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Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Le Orme Contrappunti album cover
3.98 | 301 ratings | 25 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Contrappunti (5:56)
2. Frutto Acerbo (3:35)
3. Aliante (3:20)
4. India (3:13)
5. La Fabbricante D'Angeli (4:47)
6. Notturno (3:51)
7. Maggio (8:51)

Total Time: 33:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Aldo Tagliapietra / vocals, bass, guitar
- Antonio Pagliuca / keyboards
- Gian Piero Reverberi / piano, producer
- Michi Dei Rossi / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Paolo Patelli

LP Philips - 6323 035 (1974, Italy)
LP Universal Music ‎- 0602527861517 (2011, Europe) Remastered by Maurizio Biancani

CD Philips - 842 506-2 (1990, Italy)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LE ORME Contrappunti ratings distribution

(301 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LE ORME Contrappunti reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
4 stars Probably this is the best album by Le ORME, quite well produced (the production is not bad regarding of those times) and very elegant too. The harmonic solutions are fiery and never pretentious, a sort of "baroque" ambitious project inside their typical romantic apparatus. In my opinion this music should have to be entirely performed in a theatre, in front of a silent crowd!!

Highly recommended, even though actually the right rate should be "4 stars and an half" unless its weak production; nevertheless its importance - as a great reference for the Romantic Progressive bands in Europe - makes this album a MUST HAVE...!

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This Italian progressive record is impressive. The first track "Contrappunti" announces a strong ELP's ot Triumvirat's style, as reveal the dirty Hammond organ overdose and the miscellaneous piano parts; then the mood changes to a combination of floating keyboards and very Italian electronic moog; Gian Piero Reverberi then goes with a complex and fast piano part a la Keith Emerson, surrounded by slightly dissonant keyboards and fast drums. "Frutto acerbo" contains excellent acoustic guitars and piano, embellished with floating mellotron parts: the beautiful track is sung in Italian. "Aliante" has a Gentle Giant's "Playing the game" scattered rhythm and some typical Italian electronic moogs. "India" is again sung in Italian: it is slightly psychedelic and cold. "La fabbricante d'angeli" has an intro sounding like on the Triumvirat's "Pompeii" album; this quite progressive track is EXCELLENT: it has very melodic keyboards & acoustic guitars, complex & restless drums and floating keyboards: it is again sung in Italian. "Notturno" has and cold moog and organ notes a la Focus and Synergy; the piano is particularly slow and sad. "Maggio" is another track having ELP's or Triumvirat's elements, especially the moog and organ textures, enhanced with Italian singing and percussions like tubular bells.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Proghead
4 stars Usually "Contrappunti" is regarded as Le ORME's last truly great progressive album. To me, I think the album sounds a bit disjointed and doesn't live up to the greatness of "Felona e Sorona" or "Uomo di Pezza". The band was obviously being more experimental here, which itself doesn't quite bother me, but some of the pieces do get a bit cheesy to me. The title track is an instrumental, organ-driven piece not unlike ELP or TRIUMVIRAT. Pretty good piece. Then you get "Frutto Acerbo", which is an acoustic piece, that the band is often known to do. The band starts getting weired after this. You have "Aliante" which finds the band being funky, complete with clavinet. "India" is where the band tries to go for a more Eastern sound, complete with a synthesizer trying to imitate a sitar. Lots of bizarre electronic effects to be found too. "La Fabbricante D'Angeli" finds the band going back more to Le ORME territory, but I get rather bothered by some of the cheesy sounding synths that pop up here. "Notturno" is an experimental piece on piano that remind me of Brian ENO's ambient works. "Maggio" is the epic on this album, the first half of the piece is mainly a synth experiment, before the vocals kick in. Toni Pagliuca tended to use a lot of Eminent (string organ that sounds like a string synth) on this piece.

In my opinion, this album ends up sounding like a bit of a disjointed mess to me, and it took me a bunch of listens to appreciate. For me, it's better to start with "Felona e Sorona", then "Uomo di Pezza", in that order, before you come here.

