Prog Folk

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Faveravola Contea Dei Cento Castagni album cover
3.85 | 37 ratings | 9 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. L'Antefatto (4:50)
2. Lo Specchio (7:40)
3. La Contea dei Cento Castagni (4:40)
4. La Foresta degli Elfi Alati (9:12)
5. L'Incontro (4:45)
6. Il Sogno (4:36)
7. La Piana dei Temoli del Livenza (9:44)
8. Lo Scontro (7:43)
9. Danza di Messer Reale e Madonna Fantasia (4:21)
10. Leggenda della Foglia, della Vita e del Vento (4:46)
11. Neorinascimento (5:31)
12. La Strada ai Confini di ... (5:08)

Total Time: 73:03


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Consuelo Marco / violin
- Giancarlo Nicorelli / keyboards
- Alessandro Bonotto / acoustic guitar
- Adriano Durighetto / bass
- Paolo Coltro / drums, percussion
- Gianluca Tassi / electric guitar
- Franco Violo & Tiziana / vocals

- Aldo Tagliapietra / narration

Releases information

CD Lizard Records LDV 001 (2006)

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FAVERAVOLA Contea Dei Cento Castagni ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FAVERAVOLA Contea Dei Cento Castagni reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Faveravola's debut is a mellow and gentle symphonic effort with strong reminiscences of the italian symphonic tradition but more melodic and soft, as it clearly appears since the very first minute of the opener "L'Antefatto". Vintage keyboards never become too loud but build up dreamy soundscapes along with some sparkling and sparse electric guitar's incursions as in the interesting "La Foresta degli Elfi Alati". The band clearly takes inspiration from the classic, from the softer side of Le Orme to the medieval-folky vein of Angelo Branduardi and even remebering famous proto-prog acts such as The Moody Blues (the band also played in some tribute cds).

As I said, the album is generally more symphonic than folky but the most peculiar thing does not lie in music or in arrengements. The unusual alternating between singing by Franco Violo (ex Asgard) and narration by keyboardist Giancarlo Nicorelli. The story is about the imaginery journey of a medieval knight and it's important to remember the guest appearence of Aldo Tagliapietra (Le Orme's voice and bass player) who provides recitative vocals as the spirit of the Livenza river in the "La Piana dei Temoli del Livenza".

All in all a relaxing opus with no harder parts, despite some "serious" electric guitar playing in "La Foresta degli Elfi Alati" (as I said) and in "Lo Scontro". Keyboards are never bombastic.

P.S. this is the first record to be published under the "Locanda del Vento"'s label which was thought by the lizardrecords' boss as containing the gentler side of italian contemporary prog bands.

A nice one that surely will please many.


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Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This is a new Italian band but the musicians are veterans who made already music in the Seventies. Their debut CD is a concept featuring Aldo Tagliapietra from legendary Le Orme doing the narration. The 12 melodic and tasteful arranged compositions sound very pleasant with the emphasis on creating a warm atmosphere by lush organ waves, sensitive electric guitar and inspired vocals. To me the songs evoke the debut albums by Men Of Lake and Abiogenesi and the sound of famous Seventies Italian Prog bands Metamorfosi (album E Fiu Il Geste Giorno) and Celeste. The integration of instruments like the violin, acoustic guitar and flute give the music folky and Medieval overtones, on those moments you can dream away by the wonderful cover painting featuring a night on a horse who is on his way up to a castle in a green landscape. In general the music sounds mellow and dreamy but some tracks contain bombastic eruptions or accellarations delivering powerful soli on organ and guitar. My highlights are La Foresta Degli Elfi Alati (beautiful interplay between guitar and organ), La Piana Dei Temoli Del Livenza (compelling with soaring keyboards and moving violin), Danza Di Messer Reale E Madonna Fantasia (wonderful harspsichord-like sound in Medieval climate), Leggenda Delle Foglia (alternating with strong vocals and a great synthesizer solo) and the bombastic Neorinascimento (propulsive with fiery guitar solo and powerful organ waves). Don't expect complex music like Gentle Giant, virtuosic soli like ELP or dynamic songs like Rush, just enjoy the warm and pleasant atmosphere, perhaps we can create the category 'pastoral prog' for this beautiful music! My rating: 3,5 stars.


