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Angelo Branduardi - Futuro Antico IV CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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2 stars My reviews of Angelo Branduardi's Futuro Antico series has probably not earned me any Christmas cards from Angelo and his fans. But frankly, they are not my cup of tea and I also really struggle to find much artistic value in them.

On the fourth Futuro Antico album (out of total five... I am not purchasing the fifth one), Angelo is following the concept laid down on the three previous albums. That is some baroque instrument aka the 1600th century over some folk music standards from around Europe. Mostly Italy, I guess. Angelo's vocals is excellent and so is the instrumental work too. The quality of the songs leaves a lot to be desired. Listening to this album is like watching paint dry to be honest. It is blood vessels without blood. The music here is dull....... and commercial. But I fail to see much artistic value in this and I am therefore not amused at all.

Enough said before I am starting to count the amount of squares and circles on the wallpaper in sheer boredom.

2 stars

Report this review (#308772)
Posted Sunday, November 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The fourth episode of the Futuro Antico series is inspired to the Carnival of Venice. Apart of the first track, the others are short songs from different authors grouped by theme to form 4 longer songs.

The opener is a hymn to Venice described as a "virgin queen of freedom" composed by Baldassarre Donato, who was singer and composer and "maestro" at the court of Venice in 16th Century. The lyrics are repeated twice and the music is not yet baroque because of medieval leid influence. Some passages are quite interesting as not much used in today's music.

The second "group" (Lo Scherzo) contains three songs of Adriano Willaert who was teacher of Baldasarre Donato and one of Vincenzo Bellaver. The first was a Fleming musician who went to Italy in 1510. Pay some attention to his signatures: I can't call him proto-prog but his rhythms are very irregular. Vincenzo Bellaver was instead the equivalent of a pop star. His "Giustiniane" are shor songs in dialect with lot of sexual double senses intended for a popular audience. His song is about three old men and a prostitute. Bellaver is funny but Willaert is really better.

The third group "Le Maschere" (The masks) is made of three parts. The first, quite uninteresting, from Adriano Banchieri, a monk from Bologna, more known as organist than as composer. The Willaert's middle part is really better. It's more complex and proto-proto- proto-prog. As some other compositions of this album is written by Claudio Monteverdi who's one of the most respectable and famous Italian authors of the early 17th Century. The last is another effort by Willaert, recognizable by the syncopated rhythm.

The fourth group "Sogno D'Amore (Love Dream)" is started by a song of Francesco Patavino. usually author of "sacred" music. His song has a medieval flavor and effectively he lived between 15th and 16th Century. To my tastes it's the best of the album. Flaminio Corradi was author of sacred music but the only printed thing is a profane release from which this song about "kisses" is extracted. It's followed by a three voices madrigal of few more than one minute composed by Andrea Gabrieli, another author from the 16th Century. The anonymous song is nothing else than "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "Baa Baa Black Sheep". It's effectively a serenade to some Lady Nina (not the Marillion's one likely). Let's say that it has been used even by Mozart.

"Croce Delizia D'Amore" sees again Bellaver and Monteverdi as authors. Closer to baroque, this group has a highlight in the second song that's composed by Domenico Bianchini but is a "cover" of a song of the French composer "de Sermisy".

The last group is a collection of three dances and it's closer to the usual Branduardi's music.

As the other albums of the Futuro Antico series, this is an album of classical music with nothing progressive inside. It would deserve to be mentioned (and maybe it is) on a classical music site but if you are looking for RPI and are usually not interested in things like Blackmore's Night or early Pentangle this is not your pot. Anyway it's a good album and should you look for something different why not this?

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Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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