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Angelo Branduardi - Futuro Antico II CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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3 stars Chamber Rock Progressivo Italiano ?

The second installment in the Futuro Antigo series by Angelo Branduardi is thankfully taking a much more instrumental route than the first installment. This time around, the music is chamber music. That is, chamber music based on a fusion between baroque classical music, folk music and Angelo's vocals. Add his ability to make good music too. I am by no means disputing the fact that Angelo Branduardi is an excellent composer and musician. But most of the times, he does not make music I like.

The set up here is Angelo Branduardi + a classical orchestra. This album was released through EMI's classical record label division. This label though is misleading. I would not call this classic music at all. Although this album is based on many suites and therefore may point in the direction of classic music and symphonic prog, the suites is pretty simple and uncomplicated. At times, they are almost like child rhymes. But they are more sophisticated most of the time though. But the music will never trouble those who are into heavy, complicated baroque or classical music. Light entertainment, is what I call it.

The quality though is pretty good throughout. The music is not anywhere near RPI though and please beware if you consider buying this album if you are into PFM and Banco. You will be disappointed. But in it's own right, the music is good, Angelo's voice is excellent and this is not a waste of time or money. I like this album on it's own merits and I have a sweet spot for Angelo's music.

3 stars

Report this review (#300528)
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Giorgio Mainerio is an Italian musician and composer of the XVI Century and even though this orchestral album is considered a studio album, it was effectively recorded live in a cathedral in the north of Italy. A trivia about Mainerio: A comics series published in Italy is inspired to Mainerio. It's entitled "The Bewitched Musician".

Then the first surprise: listen to the first song "Schiarazula Marazula"(who the hell knows what it means..) and you will find where both Blackmore's Night "All For One" and Branduardi's "Ballo in Fa Diesis Minore" are from. No problems, after 5 Centuries the copyright is expired. However this orchestral version is better than the two songs together.

"Ballo Milanese" (Milanese Dance) is a madrigal. In general this kind of music was performed by very small ensembles but in this kind the rich orchestral arrangement makes it sound extremely good even to proggy ears.

"Suite Anglese" (English Suite) starts with trumpets and horns. Who has enjoyed Ant Phillips "The Geese and The Ghost" will surely enjoy some original music from the English Renaissance. Let's say that it seems that Mainerio's Father is thought to be Scottish (Mayner was transformed into Mainerio) and he probably knew the British music of that time very well. Angelo sings in 16th Century's English a very sweet melody.

If I didn't know that "Suite La Parma" is a song written by Mainerio I would think that it was a Branduardi's song. Angelo sings and plays classical guitar. It has some similarities with "Il Funerale" and is incredibly modern respect to when it was written. It's another good surprise from this album. The lyrics say "Leonetta, life is waiting for you. I give you the shoes to dance it". The song changes from a sad melodic theme to a typical Renaissance dance. The use of a didgeridoo is notable. I don't think it was used in the original composition.

"Suite D'Angleterre" (Suite of England, to distinguish it from English Suite) is sung in French, instead by Branduardi and a choir. The language gives it a touch of Provence.

"Suite Dell'Arboscello" (little tree suite) alternates symphonic orchestral parts and Leid moments played with medieval popular instruments like dulcimer, bombarda and horns, then Angelo sings with the excellent background vocals of Sara Modiglioni. What was apparently French now appears to be a dialect of the Italian north-east (Mainiero lived in Friuli close to the current border with Slovenija).

"Suite Tedesca e Ungaresca" could be translated as Austro-Hungarian suite. It's the track which sounds more "Medieval", or at least "Popular" as popular music evolved later because was actually played by minstrels and actors. It contains a great part of classical guitar which would made blink Steve Hackett's eyes. When the guitar stops there's an orchestral part, still a lead including flute, didgeridoo, percussions and dulcimer. It's like the author has assigned a small solo to all the instruments, like the closure of a rock gig. In the last two minutes Angelo sings in some German dialect with a strange latin accent. I think it's not a spelling defect, probably that language sounded really in this way.

"Suite Francese" (French Suite) is excellent in the symphonic and sung parts; a bit less good is the opening leid part. Again Angelo and Sara sing in French.

"Suite della Paganina" is a typical Renaissance leid. Something good for Blackmore's Night and Branduardi's fans, but what makes it excellent is the strings arrangement. The central part when percussions and who knows which kind of instrument play a part with an odd signature are very "modern". Didgeridoo appears even on this song. The sung part is very good. The lyrics are about escaping from a revenge, probably inspired to something really happened.

In few words, if you want to discover a classical author and his music precursor of Genesis, check this album. I think it's an excellent addition to any prog collection because it's where a lot of prog is from. Not a masterpiece of progressive rock, of course, as it's just classical music from the Renaissance, but it deserves all the 4 stars that I'm giving it.

Report this review (#603473)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

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