Review by loserboy
4 stars "Contrappunti" was released in 1974 and was le ORME's sixth album (fourth prog rock album) and was the beer chaser to their masterpiece "Felona e Sorona". On "Contrappunti" a fourth and new member was added (Gian Pero Reverberi) who added additional piano and would help facilitate a transition into a slightly more "simple" music approach and slightly less symphonic sound than achieved on "Felona". In many ways "Contrappunti" actually reminds me of the 70's output of the legendary Lucio Battisti with his song based creative music. Musically Le ORME blend 70's analog keyboards with great bass and percussion interplay. I have always been a lover of Le ORME's music and regard this album in the top of my register.
Review by slipperman
5 stars At first listen, this seems a more experimental, obtuse follow-up to the lauded 'Felona E Sorona' album. After becoming more familiar with it, I can only figure it's due to the lack of cohesiveness between tracks. 'Felona E Sorona' had a certain flow because, not only was it a concept album, it was an especially well-written one. 'Contrappunti' simply seems like an unrelated series of songs, and it's not to be faulted for that, because what you get here are some of Le Orme's mightiest compositions. Things open with a haunting instrumental, and then into "Frutto Acerbo", which sounds like typical Le Orme from this period: gentle, expressive vocals, airy musical flights between the drums-keyboards-bass trio (always sticking to the foundation of the song), and very smooth transitions between parts. Then "Aliante" knocks all that down with an extremely cosmic approach and some nutty rhythmic honks-n-skronks. Weird headphone stuff to trip out to. Final track on side one, "India", recalls the eastern vibe of its title, but whereas another reviewer of this album noted that the synth was trying to mimic a sitar, I'm hearing it as a far more cosmic interpretation of that instrument, to the point that it becomes yet something else. Lots of interesting and exotic sounds swirl around on this one, marking it as a highlight of the album. Turn it over (or just sit there if you've got the CD) and you get a side that features one fairly traditional slice of Le Orme ("La Fabbricante D'Angeli"), a shadowy instrumental called "Notturno", and the wonderful "Maggio". "Maggio" is nearly 9 minutes of the best Le Orme you'll ever hear. This is an epic slice of subtle musical motion (and a few colorful explosions!). It shows the adventurous, sometimes innovative spirit of this unique Italian band, and pretty much encapsulates all the great elements of this band in one track. (If you hear someone screaming out for this one at Nearfest 2005.that'll be me.) 'Contrappunti' is a tightly-played, expertly-written, beautifully-recorded, dynamically- arranged album that is hard to find any real fault with.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Under the bed the Devil was crowing and, in the dark, the fear of sleeping."

It would be great you also could understand the Italian wonderful and always delicate lyrics from this historic band! Their keyboards' rich sound is really complete with Tagliapietra's voice. He is able to express the freshness of words painting gently the various conditions of man's heart and soul. A new member joined the band in 1974: Gian Piero Reverberi who helped to realize the album supporting Toni Pagliuca on piano.I think this was due to the need to have complete representation of the band's peculiarities during live performances. Anyway this album is different from the previous, being more introvert and, in some parts, more experimental.

I like for sure the instrumental tracks, in particular the remarkable opener Contrappunti. After a minute of orchestral-like intro starts the battle! Rapid fingers movement, keyboards and piano."cannon-shots" drums.sudden short moments of truce.Le Orme at their best!

Frutto Acerbo (Unripe Fruit) is a beautiful acoustically guitar played one, soft ballad about the melancholic mixed feelings of a young man who sees the end's sad beginning of his father's life whilst he's just starting to bloom: ".repeat to my father that the soup is getting cold.silence toward home, his cold hand." and ".the winter then came behind the sun, great and much, how much love was bursting inside me.".

Aliante (Glider) is another instrumental track, perhaps the most experimental one in this 1974 album. Nice flying melody under percussions-like keyboard.

India is one of the highlights here, somehow darker than the previous songs. The lyrics are refine and about a woman in part obscure and in part wicked: ".mystical woman with bonze body, draw off treasures of ancestral loves, (you're are an) immense desert of hot ashes."; ".the proud fruits you trap in the mud.what a great wisdom is in the sitar, how much poison emits your incense.".

