decent for '74.

"E Accaduto una Notte" begins with choral voices, flutes, and acoustics before the lead vocal begins, accompanied by piano and distinct bass. The mood gets decidedly dark as the strings and piano take on a sinister tone. The album ends with a trippy build-up to an explosion of some type. So much for the happy ending! It is true as some have noted that QVL was "ending challenged." Many of their songs just stop abruptly or in some unimaginative way but for me it just can't negate all the things they do right.

The Japanese mini lp-sleeve features incredible sound and a perfect reproduction of one of the most amazing gatefolds I've ever seen. A deliciously abstract painting graces the outside while the inside art would suggest maybe a romantic road trip spent writing music among other things? How should I know, just a guess! Whatever the point of the art, it works magically with the music to convey the feeling that these were men reveling in a most creative and heady time in their lives.

An essential title for a collection desiring any exposure to the Italian scene, the masterpiece of QVL. Also recommended to fans of classical music. Their debut may be more rocking and accessible, but this one is where the real magic is! 4 ½ stars rounding up on this one.

Report this review (#128278)
Posted Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This second studio album from "Quella" investigates more and more the classical style. Sorry guys, but this is not really for me.

This style is very much of their own and was already to be noticed in their first album but only at times. On this album, it is the dominent part and there is nothing I can do about it, but I just can't appreciate it. It seems that this album is recorded using a symphonic band. At times it is bearable ("A Forma Di...") but half an hour of this treatment is just too much.

If I would like to listen to madrigals (which I wouldn't) I don't need to enter the Italian symph section of my discography to do so. While not classical, we'll get some jazz music and average vocals ("Il Tempo della Gioia"). Do I miss something ??? Italian prog ?

The last two songs are not able to convert me either. Same stuff, I'm afraid. I particularly dislike "Un Giorno...". There will be some nice intrumental breaks during "Accuaducto". At last ! But the vocals will ruin them all.

I honestly can not rate this album higher than two stars.

Report this review (#132468)
Posted Thursday, August 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars If someone one day dares to ask me the reasons why I like prog-rock I'll say nothing and simply show 'A forma di.' and tell the person: this song is like the air that I breathe, the water that I drink, the food that keeps me stood. the dreams I beg to come when I sleep. Yes, this precious and unique piece can be heard inside this fabulous album named "Il Tempo Della Gioia" and if you're looking for a real gioia, here is the so much desirable and rare diamond. But this release by QVL has not a sole star that shines alone; it's only the most refulgent body amid other four that form a nebula of majestic and resplendent asters shaped like songs.

Now, QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA create their proper big-bang with everything contained in their debut album but improved largely. Considering the deeds QVL have done in this album to dub them as a mere band sounds a bit unfair - they act as an orchestra, with a variety of instruments, exquisite arrangements, celestial choirs and amazing vocals. Even the cover artwork is worth a sonnet.

'Villa Doria Pamphilli' is a blessed one opening track with poignant violin intro and half-hearted vocals, framed by vigorous piano and sweet guitar accompaniment - words are pruned in harmony with music to embody a charming and enchanted atmosphere. 'A forma di.' shines on brightly as mentioned before, nothing to say additionally except to recommend the healing effects of listening to it.

'Il tempo della gioia', the title-track is a wonderful piece-of-art, some tunes are incredible findings that still astonish even 1/3 of a century have passed. As the song runs more and more surprises are presented thanks to the seductive and ever-changing orchestration. The lengthy 'Giorno, un amico' maintains the highness that seems to characterize this album in its entirety. 'É accaduto una notte' displays portions of previous tracks but as an ender holds its own strong musical personality.

One last and sorrowful word: it's a shame that QVL closed their doors after producing and gifting us with this marvelous album. I stay tightly hoping that some news come from them to resume the work and if an eventual new album could reach half the quality of this one, I'll be satisfied anyway. Concluding, the obvious rate: a masterpiece.

Report this review (#159770)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my very subjective personal opinion (even that is redundant) Quella Vecchia Locanda, it's one of the biggest band of the Italian prog scene of the 70's. It is too bad they disbanded so soon. Fortunately, they left two gems so we could admire the greatness of the band.

"Il Tempo de la Gioia" is an excellent album that reaches the perfection. With this album QVL left their legacy to the Prog World and there's no doubt about it.

Villa Doria Pamphili is to me, the most beautiful and amazing Italian symphonic rock song I ever heard (yes, I know I said that of another song before, but what the hell..) You know something is going beyond the beauty when you hear the intro of the piano followed by that nostalgic violin that gives me goose bumps. Incredible, the vocals are excellent, very Italian, so to speak, kind of haunting and sad voice. But when the drums pops up and get together with the piano it's just the climax! It's so deep and melodic. I cannot think in other song that can speak about the Italian prog, if I had to choose a song to represent the genre, I think this would be a good one. I just can't stop listening without that sensation of peace and joy and sadness at the same time. What a track.

