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Angelo Branduardi - Futuro Antico V CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars As all the albums of the "Futuro Antico" series, this is a compilation of classical music. In this case we start in Venice in 17th Century.

More than a Branduardi album, this should be considered as a collaboration between him and the orchestra "Ensemble Scintille di Musica" directed by Francesca Torelli.

The tracks are grouped by "arguments", so there are 4 distinct "movements" but this is not so evident in the music so let's ignore it.

The first track is an instrumental of Carlo Pallavicino (1640-1688) Organist in Venice and "Kapellmeister" (Chapel Master) in Dresden, then back to Italy. His music is conformantg to the actual standards in terms of melody and rhythms. A typical product of his times.

Going one century back with a song by Michele Pesenti (1470-1524 about) is a natural place where Branduardi can put his voice. Also the fact that the song was composed by a lutist creates a strong connection with Angelo's natural musical environment.

Another song of the 15th Century from Farncesco Varoter (death 1502) for lute and classical guitar. It's a song about the vanity of life from the point of view of a corpse....for who likes this kind of Medievefal folk. Think to Pentangle or Stephen Grossman.

Bartolomeo Tromboncino (1470-1535 about) is an interesting character. He was a criminal who also murdered his wife and had problems wherever he went but was very able in getting the favors of the powerful men so he finished at the court of Lucrezia Borgia. Musically his genre was the predecessor of madrigals and he later became a madrigalist. Tromboncino is not his real name. He got this nick because he was a trombonist. Who is familiar with the early Branduardi could think that this is an original Branduardi's modern composition if it wasn't for the archaic Italian lyrics.

Benedetto Ferrari (1597-1681) is deeply in Renaissance. He was famous as theorbo player. This is one of the less "easy" songs of this collection and respect to the previous songs it seems to be less suitable for Angelo's voice.

"Gioco La Cossa..." has an anonymous author. Apparently it's between the 15th and 16th centuries. it has the rhythm of the 16th but the melody is quite medieval. It's an excellent instrumental for who likes the genre. I don't know if Angelo plays anything on this track.

17th Century now. Pietro Andrea ZIani (1616 - 1684) was organist and priests and is mostly known for his contribution in exporting the opera to Austria. This composition is just a minuet very "standard" for Venice in that century. Not very impressive.

A short anonymous with lyrics in Venician preceeds a very nice classical guitar piece. I was quite sure that it's played by Angelo who is mainly a violinist but also an excellent guitarist, but Branduardi is credited only for the vocals, so it's likely Francesca Torelly who plays. The author was a lutist born in Milan in the middle of 15th Century. This is almost all that we know about him. This very good instrumental was probably a dance. For lovers of classical guitar.

Baldassarre Donato (1525-1603) is the author of this which is one of the best compositions of this collection. "Progressive" respect to his times.

Next there's a madrigal of Vincenzo Bellaver (1540-1587), not the best album's thing in my opinion.

A big classical guitar played like a harp? Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger born from German parents in Venice (1580-1651) has been a very prolific composer, especially for "Chitarrone", a sort of big guitar with 14 unpaired strings.

Francesco Varoter was probably "Francesco D'Ana", organist also known as Franciscus Venetus who lived between 15th and 16th century. This excellent "Chi Vi Dara' Piu' Luce" has been composed around the year 1505.

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643) is probably the most well known madrigals composer. His "Laudate Dominum" is of course a madrigal which combines the polyphony typical of the Renaissance music with the "continuous bass" of the baroque. Later he became one of the first opera composers. The use of trumpet on part of this track is an unusual element.

Alessandro Grandi (1586 - 1630) was Monteverdi's assistant and his music is early baroque. This is a good love song just a bit too bass for Angelo's vocal pitch. He was a victim of the plague.

Another Monteverdi's madrigal. As madrigals have always been the principal source of inspiration for Angelo Branduardi, this song is not too distant from the early Branduardi's "modern" works, specially in his early albums.

A cymbal-based short instrumental from Varoter follows. It's only because of my proggy ears, but listening to this track I'm expecting to see Ian Anderson coming out suddenly.

Vincenzo Calestani (1589 - about 1617) is another madrigalist. This track is slow and sad. Very atmospheric.

Cipriano De Rore (1515 - 1565) was a Fleming composer. This madrigal is sung by a soprano and the French-Fleming school influence is clear. This song has I think a lot of contact points with prog. (well, effectively it's vice-versa).

"Damigella Tutta Bella" is the most famous song of "Vincenzo Calenzani". If I didn't know, I could have easily thought that it was a Branduardi's song. Mr Blackmore surely knows it as well.

As the opener, also the closer is by Carlo Pallavicino. Just 1 minute and half of Venetian baroque.

Please forgive me if I have taken the opportunity of this album to make a bit of "history", but I think that knowing some about the composer helps in better appreciating the composition. What does this album have to do with prog? Very few effectively. Apart of some songs which have parts that can be found in the music of Branduardi, Blackmore's Night, Pentangle and Malicorne, this is an album of classical music. I go for two stars only for this reason.

If this wasn't a prog site it would have been a 3 stars album.

So good, non-essential, but most of all, not prog.

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Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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