La Fabbricante di Angeli (Angels' Maker) is in part played in acoustic guitar with interesting fluting-like keyboards, great drums' work from Miki and well painted words!

Notturno (Nocturnal) is as slow played and melancholic as the title itself!

Maggio (May) is a great 8,50 mns epic with stunning bells' effects and inspired lyrics: ". I abandon myself to these sad chords in which one day I'll drown.".

Contrappunti is difficult to rate. It is great but lacks in something.anyway, the three stars are not enough!

Review by andrea
5 stars This is a complex and "engaged" album and probably you will find difficult to appreciate it from the first listening. Actually I begun to completely enjoy "Contrappunti" only after having listened to some of its songs during the live performances of the band, especially "La fabbricante d'angeli", "India" and "Maggio". Contrappunti means counterpoints, contrasts... This is a kind of a concept album about contrasts.

The title track is an amazing opener. It is a complex instrumental piece, built upon the dialog between piano and keyboards, corroborated by an astounding drums and bass work. Classical inspiration that melts into progressive rock and vice-versa.

"Frutto acerbo" (Unripe fruit) is a melancholic acoustic ballad with inspired lyrics where the unripe fruit of the title is the heart of a child suffering because his first love feelings.

"Aliante" is a short instrumental with a catchy melody leaded by the keyboards. It sounds a little bit "light" if compared with the other instrumental tracks of this album, but it's quite good anyway.

"India", introduced by the peculiar voice of Aldo Tagliapietra, is a suggestive and dark track about the charms of the culture of the Asiatic subcontinent. "What wisdom comes out resounding from the sitar?". Souvenirs of a journey in India, the newspapers announcing that India owned the atomic bomb while many of his children were starving. Lyrics and music were inspired by the contrasts of this country regarded as a "mystical woman". By the way, the interest for the Indian culture has always been strong for Aldo Tagliapietra so, in the nineties, he learned to play the sitar, an instrument that gives now an exotic touch to Le Orme's performances, especially when they play this song.

"La fabbricante d'angeli" (The maker of angels) is my favourite track on this album. A romantic instrumental intro with a great drum work lead to the singing. "From the deepest darkness of the night / Two empty eyes slip from the stars / The maker of angels is already gone down / But she stumbles in her rusted tools.": lyrics are about abortion, a very difficult subject to deal with, especially in the Italy of the early seventies. Le Orme were able to do it in a very poetical way, without saying if abortion is right or wrong. Just a way to let you think about. I find this song delicate and aggressive in the meantime.

The classical inspired "Notturno" is an instrumental track where, in my opinion, the contrast between piano and keyboards gives a mood of gloomy tension, so that it could be included in the soundtrack of a thriller.

"Maggio" (May) has always been one of the band live favourites and I remember Aldo Tagliapietra introducing this piece telling that it had been inspired by the Italian political situation: in that time the PCI, the Italian Communist Party, in the early seventies one of the strongest Communist Parties in Western Europe, was facing the DC, the Democratic Christian Party bound to the Catholic Church. In Italy the seventies are also called "gli anni di piombo = the years of lead" because that was a time of slaughters and terrorism. That was also the time of the political compromise. May is the month of the labour day and the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Lyrics here try to draw images of these contrasts, like that of a priest listening, behind the door of his church, to the voices of the labour feast raising from the square. "L'uomo il primo ed il pi grande fra i tesori della terra = The man is the first and the most important among the earth's treasures": this sentence was pronounced by the pope and by a representative of the Chinese Communist Party more or less in the same period and seem to be put in the lyrics just to suggest that there could have been some common points between the Communist Party and the Catholic Church. The music of this dilated and complex track sometimes seem to underline deliberately the strength of lyrics with the sound of the bells, with a great keyboards work and a powerful rhythmic section.

Definitely an essential album in any prog collection!

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Le Orme were rather inspired in those days. As Andrea (Cortese) mentions, I wish I could understand Italian to fully capture their music AND lyrics. Unfortunately, I will have to stick to French, Spanish & English and Dutch (but the latter will lead me nowhere of course in terms of music understanding). Still, I'm starting some Portuguese lessons (to prepare a trip to Brazil) and maybe that I will find the time in another life to do the same with Italian.