A formi di. Well, one more time we deal with perfection, with delicatessen, with innovation. This song is a master's creation, here you can listen to all the instruments, as a plus you have the operatic voices at the background. Sounds that seems flashes of lightning passing by through your head, the violin- what a violin!!- the flute, the piano, the voices all together in a symbiotic set that goes in crescendo. A short track but a powerful one.

Il tempo de la Gioia. Here are the highlights (man, how repetitive I am!); the central piece is a tour de force of what is supposed to be progressive. The Italian voices are pretty good in singing and the music it's totally fresh and innovating. The piano and the guitar alternates to lead the song, in the middle of the song, everything breaks apart to let the keyboard and the clarinet (I think) to add some fun jamming to the song mixing them with the violin in a great move! A total winner of the progressive world.

Un Giorno un Amico. Another gem of the prog music. The hypnotic sound of the beginning where you can hear the violin with a jazzy crazy sound, plagued for the coral voices. Here Claudio Gilice shows us his talent, innovation, technique and heart, creating new sounds at best. The tempo changes adds an incredible feeling of hearing an old jazz band that enjoys having fun with his instruments, the end of the song is so evocative, An electrical guitars joins to the song and then later towards to the end, I think it's the piccolo that sounds and creates that apprehension feeling you can hear. Another winner.

É accaduto una notte. This last song reminds me some BMS or Locanda, being sung in a continuos beat of the piano and drums, mixing the operatic voices. The violin is used a little in this one, but the piccolo has a bigger role accompanying the drums finishing with a spacey keyboard that puts an end to this incredible journey.

So, Il Tempo de la Gioia, is a fine example of Symphonic Italian rock, a gem of the genre and without a doubt, a timeless piece that never gets old, and that every time you hear it, sounds as fresh as the first day of its release. An applause for QVL for creating this majestic opus Magnus.

A progposito... RSDMCG

Report this review (#162328)
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Well I never dreamed i'd like this as much as their debut, but after reading several people hint that this one isn't that accessible, and to give it lots of time, I took the advise and have been won over. Thanks Finnforest. The debut was raw and edgy with a rocking blues flavour just the way I like it. On this one they've taken away the rough edges, and added more complexity to this more classical and at times jazzy inspired music. This is beautiful and subtle music that takes time to appreciate. I have no doubt that this band is one of the best to come out of Italy.

"Villa Doria Pamphili" opens with piano as acoustic guitar joins in this pastoral setting. Violin a minute in as piano stops. Fragile vocals before 2 minutes as a fuller sound follows that is so uplifting. Back to vocals and acoustic guitar as the contrasts continue. Simply a gorgeous song. "A Forma Di" starts off quietly with faint piano and violin, but it's building. Vocal melodies join in around 2 1/2 minutes as the sound continues to build. Harpischord is added. Amazing sound before 4 minutes that is very classical. Brilliant track. "Il Tempo Della Gioia" opens with expressive vocals as piano and violin support him. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes. Love the drumming ! Some guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. It's better later. Vocal melodies come in as piano plays on. An absolutely beautiful sound 4 minutes in as piano, flute, violin and drums all create wonder. Vocals are back 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Un Giorno, Un Amico" opens with piano as violin drops in quickly. The tempo picks up a minute in as drums become prominant. Vocal melodies join in. A violin solo before 3 minutes. Clarinet comes in before 4 1/2 minutes with bass as it has calmed right down. Drums start to build to a crisp sound. Piano then violin follow. Vocals 7 minutes in are reserved. Guitar for the first time lets loose. Thankyou ! It does again after 8 minutes. Clarinet 9 minutes in. "E Accaduto Una Notte" opens with choir-like melodies. Acoustic guitar and flute take over in this beautiful section starting 1 1/2 minutes in. Vocals before 3 minutes as harpsichord, piano, bass and drums become prominant. Violin 4 minutes in. Vocal melodies 5 1/2 minutes in then vocals. Fuller sound 6 1/2 minutes in. An explosion ends it.

If you can get both of their albums do so. I think it's a matter of taste as to which one you'll like better. Both are excellent.

Report this review (#181686)
Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Two-shot band Quella Vecchia Locanda's albums are both of high quality, although quite different in style. Their eponymous debut album is perhaps somewhat more derivative of English influences than II Tempo della Gioia, but is of a more consistant level of quality. The one element of this band's first album that stands out as unusual to me is the violin of American Donald Lax. He is part folk fiddler, part classically trained violinist, and part improvisational rock musician. The band continuously flits from a rustic Baroque aesthetic to straight seventies' rock to early Jethro Tull, and Lax's violin is key to making the transitions seem as natural as they do.

