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Zauber Zauber [Aka: Il sogno] album cover
3.43 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

Tracks on 1989 VM CD "Il sogno"
1. Valzer su Bach (3:49)
2*. Liliana (3:02)
3. Canzone per un?amica (3:46)
4. Glockenturn (3:26)
5. Dietro la collina (6:42)
6. Riflessioni (3:22)
7. Spleen (5:59)
8*. Id (3:25)
9. Deimos (5:10)
10*. Il sogno (2:26)

Total Time 41:07

Tracks on 2000 BTF/VM CD "Zauber"
1. Valzer su Bach (3:46)
2*. Ipotesi (2:33)
3. Glockenturm (3:31)
4. Canzone per un'amica (3:45)
5*. Liliana (2:52)
6. Dietro la collina (6:31)
7*. ID (3:23)
8. Riflessioni (3:23)
9. Deimos (5:09)
10. Spleen (5:58)
11*. Il sogno (2:25)

Total Time 43:16

* - bonus tracks on 1989 and 2000 CD
** - bonus track on 2000 CD

Line-up / Musicians

- Mauro Cavagliato / bass, guitars, keyboards (on "Id")
- Liliana Bodini / lead vocals, percussion, guitars
- Claudio Bianco / drums, organ (on "Glockenturn"), harmonica
- Paolo Clari / keyboards, acoustic guitar (on "Glockenturn"), percussion
- Anna Galliano / piano, electric piano, flutes, metallophone

- Oscar Giordanino / synthesizers on "Liliana", "Glockenturn" and "Il sogno"
- Massimo Cavagliato / drums on "Liliana"
- Giulio Arpinati / cello on "Valzer su Bach"
- Boris Poziakov / cello on "Il sogno"

Releases information

LP Mu UM 104 (1978, contains 7 tracks, pressed in 500 copies)

CD Vinyl Magic VM010 (1989, entitled "Il sogno", different tracks' order, contains 3 bonus tracks)
CD BTF / Vinyl Magic VM010 (2000, different tracks' order, contains 4 bonus tracks)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ZAUBER Zauber [Aka: Il sogno] ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ZAUBER Zauber [Aka: Il sogno] reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars "Il Sogno" is a low-rated album in several reviews, but I disagree. There aren't hiper-elaborated structures here, but music flows so sweet and so soft, and melodies are so beautiful, that I must rate it as well as I enjoy it. Lots of acoustic moments and very nice interplay between flute, xylophone, guitar and keyboards invites the listener to relax. Essentially instrumental, and almost never "hard", the few female singer intervention shows a weak point: Liliana Bodini's voice isn't great, but this topic isn't a real problem.

ZAUBER sounds (at least in this stuff, the only I've heard) like the most melodic PFM and remember me the CELESTE's delicated style (without Mellotron), but I dare to say that compositions are even more beautiful, although they are far to be so complex. "Il Sogno" was made in 1978, when prog music glory period was finishing in Italy, and this fact makes the album more valuable to me. All tracks are really enjoyable, and conform an excellent option for lovers of the melodic side of progressive music.

Review by The Prognaut
4 stars A highly underrated Milanese band that certainly has got its place in prog history. Whether their music is spectacular or not, the proposal is very clear though, to make every instrument sound off individually wonderful. The folkloric Italian elements flourish beautifully for almost 42 minutes, acoustic guitars flying through compassed chords, a piano striking exceptionally intertwined (difficultly arranged to my concern), flutes intromissions all around and whenever the synths let there be interludes in between. ZAUBER fits perfectly into any type of mood, it's got harmonious entwined passages and randomly executed moments that will make you stick around until the album is over. Then, you'll play it all over again.

The first two tracks are instrumental, so you can allow yourself to pay more attention to each one of the instruments separately. "Valzer su BACH" takes off very well orchestrated with an impetuous piano and a rather dark violoncello (played by guest musician Giulio ARPINATI), that as the songs moves on, enlighten a better view to crafted sounds out of rhythmic synths and quietly clattered drums. "Liliana" has this peculiar dialogue between acoustic guitars where almost unperceivable bass tunes break in between the strings conversation making the song even easier to digest.

"Canzone per un' amica" starts rather the same as its couple of predecessors, but with a flute variation that turns the song into a quite enjoyable experience. Liliana BODINI's voice is mellow yet paused, and it sort of slows down the process of the interpretation all along the lyrics that happen to be insignificantly corny and freakishly short. There's a three minute guitar prelude named "Glockenturm" to get to "Dietro la Collina", that to my concern, is the best piece in this late seventies album. The song is inexplicably aggressive in the beginning, and it kind of brings out the beautiful in Liliana's voice, making what is left of the track sound incomparably great to the rest of the album. The constant struggle between both piano and percussions is marvelous, Liliana's grand finale throughout deep and dark vocalizations is remarkably outstanding. A great song undoubtedly.