More seriously, this album is one of the best of the band.

It features both aspects I like from this beautiful genre : complexity with "Contrapuntti" which is closely linked with ELP-ish sounds (but it is of curse not the first time that the band produces such a song), as well as elegant vocals combined with pure harmony ("Frutto Acerbo"). My two favourite songs from this album.

One has to be quick in his listening here, since (as usual) this album is very short. As the other two legendary Italian bands ("PFM" and "Banco") these weren't really generous with their fans in terms of album length, to say the least.

Some weaker tracks are also featured, like the useless, repetitive and classical "Notturno". Ambient, yes. But boring. Of course, "Maggio" is of another calibre. A mix of Crimson and ELP. Do you fancy? I do! But the middle part is somewhat hard to appreciate. Delicate vocals, inherent to the style of course will reconcile you with this good number.

"La Fabbricante d'Angeli" also belongs to the best ones of this offering. Passionate vocals are the highlight; and they go together with a beautiful melody.

This album is just shy of the four star rating. Songs as "Aliante" (an average instrumental), "India" (which features very emotional vocals but no more) are average songs which only drop the level of this album. Still, this is another good album from "Le Orme". Three stars.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With Uomo di Pezza Le Orme conquered a peculiar peak of progressive rock for themselves and the Italian scene, and with Felona e Sorona they remained at the zenith of their musical creativity, giving a slightly cosmic twist to their clear melodicism and controlled, elegant power-trio pompsity, their musical offering's two main features. The hard task of following these two vital Italian prog recordings was on the shoulders of Contrappunti, an album that performs very well as a partial continuation of the symphonic maturity already achieved by the trio. It fails to match the unique greatness of their epic concept- album Felona e Sorona, indeed, bit it still contains enough musical richness and stylish touch as to be regarded as an excellent item that means really much to the progressive genre. The band's sound tends to mellow a bit in places, and that's mostly due to the softened treatment of keyboard layers (mellotron, string synthesizer and those moments in which the organ keeps a discreet profile) and an also softened amalgam of keyboards and drum kit. But, on the other hand, you can also find tracks in which the themes are treated with a magnificent sense of mystery: the opening instrumental bears attractive melodies and harmonie,s but it is also a bit threatening, as if it were anticipating the sound that Goblin was soon to develop and own as a signature of theirs. This is an almost 6 minutes of pure grandiose symphonic chiaroscuro. The ballad 'Frutto Acerbo' is an acoustic guitar-based ballad that bears its bucolic romanticism on its sleeve - the piano chords properly augment the allusions made on the acoustic guitar arpeggios and mellotron layers. 'Aliante', another instrumental, is an elegant exercise on well-ordained chord progressions, a bit reminiscent of the sung parts of Yes' 'Long Distance Runaround', but with a subtle dark flair to it: effective, while not great. The same could be said about 'India', a pretty song that could have been greater with a more expanded arrangement and a more robust delivery in the instrumentation. 'La Fabbricante d'Angeli' relatively follows in the same path, but it is more successful at keeping a consistent pace in the mood shifts and the development of the main themes. There is something definitely appalling in Tagliapietra's singing and acoustic guitar, matched with Dei Rossi's playful schemes and Pagliuca's multivaried keyboard inputs, while the lyrics portray abortion practices with naughty teenage girls. The third and last instrumental 'Notturno' is played exclusively on keyboards: piano, synths and celeste join together on yet another journey to mysterious forests of sound, pertinently combined with empty spaces left by the almst mimimal piano chords. It's weird how in this album, that overall makes a soft departure from the general ambience of Felona e Sorona, contains a track like this, which is perhaps the darkest Le Orme composition ever. The album is closed down by 'Maggio', a track that retakes the spirit of 'La fabbricante...' and brings it to a symphonic zenith. An excellent closure for an excellent album, the last great album by Le Orme for a long time. Only in their current refurbished era could they recapture this kind of magic, but that's a matter for other reviews. Contrappunti is excellent, and that's all by now.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars While this one has grown on me I still prefer their previous three records to it. I get such a kick out the drummer, he's very impressive. Like the previous album we do get quite a few spacey passages on this one (lots of synths), but it must be said that this album has some good variety on it.