The other strength of this album is its consistency. There is not a bad track on here, although at under 35 minutes, this is not as difficult as it might otherwise be. The band plays all songs with great vitality. Even the Cream-inspired ballad Realtà has a portentous intensity to it. This is a band who was playing music for the joy of it, and so even when the songwriting was not quite up to scratch, the band had the self-belief to carry the piece through.

Studded with violin, flute and driving guitar riffs, this is an album whose delivery is its biggest asset. Never overly polished, QVL have not forgotten their rock 'n' roll roots, while still being progressive with instrumentation and arrangements. Il Tempo della Gioia has at times better songwriting, but for its consistency of vision and naive enthusiasm, the debut album is superior.


Report this review (#184315)
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars QVL's take on Prog is very 'Symphonic', but almost completely devoid of 'Rock'. It's far too subtle and mellow for my tastes. The music is very classically influenced, largely composed of orchestral string ensemble playing, flute, clarinet, and piano.

I much prefer RPI bands that heavily utilized modern (for their time) synthesizers... it may sound strange, but this album is just too organic sounding.

'Un Giorno, un Amico' is probably my favorite song of the lot. It reminds me a bit of Gentle Giant circa 'Acquiring the Taste'... but it is almost ruined by an extremely annoying violin solo that seems to never end, resulting in drudgery.

Every song on this album has a similarly aimless plodding feel. 'Villa Doria Pamphili' has a beautiful melancholic piano intro, but it leads nowhere and is overtaken by a tedious sappy violin melody.

Much like QVL's first album, this one has scattered bits of good music in each track, but it's never bridged together very well... there's a lot of empty air between the good bits. 'E Accaduto una Notte' begins with a nice creepy atmospheric choir, but this also goes nowhere... it just stops, then silence, then another boring quiet theme slowly tip-toes in. The whole album feels like a long build up to nothing.

Maybe i'm missing something? I just don't get it. I recognize this band's talent for baroque songwriting, and respect their excellent musicianship, but this album just does not move me. To be blunt, i find it very boring... and i would advise potential listeners to avoid this unless they are fans (and frequent listeners) of classical music.

Report this review (#207956)
Posted Saturday, March 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Absolutely Gorgeous Symphonic Italian Prog

Quella Vecchia Locanda's Il Tempo Della Gioia is the first RPI album I will review, because it is simply one of the best pickups I've had since coming to the Prog Archives. Although I am a relative RPI newbie, I have actually sampled a fair bit of Italian Prog on internet radio, and even purchased one album by Le Orme prior to ordering this one. But despite the language and unlike other Italian works, this album's brilliance transcends its genre. Played alongside Genesis, Anglagard, Yes, or King Crimson, this album easily holds up. It is simply brilliant and should have a place in any prog library.

After making some pretty hefty claims, a little justification seems in order. First of all, this band is true symphonic rock, that is, a fusion of rock and classical music. Many, if not all, of the musicians are classically trained in both performance and composition. The primary instruments are piano, violin, flute, clarinet over a traditional electric bass and trapset rhythm section. There is actually a little electric guitar, but it is a minor voice in the mix. Still, there is clearly plenty of rock emotion in this music, plenty of experimentation, and large doses of dynamic risk-taking.

The compositional component is what sets this above so many others like it. The choral voices are extremely complex. The interweaving lines of the winds are orchestrated better than any other album of its kind. Like Anglagard or Larks' Tongues KC, dissonance, shading, and use of space is abundant. QVL use so many different colors and sounds, there are surprises and novel sonic experiences up until the very end of the (too short) album. The final track is simply astounding. These aren't rockers or amateurs dabbling in more complex music. These are professionally trained players making music that crosses into rock.

I found this album by asking for suggestions for the most symphonic, that is, classically influenced and meticulously composed, albums in prog. I got tips that became a list of amazing albums. This one is the best. Given the fact that I believe that the fusion of classical music and prog is one of the pillars of what prog is, I believe this album not only belongs among our list of masterpiece albums, but among the elites like Hybris, Si Avait, and Larks' Tongues.

Report this review (#220451)
Posted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This is my introduction to QVL, and my first question, after repeated indulgences, is "how many groups are playing under this name?". But then I realized that the transition from classical prog to fusion is more gradual rather than abrupt, so perhaps the group was aiming at converting listeners to a more dissonant and sophisticated style.