It took me quite few sessions of constant listening to "Il Sogno" to realize I had to dissect this album in two separate parts. The first half, which I have just described to you; is plagued of assorted emotions and instrumented improvisations, while the rest of the album is magically orchestrated, where the same piano and guitars sound off spectacularly different. It is impressive, almost pure. "Spleen" keeps up the battling spirit of that piano and percussions I just told you about, but there's this strange, almost pleasant twist, that changes the panorama instantly into a whole new kind of music that makes you wonder if you're still listening to the same band. "Id" is a soft piece that roams through melodic guitars and a sweet flute that keeps the good company of a schmaltzy piano. In the other hand, we have the unmistakable psychedelic touch every seventies respectable production had to have, represented throughout "Deimos", another instrumental piece that claims for absolute attention when listening to it. Skilful pianist Anna GALLIANO proved she could take it on here.

ZAUBER is an interesting band that proposes constant feedback when being listened to, it's the kind of unknown band to you that will get to earn a spot between your prog preferences, making every time you pop the CD in an incomparable experience. This music challenges the most adventurous prog listeners not to compare sounds through the usual channels, but to enjoy and relax. If you're into constant prog rock rediscovery, ZAUBER is the band for you.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Zauber's only historical release is a rather symphonic prog adventure typical of the late 70's synths allowed to make. Two KB players and a feast of Moogs but I find that the energy is very absent much like Barclay James Harvest of those years or Renaissance. Apparently , there are four bonus tracks but unspecified of which Apoteosi is one but since it sits second in the running order....... the other ones are..... your guess is as good as mine. As for the sound, it is very correct but lacks depth (remark about the energy), the tracks glide by , sometimes drawing your attention and at times (not that many) boring you.

This group is overly symphonic for my taste but will please people who like a sort of Italian Renaissance.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Zauber claim five studio albums in their discography, but this is the only one released back when they were first formed in the seventies. Three others are made up of demos, rarities and other material that was unreleased until the band reformed in the nineties. The group supposedly closed out their career for good with a 2001 studio recording titled ‘Profondo Blu’, but resurfaced once again five years later with ‘Draghi e Vampiri’. As far as I know they’re probably still at the task of making music today.

I’ve heard some of the nineties reissued stuff, and most is a bit on the weak side so it’s understandable why it was never released when it was originally recorded in the seventies. The arrangements aren’t particularly progressive and the tempo of most tracks is closer to lounge-act music than to either prog or folk.

This album is striking in its differences though. First, most of the songs here are unhurried, with intricate piano and what sounds like a clavinet making a beautiful sound that the percussion and synths just sort of play in and around. I think the clavinet-sounding thing might be a xylophone or glockenspiel. Both of these are credited in the liner notes, so it must be one of them. And also the few songs like the title track where the tempo does pick up still manage to retain that folksy feel instead of lapsing into a weird form of easy-listening music like ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Est’.

“Dietro la Collina” is the most charming piece, with its light and airy piano accented by the xylospiel (or whatever it is) and an almost humorous oddly-timed stark snare drum beat that at times seems completely unassociated with the rest of the music, but the whole thing works somehow.

Vocalist Liliana Bodini isn’t as prominent as she would be on the records released in the nineties, and in fact even when she does sing on tracks like “Riflessione Spleen” the instruments dominate and she plays only a fleeting and secondary role. That works quite well actually, and I like the sound more than on ‘Phoenix’ where she seems to be trying too hard to carry the band (and doesn’t need to). By the way, I don’t speak or read Italian but any song whose title translates to roughly ‘Reflections on a spleen’ must have some really interesting lyrics.

I’m not sure if this is a concept album or even one with a common theme, but with a title like ‘Il Sogno’ (the Dream) one could reasonable make that assumption.

In any case, “Id” is short but is a beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental with more of the xylospiel and I think maybe a cello (or the synthesized equivalent of one), while “Deimos” (moon) is more strident with stilted organ riffs and soft but almost martial-sounding percussion. This track definitely has a xylophone and it seems to be dueting with the piano through most of the song. Very pleasant if not overly complex.

Zauber are another largely forgotten seventies act that has had a few minor resurgences over the subsequent thirty years or so since their original breakup. The sound is easy to listen to but not overly stunning or ground-breaking. I like it as background music, and have this one on the stack of CDs that are appropriate enough to play in my office without headphones. Not quite Muzak, but mellow and classical enough to not offend anyone who might happen to walk by. That in itself is good for three stars I suppose, but no more.


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