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Angelo Branduardi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Angelo Branduardi Alla Fiera dell'Est album cover
3.18 | 23 ratings | 6 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 - Alla fiera dell'est (5:22)
2 - La favola degli Aironi (3:43)
3 - Il vecchio e la farfalla (2:54)
4 - Canzone per Sarah (4:19)
5 - La serie dei numeri (4:28)
6 - Il dono del cervo (3:11)
7 - Il Funerale (8:06)
8 - L'uomo e la nuvola (3:44)
9 - Sotto il tiglio (2:52)
10 - Canzone del rimpianto (3:00)

Line-up / Musicians

Tiziana Botticini: Harp
Angelo Branduardi: Guitar, Violin, guitar Ottavino, Luth
Gigi Cappellotto: Electric bass
Bruno De Filippi: Buzuki, Cuica, Banjo, Sitar, Armonica bass
Maurizio Fabrizio: guitar, Luth
Mario Lamberti: Percussions
Gianni Nocenzi: Clarinet, Piano
Andy Surdi: Drums

Releases information


Thanks to micky for the addition
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ANGELO BRANDUARDI Alla Fiera dell'Est ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (61%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ANGELO BRANDUARDI Alla Fiera dell'Est reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars

Nice little folk record. A soft side of prog-folk, or even Italian prog, this one won't struck you as a very complex or technical or even daring or such similar nonsense, but it might haunt you for Branduardi's calm, declamative voice, concise and charming musical ideas and above all, the lyrics: it's nice to recognize Branduardi's philosophical approach - for example in a tune that tells a story about an old and tired man taking a nap under the tree, while on the other side of tree there was a butterfly, also sleeping. During their sleep, the old man was dreaming he was a butterfly, and a butterfly was dreaming he was an old men. A pure zen.

That might be a problem - if you're not abble to appreciate the lyrics, you'll be missing a lot - a mystical, numerlogical, almost alchemical 'La serie dei numeri' and simple and incredible 'Alla fiera dell'est' , which is, actually, exploating an old form of the poem or a story, often present in European folklore(s): a mouse, a cat that ate the mouse, a dog that attacked a cat, a man that beaten a dog, a weapon that wounded a cetera ad infinitum. Such a form is often a jawbreaker - I remember a similar one performed by a Italian folk ensemble VIOLAN while they were opening for JETHRO TULL on their Italian tour in 1997...

The music is mostly acoustic folk with renaissance overtones and prog rock ornaments. If you want a clue about a level of complexity/minstrelism, then PENTANGLE's Cruel Sister is a good reference point although this one sounds much less Celtic and much more...Italian (Branduardi even covered a PENTANGLE's song The Trees They Do Grow High, but that's another story.

A fine little Italian prog folk album. Worth half a star more...

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars This 3rd Branduardi album has been described in some quarters as his breakthrough. Since a breakthrough can be distinct from a peak, I cannot refute this claim, but I am more inclined to refer to it as a move in the right direction.

The style of soft folk rock a la RPI is already intact at this early date, but too many of the mellow songs are a bit too sleepy and even sappy without a strong melody to save them, a tendency he overcame in subsequent albums. In particular "La favola degli aironi", "Canzone per Sarah" and "L'uomo e la nuvola" all fail to impress apart from the man's dreamy voice. The album peaks just after the halfway point with the three best tracks being the lively "La serie dei numeri", the Andean influenced "Il dono del cervo", and the suite "Il Funerale" which begins with reflective harp, guitar and fiddle before segueing into an equally melancholy Celtic song that shows where Branduardi would focus in years to come. It's pretty much worth the price of the disk on its own. The rest of the tracks lie in between the weaker tunes and the highlights in quality.

This might be the best place to start if you are committed to discovering ANGELO BRANDUARDI chronologically, but not if you want to hear his most accomplished work. Still, highlights are frequent enough to qualify "Alla Fiera dell'Est" as a good album from a great performer.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars This is the album who made Angelo Branduardi famous to the Italian mainstream public. I still remember a TV show in which he was presented as a "singer-songwriter who comes from classic music". Well this is true even if they forgot to mention his strong link with medieval music, in particular British and Celtic. So this album, regardless its quality deserves a place in the musical history, at least the Italian.

The title track is taken from an Hebrew tale. It's about Dog Beating Cat Eating Mice....with God over Death over the end. What's remarkable is the violin solo in the middle of the song. This song was actually the breakthrough with the Italian public thanks to its folk theme not too far from the Italian folk, even if the way he was presented in that TV show contributed a lot to make him appeal.

"La Favola degli Aironi" is a dreamy fairytale, quite a lullaby. Looking carefully to the lyrics, I think it doesn't say anything, but it gives the impression of saying so much. It's just a sequence of images.

"Il Vecchio E La Farfalla" is another tale. Angelo was defined as a modern minstrel, and this kind of songs justifies this attribute. The story is about an old man and a butterfly , both sleeping. The man dreams of being a butterfly and vice versa.