Based on the first two tracks, I was ready to crown this the reigning queen of 1970s RPI, as they funnel an appreciation of classical music through a bountiful rock imagination. "Villa Doria Pamphili" is a high water mark for album openers, with romantic vocals, arresting piano, and a divine melody. The brief instrumental "A Forma Di" is on par with the first cut, fading in subtly, with plenty of exquisite flutes, sublime violin, more piano rolls, and wordless choral work. The last minute is a delight, although the fade out might have been premature.

From here, the purpose of the group seems to change from one of seducing the audience to winning it over with intellect. The simple charms of the first few songs are replaced by all manner of interludes, some which work and many which don't, and few are really captivating. Mid 1970s KC, RENAISSANCE, and GENTLE GIANT are among the many cited briefly, while I see some similarities to contemporary Germans like PELL MELL, along with the group's own take on classical jazz fusion. All of the remaining pieces have their merits in chunks and gobs, although the finale I admit is a tough sell.

I have no difficulty with the general consensus in progland that QVL's second album is a classic, but, while I appreciate the skill and commitment of the players, I prefer that my violin and keyboard dominated prog be more unabashedly romantic and less high falutin'.

Report this review (#224672)
Posted Sunday, July 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have been interested in Italian Prog recently, and so I decided to try out the band Quella Vecchia Locanda. While there seems to be no end of Italian Progressive Rock bands, this one stood out to me because of "IL TEMPO DELLO GIOIA's enchanting album cover. The artwork, which takes up the cover and the back of the album, reminded me a lot like Roger Dean's classic album art we all know and love. Fortunately, the music inside the jacket is just as mystifying and beautiful, and I'll be reviewing it today.

The album opens up with "Villa Doria Pamphili." The track captivated immediately, with dreamy soundscapes made by the piano, violin, and acoustic guitar. I knew right away that I had made a good purchase. The vocals come in at about 2 minutes, and the lyrics are about a natural park. The music really matches the idea of being in a park, beautiful and tranquil.

Then there is the instrumental "A Forma Di." The heavy use of an orchestra, flute, and piano make this one sound like classical music, only shorter. This track is also very beautiful, but a little more stern.

Next comes the title track "Il Tempo Della Gioia." This one is a bit more rock-oriented than the other two, and more daring. This track really impressed me by showing that Quella Vecchia Locanda could also be aggressive. Fans of King Crimson should dig this track.

After that, there's "Un Giormo, Un Amico." This track is pretty challenging, but is the challenge well worth it? I say yes. There is some great instrumentation here, and the vocals are confrontational.

Finally, we have "E'Accudato Una Notte." It begins very dark, opening up with a choir. Then it becomes more somber, full of woodwind and guitar. Like all the other tracks, it's classical influence is apparent. I really like the finale, and I feel that it's a great way to end the album.

I really enjoyed IL TEMPO DELA GIOIA, and plan to check out Quella Vecchia Locanda's other album soon. This is a must-have if you like Italian Prog, and you should still check it out if you like Symphonic Prog with some more challenging elements. My only real complaint is that it's too short.

4 Stars- Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

Report this review (#251563)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second of only two studio albums from Quella Vecchia Locanda, both highly regarded amongst RPI fans, Il Tempo Della Gioia saw the band in the main leaving behind the more bombastic moments of their eponymous debut and expanding more on the classical influences evident on that release.

Il Tempo Della Gioia is largely a more mellow affair, classical influences well to the fore, occasional jazz flourishes with pastoral moments alongside occasional forays into more high octane territory. Fans of PFM should find much to enjoy here on an album lacking any real highs and lows. That's not meant in a derogatory sense as it's an album maintaining a high standard throughout. The organic production leaves plenty of space for the music to breath with pleasing use of classical instrumentation such as violin, flute, clarinet, acoustic guitar and piano underpinned by a rock rhythm section and fine vocals. Electric guitar takes more of a back seat and the predominant keyboard is piano.

No better or worse than their excellent debut then, it's down to personnel preference (I have a slight preference for their debut), both close to the top of the pile of important RPI releases. It's a shame they only released two albums as with the talent on display here, had they continued they could have been up there with the big three of PFM, Banco and Le Orme.

Report this review (#255148)
Posted Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Matthew T
5 stars The last of the two classic albums that this band released in the early seventies and this one is from 1974. Considered a must have album by anyone who has a leaning towards good progressive music and not just fans of Italian Progressive music. Like most bands from the continent they have a distinct classical influence which makes for a wonderful diversity in Progessive music from Europe and Quella Vecchia Locanda certainly display this with rock and a slight Jazz Influence.