"Contrappunti" is one of my top three tracks on this album. It opens solemnly before the tempo and mood picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. What an instrumental display ! Some have compared it to ELP and I agree. Some great organ work. A spacey calm before 3 minutes and then it picks back up with piano leading the way after 4 minutes. The organ is back and check out the drumming after 5 minutes. What a song ! "Frutto Acerbo" features acoustic guitar and those beautiful vocals of Aldo. Piano after a minute and some mellotron on this track too (the only one). "Aliante" has quite the pulsating beat to it. Synths join in to make it a better sounding tune. "India" opens with vocals (they come and go). This one is darker and also the shortest song on here.

"La Fabbricante D'Angeli" is another top three track for me. Synths to open as the spacey vibe hangs around until the piano comes in. Flute comes and goes. The drumming is fabulous. Vocals 2 minutes in. I find this one so uplifting when the flute is playing. "Notturno" features piano and synths taking turns as they play slowly. A change 2 minutes in as drums come in. The original melody returns after 3 minutes to end it. "Maggio" is my other top three track. This one is the longest at almost 9 minutes in length. Spacey synths to open. A fuller sound a minute in as drums and organ arrive.This contrast continues. Vocals 3 minutes in. Great sound after 4 minutes. A cool synth / drum melody 5 minutes in. Vocals are back as themes continue to be repeated.

This album along with their previous three records are must haves in my opinion.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars After two sweepingly lyrical and melodic exercises in the bombast, LE ORME shifted direction rather dramatically. "Contrappunti" holds mere remnants of the elements that helped forge two early 1970s classics. The playing remains impressive but mostly for its own sake, while the voice of Aldo Tagliapietra takes a back seat to the increasingly ELP and Yes-ish keyboard marathons unfeelingly juxtaposed with eerie organ passages that sound like soundtracks to B grade Italian horror flicks. I do not stand in the way of a group's attempts at evolution, and would gladly applaud when the results take on human form.

While "Uomo di Pezza" and "Felona e Serona" were more composition than song oriented, with occasional and generally appropriate unstructured romps, "Contrappunti" fails at both levels, and exposes Le Orme's considerable deficiencies in the songwriting department at this point in their history. Sure, "Frutto Acerbo" has the trademark sweet melodies, and "La fabbricante d'angeli" uses synths to approximate flutes, and is fairly similar to the "Felona" style until it teeters off the precipice in the final minute, an anticlimax if there ever was one. The longest track "Maggio" alternately sparkles and stagnates, as the experimental ambient sounds that plague the album opener, "Aliante", and "Notturno" restore the malaise.

Perhaps I am just not a sufficiently discerning listener, but "Contrappunti" lives up to its name a bit too much, shifting indelicately about when I wish it wouldn't, and holding still far too long when I wish it would break out. I think I'll punt this one to the sidelines.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Le Orme's career followed a pattern not uncommon amongst prog bands. They started as a enthusiastic psychedelic rock band, before inducing superlatives from prog fans with a couple of masterpieces of emotive prog creativity, soon to be followed by mellowing out into to silky synth varnish and lyrical indulgences.

Contapunti is a fine album but it suffers from a diminished drive and inspiration. The band got stuck in their keyboard heavy sound and I found the vocalist unable to come up with fresh and inspired vocal melodies, sounding as if they could have featured on any of the preceding albums. Another indication of his writer's block can be found in the dominating instrumental nature of the album. But also that instrumental side of the band isn't in great shape. Even the sound suffers. The rhythm section that used to be so solid and dynamic sounds thin and flat, many riffs and songs developments have a familiar ring to them and I can even hear an ELP plagiarism (minute 2 of the opening track). Or should I call it a quote?

Most songs very enjoyable, but there's just very little here that stands out. The instrumental parts sound like keyboard exercises and the songs with vocals are too easy-going, missing the sophisticated melancholy that elevated them far above pop on the previous albums. The biggest disappointment comes at the end, Maggio could have saved the album but it is an average 'epic' for me, with a flat instrumental performance, unremarkable vocals and a particularly annoying poppy main theme.