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Review by tszirmay
5 stars Our two "Prog Archives" colleagues from Italy, both named Andrea (Salvador and Cortese) have every reason to crow once again, as their storied country has come up with another fine prog nugget. Sadly, outside of the recent PFM-Stati and La Maschera di Cera's Luxade , both massively impressive releases, nothing really new has come out of the Italian school for quite a while now. I thought winning the World Cup would fire up their musical juices but I guess they are still too busy victory-partying. They know how to live, let me tell you! Faveravola proposes a rare, over 60 minute long CD, where the overall mood is very respectful of the "tradizione", with a somewhat muffled old-school production, crushingly beautiful melodies crammed with tons of hooks, lots of Michael Giles influenced cymbal work, evocative lead guitar solos, bewitching flute and numerous violin details, mounds of classic vintage analog keyboards and way above average vocals courtesy of ex-Asgard Franco Violo. This is dressed up in a Medieval- Renaissance veneer, beautifully evoked with the rather splendid fairy-tale artwork (gorgeous booklet and cover) and featuring riveting Italian Folk "Canzioni"(Songs) of the highest order. The proceedings kick off (soccer pun!) with a stellar opener, setting the table with an achingly simple main theme, pied-pipered by a lively flute that you swear you may have heard before, churning organ and Eminent (a much heralded Italian version of a string-synth), crisp guitar playing, steady bass and drums prancing the tune along. Because of the occasional narration, all 12 tracks pleasantly flow in harmonious continuity, with special mention to the 4 epics (between 7 and 10 minutes in length), the first being "Lo Specchio" and its where this CD really takes off, a romantic extended foray into pure Italian Symphonic prog of the highest caliber, reminiscent of CAP, LeOrme, Malibran etc., with a shiveringly emotive vocals , a bolero-like motif ending with a 4 minute long guitar led instrumental flight, leading to a long violin solo of exquisite beauty. Wow! The title cut is where Violo's vocal prowess graces center stage with sheer delicacy and supreme passion, coated again in a highly orchestral violin-led arrangement, ending with "la musica.la mia ragione."! Whispering children introduce "La Foresta degli Elfi Alati", a full scale 9 minute blow out, featuring a bewitching bluesy jam (picture a Traffic-Tull hybrid but in Italian), with a brazen Hammond leading the way, making room for some juicy guitar caresses and liquid flute flights, this is exceptional quality prog! But it only gets better! With "L'Incontro", the pace continues unabated, a folky acoustic piece that edges towards the medieval madrigal, with female-male vocals dueling with ebullient passion. "Il Sogno" is another major highlight, a beguiling melody with a hook the size of the Coliseum, a befuddling piece that exudes simplicity, charm and elegance. The next piece is the core jewel, a romantic 9 minute mini-operetta featuring more intense narration and the guest vocal participation of Le Orme's legendary Aldo Tagliapietra, with a dreamy orchestral backdrop of violin, flute, piccolo and gentle percussion. Only Italians could pull off such delicate splendor. Rainstorm effects and a call to duel prepares the rockiest epic track, "Lo Scontro", a colossal operatic prog-aria, with the Hammond conducting once again, more bluesy guitar leads, aching violin support and more kick ass vocals from Signore Violo, who is a true revelation. A magical harpsichord-led pastoral minuet dance piece is next up, another Renaissance nod to the rich folk tradition, with the dual sexed vocals that are so characteristic of this type of musical genre. Already 10 tracks in and no weakness, no filler and like a good Italian dinner, it just goes on and on, one great dish after another. The final 3 tracks nail down the "cinque stelle" (five stars): "Legenda" features a nifty and nagging synth solo that is unexpected and deliriously effective. "Neorinascimento" is another extraordinary vocal gymnastic routine that score high both on artistic and technical merit, adding a slippery lead guitar solo to the pot. The curtain goes down on the final piece, a piano/violin-led gentle ballad with plaintive vocals, majestic peaks and valleys, wind effects and the last words being "Il tuo cuore": your heart. Amazing


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Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A pleasant journey.

Many of us listen to albums that are "foreign language" to us personally and speaking for myself, I am generally able to enjoy them as much (or more) than albums in my own tongue. Italian albums are some of my favorite prog albums. But there is an important distinction that applies to this album. When listening to prog in a language other than our own, the music must really touch us since we are missing out on the story and lyrical content.