Il Tempo Della Gioia ( The season of Joy) is dismissed as the 2nd best album often by this band but I find that this is as good as the self titled debut if not better and more distinctive as the band seemed to be truly heading into unknown territory with this release and the use of choirs and that violin giving the feel to this album which although the violinist ( Claudio Felice) has changed from the previous album he still leaves his own mark as Donald Lax did on the first. Flute is also used and does not sound as similar to Jethro Tull as it did on the first release

The album commences with the track Villa Doria Pamphli and the keyboard opens this tune and finishes it off on its own and is one nice track with vocals and if Symphonic is what you want well that is precisely the description in the high moments of this composition.but it is the the 2nd one for me ( A Forma Di ) when this album heads for the stratosphere with only vocals used without words and that violin, wonderful stuff in the car whilst driving and what a feel.On the title track from the album you relly hear some great vocals opening the song which quickly heads into prog heaven with that choir again a time change what more could you want. There are five tracks on the album and not one poor one and even with the last song E` Accaduto Uma Notte the album goes out with a bang.

Although only running at just under 34 minutes to quote another great fan and mentor for me of this genre. Micky......All Killer No Filler

I wonder what the 3rd album may have been?

Report this review (#261803)
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda's second and last album "Il tempo della gioia" (The time of joy) was recorded in 1974 with a different line up featuring veterans Giorgio Giorgi (vocals, flute), Massimo Roselli (piano, organ mellotron, moog, vocals), Patrick Traina (drums, percussion) and Raimondo Maria Cocco (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals) plus Claudio Filice (who replaced the American violinst Donald Lax) and Massimo Giorgi (who took the place of bassist Romualdo Coletta). The strong classical influences are still there but overall sound is slightly different from the eponymous debut album and features a jazzier and darker atmosphere. The art cover is magnificent and tries to describe the content of this work where music and words loom nightmares and dreams.

The intense and dreamy opener "Villa Doria Pamhili" begins with a beautiful piano pattern, then acoustic guitar and violin delicately come in and melodic vocals try to describe the feelings that you could experience going to a pop festival in the early seventies... A sweet harmony plays with nature, soaring and gliding on the grass while joy makes people vibrating...

"A forma di..." (In the shape of...) is a classical inspired short instrumental that could remind of "Traccia" by Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. It starts softly, as if the music was coming from a distant place... Violin, counter-bass, flutes and harpsichord, then soaring vocals used as an instrument to colour some melodic lines... Amazing track!

The title track is more complex. It begins with a delicate and romantic melody. A sundown on the sea, a magic carpet ride towards new horizons... Then a sudden change of rhythm and mood brings in dark shadows... "It's like if you were beating the time of joy / And never the time of pain / Your smile is already there... Suddenly the air is trembling / Fear has already taken you...". Some vocal passages could remind of the gloomy atmospheres of "Ys" by Il Balletto di Bronzo, while others recall of Hans, PFM's merchant of dreams, and of his coach... A very peculiar dream full of colours and musical nuances.

"Un giorno, un amico" (A day, a friend) features jazzy touches and violin rides, delicate calm passages and fiery ones. It's a long and complex track full of changes and colours. Take a deep breath and imagine to run into the sun, just to find out new sparks of life and old fears, hidden words and thoughts concealed in a secret jewel-case...

The last track "E' accaduto una notte" (It happened one night) is dark and gloomy. It describes in music and words a nightmare. It begins with a choir setting a gothic atmosphere, then the music goes on quirkily while lyrics depict a snake crawling through the rocks in the night, a car falling into the void, bad omens and vanishing hopes... "A roar bursts out / A flash of fire / That suffocates voices already put out".

On the whole a really good album even if some passages could sound a little bit naives and derivative. Nonetheless essential in every Italianprog collection!

Report this review (#276105)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda is one of the few RPI bands that managed to produce more then one album, and for many fans the second is the favorite title, offering a more mature blend of the classical and rock elements. The music flows smoother; it's more laid-back and more daringly instrumental and classical. In short, it's as gorgeous as the album art really.

Compared to the first album, the rock element has been subdued to allow richer sonic textures and a delightful romantic mood. It's a tad melancholic but not morose, more of a romantic bitter-sweet sadness. It's a bit experimental at times but always refined and beautiful, in other words meticulously RPI.

The vocals have become less important and have changed quite a lot compared to the debut. Although Giorgio Giorgi is still credited, it sounds as if the vocalist from Osanna or Cervello takes the honors here, with a more nasal and trumpet-y style. I personally preferred the debut in this aspect.

As a last word of advice, don't confuse this band with Locanda Della Fata. This band only shares the 'Locanda' with the safe prog from later areas. This one is a fantastic and daring journey; not as much fit to my taste as the debut but simply excellent.