"Canzone Per Sarah" continues the sequence of fairytales. Now about a woman singing a lullaby to a baby, speaking about sea and rain and so on.... whispered lyrics over classical guitar....another dreamy song.

"La Serie Dei Numeri" has a medieval flavour. It's a lead and also the lyrics have this mood. Somebody teahces the numbers to a child. "One is the Death..Two the oxes, Three the parts of the World..."

"Il Dono del Cervo" sounds Latin-American (Peru or Chile), but is another tale. A hunter finds a dying deer. The deer offers his body to the hunter as a gift. It was the B-side of the title track if I remember correctly and the second most famous song of the album.

"Il Funerale" (The Funeral) is the most progressive song, maybe th only one, of the whole album. The long instrumental intro is the best piece of music of the album. The only other Branduardi's song that has a similar mood: "Notturno" on "La Luna. The second half of the song has lyrics and is a very good song. The real album's highlight, at the level of the best Pentangle.

"L'Uomo E La Nuvola" (The Man and the Cloud) is another happy fairytale based on major chords.

"Sotto Il Tiglio" Continues on this way. It's a love song but "she" is a sort of magic being. I remember that the original sleeve contained the explanation and the origin of all the stories, but my "Nice Price" copy doesn't have them.

"Canzone del Rimpianto" closes the album and is IMO the weakest track. Maybe because after all those fairytales, this is one too much. Not so different form the others could have been saved for the following album.

In brief, this album could be considered essential in Branduardi's discography because of its historical importance, but is a step behind the previous "La Luna", and a little bit boring at the end. I think 3 stars is a honest rating.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the third Branduardi's record to date and contains the most famous song of all his productions: the title track. A folk-based-evergreen carol with increasingly faster rythms which is about the action-reaction theory (based on a hebrew poem): a mouse was eaten by a cat that was bited by a dog that was beated by a stick that was burnt by a fire that was extinguished by the water that was drunk by an ox that was killed by a butcher who was overwhelmed by the Angel of Death who was defeated by The Lord. A fascinating number.

Branduardi is helped by many valuable musicians: among others Maurizio Fabrizio (who later recorded the wonderful prog album "Movimenti nel Cielo" - 1979) on lute and guitars, Gianni Nocenzi (BMS) on clarinet and piano, Gigi Cappeollotto on bass guitar and Andy Surdi on drums.

The whole album is built upon soft traditional folk songs, very well arranged, never aggressive with even orchestral parts (as in "Canzone del Rimpianto"). The more rythmic tracks are (th opener apart): "Il Vecchio e la Farfalla", "La Serie dei Numeri" (my favourite, a hymn to numbers and the power of death above all things that grow) and "Il Dono del Cervo" (a spectacular and sad story about a deer that gives in to the hunter).

The only strange, dark, and proggy track is "Il Funerale" (8 mns): excellent (long) intro with disarmonic acoustic guitar arpeggios and violin. Then clarinet and flutes. Not exaclty a reassuring mood; very melancholic, only sung in the second half. It can take some time to appreciate the first part, but it is a jewel.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 1975 was the breakout year for Branduardi.He changed his recording house and signs a contract with Polydor in Italy as well as Ariola for the rest of the world.With great motivation he moves on to the recordings of his third studio album ''Alla fiera dell'est'' (1976).Maurizio Fabrizio and Gigi Cappellotto are again among the guest musicians, this time count also Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's Gianni Nocenzi on clarinet and piano.

This is some very good acoustic Progressive Folk record by Branduardi mixed with traditional singer/songwriter tunes, always led by Angelo's soft guitar touch, while the musicianship is always surrounded by dreamy, smooth folky orchestrations.His voice remains among the top 5 Italian singers ever: Sensitive, melancholic and crystalline.''Alla fiera dell'est'' seems like an easy-going Folk album, but things are much more different than this.The instrumental breaks contain excellent orchestrations filled with string and wind sections, often close to Chamber Music, while the arrangements are more demanding than they sound with constant light interplays between the acoustic and Classical instrumentation, reminding a bit of MANEIGE or fellow Italian natives ZEIT.The atmospheres are great as always and I cannot imagine what would happen if Branduardi was gritty enough to add a bit of electric instrumentation among this delicate acoustic material.

This is not a Progressive Rock record by any means, but ''Alla fiera dell'est'' contains certainly some demanding and trully progressive arrangements for an Acoustic Folk album, which will please all fans of Folk music (count the proggers in) as well as lovers of fantastic and dreamy musical journeys.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Branduardi's most successful period started with this album which is really an encounter with medieval folklore arranged and performed with a strong classical taste on acoustic instruments ( including strings and brass ) and no "prog" or "rock"-music at all, so beware. The beautiful voice of Ang ... (read more)

Report this review (#634864) | Posted by rupert | Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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