Faveravola's "La Contea" is a hugely ambitious journey of an album with 12 tracks spanning 73 minutes, a large team of musicians, and a wonderful booklet detailing the story. The problem for those who don't speak Italian is that we cannot understand the unfolding story through the continuous vocals and narration, and we cannot read the lyric booklet which is in Italian only. That is not usually a problem for enjoying an album because with most Italian albums the music is great enough to win us over anyway. In fact on most of the many non-English albums I love I am quickly won over and don't really care that the lyrics are lost on me, the music is the big prize.

Not so in this case, I'm afraid. This album is really about the story with the music being secondary. Don't get me wrong. The music is pleasant, well played, and easy going. But it's just a background for the story. Most of the music is just nicely done soft rock with a steady beat and safe, somewhat generic new-agey mood, and really not that remarkable. Occasionally someone will break out with a lovely interlude or an impressive guitar solo but those moments are few and far between. It's just not going to knock you out like your favorite PFM or QVL album. Now if you are looking solely for that mellow, pastoral experience to relax to then maybe this will work for you. But even for that objective there would be preferable releases to this one.

I am not dissing what seems a perfectly pleasant piece of work by dedicated artists. But I am suggesting that if you are looking for the best Italian progressive and you do not speak Italian to get the story being told, then there are literally many dozens of other titles that should command your attention before you buy this one. But you have to love the fabulous cover art!


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Review by kenethlevine
5 stars It took 30+ years for Italian progressive rock to produce the mellow yet potent masterpiece that is Faveravola's debut. The band's members are mostly veterans of the scene who have seen it all - the symphonic sweeps of Celeste, the bombastness of Le Orme, the devilish organs of Metamorfosi and New Trolls, the Hammond-nostalgia of Men of Lake and plenty of Anglo influences like Procol Harum and the Moody Blues. But what Italian prog so often failed to do was pay homage to the folk idiom, which is where Faveravola has earned its place, influenced by countless artists unknown to this writer, but also reminiscent of Horslips and Tri Yann, to name an Irish and Breton giant among others. In addition, while the aforementioned all know something of romance, and romantic fantasy in the broad sense, Faveravola revels in it in a way reminiscent of Eris Pluvia and Hostsonaten, but magnified n-fold and conveyed in Italian.

It is rare that any album contains so many gorgeous and timeless melodies that many listens will be required to absorb its full breadth. Luckily this is not a chore but a blessing. The rich production and the delicate fullness are a reward each time. The vocals are mixed just right. The organs are splendorous and often dominant. Several of the longer pieces show considerable development and tend to rock out a bit more, in particular "La Foresta Degli elfi alati", which is where echoes of the great Irish masters Horslips can be discerned. It is also one of the tracks where the flutes are on display, necessarily evoking Jethro Tull. "Lo Specchio" is one of the showcases for Consuelo Marco's fragile violin not to mention a slightly martial percussive quality, but it also includes some of the album's more expressive lead guitar licks by Gianluca Tassi. The outro is thankfully laid back and unwilling to be rushed. The fiddle and the narrative aspects of this release remind me of the excellent "Inner Dragon" by the current French group Silver Lining, but this one is more consistent and benefits from the use of the native tongue. The title cut is also a dripping gem, while "L'incontro" benefits from the insertion of female vocals for variety in timbre if not style.

"Il Sogno" is like "A Whiter Shade of Pale", or Procol's "Homburg" gone Mediterranean and even more textured than the originals. The main melody on organ may not be the album's best, but it might be the hardest to get out of your head afterwards. The only song where an understanding of Italian would have helped me is "La Piana dei Temoli del Livenza". Even narration from Aldo Tagiliapietra of Le Orme cannot keep me from becoming restless over the course of 9 minutes. But "La Scontro" is a real rocker that provides the necessary pickup. Again featuring a bombastic and insistent organ riff and superb vocal contributions from Franco Violo, it recalls the masters of the 70s while proudly proclaiming itself, much in the manner of Men of Lake a decade or so ago. The lead guitars shine again as well. In its 7 and a half minutes it transitions through a variety of moods, including a romantic violin led segment to return to the original statement skillfully.