This Le Orme record tries hard but hasn't enough creative fuel left to catch up with any of their three preceding albums. I would still recommend this album if you are a dedicated fan of symphonic music, but for me, after also being dissatisfied with the 2001 come-back Elementi, my wonderful Le Orme journey will end here.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A letdown and yet still very good

How could it not be disappointing? Le Orme were tasked with the nightmare of having to follow-up their masterpiece "Felona e Sorona." After two incredible albums the band made a wise choice to not attempt a duplicate, but to take a risk and try something different. The resulting "Contrappunti" may very well disappoint you if you come to it expecting another Felona. You first notice a disjointed feel as the songs seem less related than the previous conceptual works, and aesthetically they seem to drop the ball with their presentation---rather than the beautiful, iconic artwork that graced the previous two albums, here Orme lays an egg with the album cover. So before the music is even playing you already have a feeling this album may not live up to the previous one, but do hang in there. For while not the finest Orme album in my opinion, it features the usual stellar musicianship and some really great, interesting tracks. After many plays you realize it has its own personality too, a dryer one, a bit more detached, but still an interesting party guest to approach. She comes off as a bit aloof and downbeat until you walk out on the balcony for a cigarette. Watching the smoke swirl in the moonlight you realize how delightful some of these sounds are. It's a charming album after you peel away some layers.

The album starts and ends with superb and dynamic tracks, mostly instrumental jamming with great changes and acrobatic playing. The keys are big and bold and the drumming just amazing, as you'd expect there is wonderful composition. In between these two monster tracks are a few average ones of two varieties. First there is the typical acoustic Orme number with a pleasing melodic guitar and those warm, lovely vocals. Second there are some deliberate keyboard experimentations in "Aliante," a bit funky and definitely very quirky. Then there is an unlikely favorite called "Notturno," a very slow and deliberate piano progression, fascinating, after each line the piano is answered briefly by another key, then calls back with a slightly different line that the previous. It is moody and beguiling, a musical siren song. "Contrappunti" should not be your first Orme album, you should definitely start with the two albums that precede it. But if you enjoy those you should appreciate this one as well, even if it takes a bit more time. Not a 4 star album for me personally, but closer to 4 stars than to 3 so I have to round up. It's also an album which sounds very good for its time, so have no worries about the production issues that sometimes crop up on classic period Italian releases.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I like really a very few RPI albums, so possibly my review is more actual for those not in love with bombastic retro-symphonic "dolce gelati" of many RPI big names.

" Contrappunti" begins with quite energetic organ passages, and it sounds attractive till you understand that (strongly influenced by ELP) keyboards attacks are more electronic device 's possibilities demonstration, than musical composition. But at least it doesn't sound to sweet (reminds me big such passages lovers Japanese band Gerard though).

Then things go in different direction - melodic and melancholic, with a real grace inside, Italian pop-rock songs with strong influences of Baroque music. Vocals are between operatic and pop, so you must really love them just to accept.

Album's final is again heavy keyboards-led composition. Not deep or complex enough to be really interesting, but at least both together with album's opener there are two songs (even if not very original) with serious chance to be counted as symphonic prog. That's all.

To be honest, album has its moments, so I believe chamber symphonic prog lovers will find some nice sound there. In all for me album, being quite typical early RPI release, isn't strong enough to attract just casual listener.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Another charming album from Le Orme sees the band stretching their wings just a little bit, with the occasional fusion influence creeping in at the edges of their sound which is still centred on a blend of ELP and Genesis - Trespass-era for the latter, naturally. Whilst it's good to see the group experimenting with a few new elements to their sound, the very occasional excursions into new territory only serve to highlight how much time they spend in familiar ground for most of the album. After three preceding albums of this particular style of RPI, Le Orme were about due for a change, and Contrappunti doesn't quite deliver. Nonetheless, it's a pleasant release which will please most fans of their work from Collage to Felona e Sorona.
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Poor old `Contrappunti'...coming after three of Le Orme's more defining and higher regarded albums such as `Collage', `Uomo di Pezza' and `Felona e Sorona', this solid work is frequently seen as something of a step down in comparison to the quality of those ones. This despite the fact there's not a bad track to be found here, and a whole lot of different styles and sounds that show the band experimenting and challenging themselves. Mixing acoustic ballads with daring instrumental pieces and experimental passages, the album is well titled in `Counterpoints', and it greatly improves on repeated listens to quickly prove it's worth alongside their other early 70's classics in it's own right.