Report this review (#303589)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Sadly, Italy's Quella Vecchia Locanda released just two, full-length studio albums during their criminally-short career, their excellent self-titled debut and this impressive, 1974 released follow-up. Both albums feature fantastic artwork and a stylish, highly-inventive sound that has seen them regularly mentioned as some of the most influential Italian progressive rock albums of the era, a label that shouldn't be sniffed at. With the first album, the band dived headlong into a vibrant, fast-paced style that mixed elements of Van Der Graaf Generator and Genesis with their own curious inflection. For album number two the approach was much more gentle, with less emphasis on the breakneck violins and hyperactive structure that so characterized their debut and a more layered and carefully-crafted design that brings to mind their fellow countrymen PFM. Musically-speaking at least, 'Il Tempo Della Gioia' is a more ambitious piece, with an expansive sound that flows carefully from warm, harmonic sections to brisk, galloping classically-influenced rock sections with real aplomb, showcasing this youthful group's instrumental verve. It's a highly-polished album filled with a million ideas but the one thing it truly lacks is the dynamic spark and catchy melodies that adorned their debut, demonstrating wonderfully the value of youthful exuberance. However, to criticize 'Il Tempo Della Gioia' harshly would be short-sighted; it is still a crucial addition into the Italian prog genre and any fan of the scene should find much to admire. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#304317)
Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda was a two-and-through RPI group, and this album, Il Tempio Della Gioia, shows a remarkable classical influence. I'm a huge fan of classical music, and this album really is quite beautiful, but I definitely didn't enjoy it quite as much as I had hoped for.

Heavy classical influence, yes, but it feels kind of dry. Upon first listen, the only track that stood out to me as being very well done was "A Forma Di" which sounds like an epic with both baroque and post-romantic elements, and it kind of sounds like one of those "diamonds are forever" commercial, or one for perfume with images of lots of kissing. Very beautiful indeed. The track "E Accaduto Una Notte" includes a section near the end that sounds like an obvious influence by Holst's "Mars", but the rest of the track I found to be kind of bland. I hoped for more development and it never came. There are a few jazzy moments strewn throughout the album, which got my hopes up even more, but those moments are few and far between and never develop more than just being "moments". There is a minute of obvious rip-off of Arvo Part's "Fratres" on "Un Giorno", which is the wildest track on the album and seems fairly annoying with it's incongruent compositional structure, but it also is the jazziest track here.

I know there are others on this site that absolutely adore this album, but I'm definitely not in that group. I'm not sure what I was hoping for upon deciding to listen to this album but it definitely wasn't what the result ultimately came out as.

Report this review (#434622)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Though I was blown away by Quella Vecchia Locanda's debut album, which I consider to be a gem of the Genesis-worshipping wave of Italian prog albums from 1972/1973, and whilst I don't quite rate this album so highly, I think changing up their style between albums was 100% the right choice - with such insane oversaturation of the market at the time, making yourself distinctive had become essential by 1974.

In the case of QVL, they went for a more classically-influenced approach which creeps in a bit of fusion here or there, as well as hints at the heavy prog approach of Il Balletto di Bronzo. It's a heady mix, and whilst I don't think it's knock-you-off-your-feet fantastic, it still stands head and shoulders above the output of many one-album wonders from the Italian scene of the time.

Report this review (#534829)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the debut album of the band violin player Donald Lax left Italy and returned to USA, while shortly after bassist Romualdo Coletta also abandoned Quella Vecchia Locanda for personal reasons.They were replaced by Claudio Filice and Massimo Giorgi respectively and the new sextet recorded the sophomore release ''Il Tempo Della Gioia'' (''The time of joy'') for RCA in 1974.

While ''Quella Vecchia Locanda'' was a Symphonic Rock album with strong Classical flavors, the new album was a work of Classical/Symphonic arrangements with evident rock elements.The band transformed into a dreamy Chamber orchestra, which was eager to put up a show full of Classical piano themes, ethereal violin passages and poetic voices to complete a soundscape with demanding orchestrations.The rhythm section of Giorgi and Traina is however almost always present and the rock attitude is evident throughout the listening.Additionally many moments feature a nice guitar work of Cocco and the strong keyboard/synth solos of Roselli, these are very close to the magnificent works of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (especially on the eponymous track and ''Un giorno, un amico'').''Il tempo della gioia'' lacks a bit the real pearls of the debut of the band, but the arrangements here have a beautiful Italian taste, the atmosphere is very dreamy despite the complexity of the material and the interplays are light yet always attractive.

This was meant to be the band's last album, as Quella Vecchia Locanda split up the next year due to the lack of promotion and distribution by RCA, resulting to the members' financial problems, who decided that this was a hard way to walk.