The most medieval sounding tune is "Danza di Messer Reale e Madonna Fantasia" which is led by luscious harpsichord, and reminds me so much of Tri Yann, the great Breton folk rock group, that I simply have to mention it. I dare say even non folk fans could be moved by the progressive production and layering on this lovely piece. "Leggenda della Foglia, della Vita e del Vento" is another majestic song with plenty of grandiose vocals, flutes and keys, while "Neorinascimento" starts off like another ballad before moving several notches up tempo, and reminds me of the wonderful one off by "Foglie di Vetro" from the early 90s. The rhythm guitars provide a welcome muscularity while remaining in a polite exchange with the gentler parts. The album closes with the mostly reflective and all emotional "La Strada ai Confini di...", whose three dots hopefully signify the end to this installment only. The middle part is absolutely cracking, where Violo really cuts loose.

Certainly the album of 2008 for me, Faveravola's debut will be hard to beat. If you love the ancient, the old and the new blended together and can handle mellow folk oriented symphonic prog with mere shards of heaviness, it could become a favorite for you too.


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Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Faveravola were found around 2002 in Treviso by keyboardist Giancarlo Nicorelli, bassist Adriano Durighetto, drummer Paolo Coltro and guitarist Alessandro Bonotto, all music veterans, who have performed with small bands in Italy during the 70's.The line-up was completed with ex-Asgard singer Franco Violo, Black Jester's Gianluca Tassi on electric guitars and Consuelo Marcon on violin.Based on a fantasy story with strong autobiographical notes written by Nicorelli, Faveravola debuted in 2006 with the album ''La contea dei cento castagni'', released on Lizard.Appearing in the album, delivering some narration parts, is also Le Orme's ex-leader Aldo Tagliapietra.

''La contea dei cento castagni'' is a beautiful album of gentle and emotional Italian Symphonic Rock with lots of pastoral passages, sometimes close to the likes of CELESTE, though always offered through a very professional and well-crafted musicianship.The whole atmosphere recall the glory days of the 70's, with vintage-influenced groups like IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE or ERIS PLUVIA being good comparisons.The excellent arrangements with symphonic colors and folky overtones are characterized by dreamy organ and synth washes, extremely melodic violin drives and delicate flute parts, while Violo prooves to be the best choice behind the microphone with his ultra-sensitive voice.Electric guitars are used with measure and the album contains also plenty of atmospheric acoustic touches, often with a Medieval flavor.There is not much complexity in ''La contea dei cento castagni'', still the long tracks contain tons of variations with changing themes, from more dramatic lyrical sections to laid-back yet amazing musicianship.No need to mention some great melodies in the best Italian tradition are also included in this work.And the band shows a tremendous ability to transport its folky musical approach to the contemporary music stylings with comfort.

Faveravola appeared also in two compilation albums of the Musea label, ''Dante's Paradiso: The Divine Comedy - Part III'' and '' Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part 1'', but no further news have been heard about the band since then, although it seemed they were working in a follow-up album around the time.Hopefully their first album is not also their last, but if so, be sure to grab one of the best examples of melodic Italian Symph/Folk Rock of the modern era.Great melodies, fantastic vocals, tight arrangements.No less than highly recommended.


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Latest members reviews

5 stars I came upon this album by chance. The naive yet charming cover art caught my attention first, then seeing the Italian title I presumed it was another RPI band I didn't know anything about, and so having a definite soft spot for RPI I bought it without questioning the clerk about it. And the fa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1379872) | Posted by MELNIBON╔ | Sunday, March 08, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Another fine album from Italy. For some reason I do not get, this band is listed as prog folk. Their music is Rock Progressivo Italiano through and through though. I feel the Rock Progressivo Italiano fans is missing out on a fine band here. Just some early morning grumbles from an office rat.. ... (read more)

Report this review (#568469) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Let me start of as this band debut cd is from italy,and they r prog-folk,Here we r taken on ride thru over 60 mins of muisc that is in italian.this is no jethro tull wannabes so to let u know this know.. this band reminds me of the band cast from mexicos singer and put into folks muisc except its ... (read more)

Report this review (#114425) | Posted by kiligian | Wednesday, March 07, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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