`Contappunti' is definitely not the band merely on auto-pilot and lazily recreating music in the same style as what has come before. Right from the opening title track instrumental, the band is more bombastic, frantic and noisier that anything heard on their previous discs. It's perhaps a little modelled after Emerson, Lake and Palmer, but some that dismiss this piece because of that are being a little harsh. It's a bombardment of heavy Hammond organ crunching, eerie Moog and creeping piano with Michi Dei Rossi's furious drumming, but there's a lovely ambient floating synth passage in the middle too. There's such a threatening menace to the urgency in the final minute as well! `Frutto Acerbo' is a nice come-down, a sweetly warm and sedate acoustic ballad, full of dreamy haziness through a wistful vocal from Aldo Tagliapetra and the slightest of Mellotron wisps. `Aliante' is a noodly experimental piece that almost ends up quite symphonic in parts, full of stop/start patterns of punchy drumming and Tony Pagliuca's loopy electronic shimmers. There's psychedelic unease with some thick ominious bass throughout `India', spiced with seriously disorientating clockwork-like synth loops, ghostly faraway Mellotron choir calls and an intoxicating middle-eastern vibe.

`La Fabbricante...' that opens the second side is a gentle acoustic rocker that includes a twinkling-star synth pulse, Renaissance-like piano pomp and a joyous Mellotron melody around a heartfelt and comforting vocal from Aldo, all over deceptively busy drum-work and a blustery Yes-styled finale. `Notturno' is a restrained and achingly beautiful piano, Mellotron and organ interlude with a creepy suspensful and bent middle paired with a pulsing drum-beat that makes it truly perfect for night-time listening. The band close on a complex nine minute number `Maggio', overloaded with warped wavering quirky synth freakouts, hypnotic bass and intricate drum-patterns around a main tune that is truly a joyous flight of fancy, with plenty of upbeat positivity and the band truly brimming with confidence.

It says a lot to me that several of the people I think so highly of on the Prog Archives rate this album very highly, and I've sure come to love it in the same way. Besides, `Smogmagica' was to show up only a year later, and considering this album is sometimes considered a little unspecial, there's nothing here that's even close to the same level of disappointment to be discovered with the mostly average material on that one. As far as I'm concerned, Le Orme had a terrific run of five albums in a row (the above mentioned as well as the live `In Concerto' LP), and `Contrappunti' is an excellent addition for followers of Le Orme, and for curious newcomers wanting to look into this classic Italian prog band after they've checked out the previous works from the group.

Four stars.

Review by jamesbaldwin
4 stars This album sees Gian Piero Reverberi, classical composer, entered the formation of Le Orme.

The Lp is characterized by the alternation of instrumental pieces with sung pieces. In the instrumental ones and in particular in the first, Reverberi, classical composer, makes an essential contribution in outlining an exceptional piece.

1. Counterpoints (5:56). vote 8,5 / 9. For a minute and a half there is a piece of church organ, remarkable, which introduces the atmosphere of the record, then the keyboards are unleashed, and in reality there is a competition of virtuosity, between piano (Reverberi), keyboards (and harpsichord) (Pagliuca), drums (De Rossi) and bass (Tagliapetra). However, they are virtuosity not an end in themselves, there are no musicians who go on to play each one for themselves (as often happens with EL&P), here everyone plays in order to arrive at an overall synthesis. After the harpsichord, the rhythmic progression restarts, ending with the emphatic final conclusion. Exceptional: if we consider the progress from Collage. It is the masterpiece of the record, and one of the absolute masterpieces of Italian progressive.