''Il Tempo Della Gioia'' will please a variety of fans withing the prog community and not only lovers of Italian Prog.Symphonic Rock/Chamber Prog/RIO followers as well as admirers of Classical Music will find plenty of material to satisfy them in this second Quella Vecchia Locanda effort.Warmly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#803592)
Posted Sunday, August 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars This second album by Quella Vecchia Locanda takes a drastically different path from the first but the journey is still satisfying.

With just about all of the hard blues rock elements of their first album removed in favour of subdued classical textures, the tone of this album is very different from the first. It still works excellently, however, and how this album could be best described is "refined". The production is improved, the moods are more delicate. Oddly enough, the structure of the album is generally looser and more free-flowing since it isn't bound to a concept like "Quella Vecchia Locanda" was. It's for that reason that I give this album one star lower of a rating. While it's an excellent album, "Il Tempo Della Gioia" doesn't take the listener on as much of a journey in its short 35 minute span as its predecessor.

Still a great addition to any RPI collection, though. 4 stars.

Report this review (#1540721)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda have proved themselves expert musicians. ''Il Tempo della Gioia'' one of the all-time great Italian prog albums with classical influences. Second album by QVL, genuinely unique and beautiful. This is very melodious music with use of flute, piccolo, guitar, keyboards and violin, and with clarinet and sax. Music varies from the simple to the grandiose. Tunes with unexpected tempo changes, with breathtaking collection of violin solos. This is beautiful and subtle music. Amazing sound! Once the album finishes, a sensation of 'want more'. ''Il Tempo della Gioia'' - an excellent example of the Italian scene. I have absolutely no hesitation in giving this album 5 stars.
Report this review (#1839513)
Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2017 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA (That Old Inn in English) emerged at the height of the Italian prog boom in the early 70s, released only two gems of the genre and then sadly disbanded but in their brief yet productive career they released not only their stunning masterpiece of a self-titled debut but a second classic in the form of IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA (The Age Of Joy). In the two years since the debut there had been a significant lineup change that steered the band's sound in a new direction. Violinist Donald Lax was replaced by Claudio Filice and bassist Massimo Giorgi (from the band Il Ritratto di Dorian Gray) took over for Romualdo Coletta. The debut album gained the band a prominent role in the Italian prog scene and in the two year gap they caught the attention of RCA records which meant a stealthier production job for their sophomore release.

One of the most startling differences between QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA's debut and IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA is the absence of the madman violinist Donald Lax who was one of the key components of the debut. In his stead, the more relaxed Claudio Filice is quite subdued and the band follows suit making album number two a much mellower romp through the prog universe with longer tracks that develop into intricate parts but eschew the frenetic youthful energy that permeated the eponymous debut. Another distinct feature of IL TEMPO is that is includes the guest sax player Rodolfo Bianchi who adds some rather jazzy touches strewn about although never taking center stage. There are also some beautiful choral moments.

At its core QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA's general musical approach centers around complex classically driven piano and keyboard parts that break into heavy rock enthusiasm less often than album #1. As mentioned Claudio Filice doesn't compete in the sheer madman approach of Lax and even on tracks like "Un Giorno, Un Amico" where he lets loose, he still sounds quite inhibited which ultimately affected the entire band's performance. While this may sound like a bad thing, it's a testament to how the members of the band were a cohesive unit and worked together within the confines of every member making IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA, which makes it a true GIOA (Joy) to listen to. Each of the five compositions has a distinct identity and offers each musical instrument to have a day in the sunlight.

While initially i was disappointed by the approach of QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA's mellow second album since it clearly makes less of an impact, there is no doubt that this is the same band with the same compositional approach of beautifully designed symphonic Italian prog of the era. While the sheer intensity of the debut has been dampened, the focus has shifted to more melodic driven symphonic touches and instrumental interchange. Once again the members play tightly constructed pieces that flow together perfectly. This album is almost exclusively instrumental with only occasional dynamic vocals from founding member Giorgio Giorgi whose vocal prowess matches any of the operatic greats of the day. Despite playing second best to their debut, IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA is still an excellent slice of early 70s Italian prog not to be missed.

Report this review (#1966056)
Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars Afternoon Delight!

Well, it's for any moment of the day really, but the sunny afternoon of Della Gioia is irresistible. Bright colors, mildly windy and your loved one by yourself on a soft blanket, this album evokes pleasant, relaxing times! It's time for joy, as the title says so the fun is there mixed with more tranquil moments. But they blend it effortlessly! How!?

Less rock and roll on the menu (less Tull and vocals mainly) but super well written classical bits are plenty. Majestic, inspired, it whattya want, it's virtuosity with a nice chianti and some fava beans.

Orchestral but groovy, well sung but baroque at times, you cannot go wrong. A solid chunk of spaghetti rock.

Report this review (#2181676)
Posted Saturday, April 6, 2019 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second of two creative and sophisticated albums by this band from Rome, its reception was mixed as many did not like the lineup changes (especially the departure/absence of dynamic violin phenom, Donald Lax) but others saw the compositional growth and loved the less crazed, more melodic accessibility of this album over the self-titled debut.

1. "Villa Doria Pamphili" (5:27) beautiful, symphonic, even cinematic music that begins being piano-based and dominated but then turns symphonic with strings. At 1:45 electric bass enters to accompany acoustic guitar for a lone male singer to enter and sing over. At 2:40, with the end of the singer's first verse comes a bombastic RENAISSANCE/Russian-like symphonic bridge and then return to simple acoustic foundation for the second verse. The bombastic Russian section repeats and is prolonged before decaying into a gorgeous solo piano piece for the final 45 seconds. (9.5/10)

2. "A Forma Di" (4:07) opens with quiet, pulsing strings with gentle, almost distant flutes, winds, upper octave piano, and harpsicord "dancing" around. Only very slowly does the background move forward and into full presence and full volume. Definitely conjures up a musical "view" of a religious ceremonial march of rural folk--like a processional of Russian peasant souls from Gogol's Dead Souls. (9.25/10)

3. "Il Tempo Della Gioia" (6:15) interesting music and song structure are betrayed by overall poor sound reproduction as well as flawed vocal and electric guitar performances and choices. (7.5/10)

4. "Un Giorno, un Amico" (9:39) wonderful acoustic intro of piano and violin. The breakout of full-band even goes well (again, the sound and stylings of the English band RENAISSANCE come strongly to mind), as the folk melodies and sounds are well-maintained. Over the course of the first half of the song, the music develops no further than a cabaret-like gypsy folk dance despite some find performances from the violin and piano, but then things shift under the leadership of clarinet. Everything slows down a notch and becomes more jazz lounge-y. Again, it is the emotional sense of melody expressed by the violinist that keeps me engaged--and deeply so. At the seven minute mark vocals join the fray for the first time, followed by an electric guitar solo--both of which fail to impress. Poor, flangy drum sound, too. (17/20)

5. "È Accaduto una Notte" (8:16) opens with choral voices singing wordlessly (like the opening and ending sections of PFM's "L'isola de niente") which also fade away leaving a very gentle, spacious pastoral section not unlike some sections of CELESTE's Principe di un giorno or even MAXOPHONE--both of which won't come out for over a year). Musically, this is the most mature, interesting, and fully developed piece on the album. Still poor production of voice and electric instruments, but musically very perfect--brilliantly conceived. This is a piece I'd LOVE to hear re- recorded or performed live. (19/20)

The musical constructs, compositional arrangements, and instrumental performances of this album are incredible-- delicious. Where it falls short is in sound production and vocal performances. When the sounds are acoustic, the engineering team seems to do well; it's with the renderings of the electrical instruments that the music production falls short. Still, I am one of the faction who like this album better than the more bluesy, frenzied debut.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a wonderful listening experience for the more acoustic, symphonic approaches to rock music.

Report this review (#2268210)
Posted Friday, October 11, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've collected a decent amount of Italian prog over the years, and I must say that most of it is phenomenal. This second album from Quella Vecchia Locanda always seems to get very (VERY) high reviews, and I finally ponied up a little more cash than I'm normally comfortable with to grab a copy of this cd from an auction. After a few good listens, I'm just not lovin' this....

I enjoy classical music about as much as I enjoy rock and jazz; I agree that this is a nice melding of those musical genres. I like the violin touches, and the warm, soft vocals. And the players seem to be very proficient on their respective instruments.'s almost too tame for me. (Another reviewer used the word "polite".) At its quietest moments, it resembles acoustic baroque chamber music with vocals - not my personal favorite shtuff. Also, a number of songs seem to end rather awkwardly - either too fast fadeouts, or just plain too abruptly. Plus, this is only 34 minutes long. (I spent almost a buck a minute for this cd!)

The second half of the cd is a little more traditionally proggy, which is what I was hoping for more of. It's not a bad cd overall, and I certainly found a few moments of greatness here and there; but I'm having trouble justifying the superlatives that others have lavished on this. I will continue to listen and seek enlightenment from this album; but for now, I'm gonna send out this little caveat of a review to protect other potential victims of over-hype...

3-1/2 stars for me.

Report this review (#2440056)
Posted Friday, August 21, 2020 | Review Permalink

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