2. Frutto Acerbo (3:35). Ballad with the acoustic guitar, a delicate, Catholic love story, hints at the theme of adolescent virginity. Beautiful ballad, rating 7.5 / 8.

3. Aliante (3:20). Piece with electronic sounds and strong percussion, cybernetic, a little ugly. There is a drop in quality in the album. The "counterpoints" have begun: the odd pieces, usually instrumental, are very free-range, the even ones are very calms. Rating 6.

4. India (3:13). Initial vocal part, cybernetic solo in the middle that continues with the previous sounds, a little annoying but with an excellent bass, and final vocal part, very good. Rating 7,5.

Side B. 5. La Fabbricante D'Angeli (4:47) is sung with a very pumped concert style orchestral crescendo, rhythmically complex piece, but good, rating 7.5 / 8

6. Notturno (3:51) is an instrumental song conducted by Reverberi's piano with evocative classical accents. Rating 7+.

7. May (8:51): interlocutory instrumental start, conducted from the bass, then comes a church atmosphere with the keyboards, and in fact the vocals speak of a nun who is reflected, we are in the wake of the Catholic tradition, both for music and for lyrics, an ideological manifesto that places Le Orme on the "Right" of the student movement of the Seventies within which the prog of Pfm, Banco and Area was born. Then another instrumental piece with the sounds of Pagliuca's keyboards arrives, and it seems a bit annoying, there is still a great work of arrangement, and then the vocals returns. Good melody of the singing, especially when Tagliapetra sings: The man is the greatest treasure on earth. Rating 8.

Total Time: 33:35

Overall, this album is

Rated 8+.

Four stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I would definitely consider this to be Le Orme's most underrated album. The keyboards are definitely prominent on this album. The first track "Contrappunti" is a fantastic opener to the album. The song starts off calm but picks up. This is one of the best Le Orme tracks! The next song "Frutto Acerbo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2535354) | Posted by BlazingProg | Wednesday, April 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think, that this fourth studio albun of the Italian band LE ORME, that in spite of being quoted with 4 stars (Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection) it is one of the more underestimated albuns of all of the quotations of P A and that it deserves 5 stars (Essential: the masterpie ... (read more)

Report this review (#453753) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, May 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Le Orme in 1974, Release to the Market the disc titled Contrappunti, without a doubt one of more classic discs, of this Italian group that is formed by Toni Pagliuca Keyboards, Aldo Tagliapietra - voice, bass and acoustic guitar, Michi Dei Rossi - Drums and supported percussions and in this occa ... (read more)

Report this review (#169932) | Posted by Alberto Muoz | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Contrappunti is an excellent album that builds more off of what was done on Uomo di Pezza. The title track is spectacular, but does take multiple listens to fully appreciate. This song is in the same vein as Alienazione and ELP's The Barbarian; but Contrappunti is better than both of those s ... (read more)

Report this review (#110320) | Posted by jfleischh | Thursday, February 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I know that most people prefers Felona e Sorona, but I've always thought this is the real masterpiece by Le Orme. When I bought it, I had already fallen in love with their music for some years, most of all because of the enchanting contrast between their strong rock (even if classical oriented ... (read more)

Report this review (#98988) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Wednesday, November 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This CD was given to me by my uncle, and I'm already in love with it. It is my first real exposure to Italian music (except the odd download). I love how it can instantly change from dramatic, dark sequences to acoustic love songs. The writing is very nice, and if I could understand Italian, I'm ... (read more)

Report this review (#97075) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, November 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Album released in 1974 "Contrappunti". The contemporary music that the keyboard and the rhythm section cooperate intimately has been enhanced. This work is classic nearer than progressive rock far. It is attractive vocal to enrich the tone of the album that tends to become formal. It is musica ... (read more)

Report this review (#68848) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ranging from delicate acoustic balladry ('Frutto Acerbo') to Eno-esque synth explorations ('India'), via Classically inspired, piano-dominated, pieces ('Notturno'), 'Contrappunti' is perhaps the most original and experimental album by Le Orme. Possessing an extremely spare and unusual sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#56201) | Posted by | Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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