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Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Le Orme Il Fiume album cover
3.49 | 101 ratings | 14 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Il Fiume (Part I) (4:55)
2. Madre Mia (3:36)
3. Prima Acqua (3:14)
4. Chiesa D'Asfalto (4:03)
5. Danza Dell'Acqua (3:01)
6. Lungo Il Fiume (4:32)
7. Dove L'Acqua Si Riposa (1:22)
8. Il Vecchio (4:16)
9. La Parola (0:38)
10. Grande Acqua (3:47)
11. Il Fiume (Part II) (3:01)

Total time 36:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Aldo Tagliapietra / vocals, bass, 12-string & acoustic guitars, sitar
- Francesco Sartori / piano, keyboards
- Michele Bon / Hammond organ, keyboards, guitar synth, choral arrangements (6)
- Michi Dei Rossi / drums, percussion, glockenspiel, gamelan (?)

- Venice Gospel Ensemble / chorus vocals (6,10)
- Andrea Dal Paos / choral arrangements & conducting (6,10)
- Paolo Steffan / acoustic guitar (10)
- Pepè Fiore / tabla (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Luigi Voltolina painting "Visione"

LP Tring ‎- TRI 024 LP (1996, Italy)

CD Tring - TRI 024 (1996, Italy)
CD Crisler - CCD 3055 (2003, Italy)

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

(101 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LE ORME Il Fiume reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars This recent release from Le ORME has rerally caught my ear and ranks very high on my play list. It is hard to believe that a band as aged as Le ORME would be able to put out such a great progressive record in today's world. This band are obviously unaffected by the music world around them. This album is full of great progressive moments and is as mature as their classic early recordings. I find "Il Fiume" very smooth and easy to listen to. Their music is rich and full of beauty throughout....lyrics are in Italian like all of their material. This is one of thos recordings where after only 1 listen you will be hooked.
Review by lor68
3 stars OK standing by for the new release by Le Orme, as foreseen within july 2004, I like to remind you of such interesting suite entitled "Il Fiume", whose lyricism and relaxing mood too, make this album a pleasant comeback (you can add another half star at least)...nevertheless you find some pop songs within, that I don't regard as a commercial attempt to innovate their style, but rather a good leap of quality concerning the melodic aspects of their music: in fact, after the first instrumental section of "Il Fiume", reminding me of the concept "Di Terra" by Banco, you start appreciating the melodic song "Madre Mia"; that is the sacred hymn, which every "River Civilian" should have to sing as a tribute to the "gifts" coming from water, by praising it every time, especially after the terrible disease of a long "dry period" (starving the inhabitants of such place)...the instrumental solos, being a bit reduced in comparison for example to their following album "Elementi", are good and the use of a "clean" Mini-Moog as well; nevertheless We have to wait until the development of "Il Fiume"-second part is completed, in order to still find the main leading and epic theme concerning the present short suite...probably this is the unique defect of this good work: make your own choice!!
Review by The Prognaut
3 stars A very poor album indeed. Or at least it isn't what you'd expect to listen to once you've already come across masterpieces such as "Uomo Di Pezza" and "Felona e Sorona", and precisely in the same vein of those albums, the successful 70's Italian band suffered way too many inconveniences regarding its instrumentation and musical arrangements on "Il Fiume". It has got brilliant, sparkly moments despite the lack of strength and determination, but that doesn't justify the fact LE ORME could've come up with something more refined, intriguing and committed like they did in the past. Maybe at this point, it is useless to keep relying on comparisons to rescue the fine parts in "Il Fiume" and instead of that let's just focus on what's interesting to point out in here.

The conceptual passages are represented in "Il Fiume (parte prima)" and "Il Fiume (parte seconda)", which tell us the beginning from the end; the pieces complete each other softly, almost radiantly, with beautiful interludes in between and without pretentious guitar playing and complicated exercises of instrument execution. There are also pieces in here that deserve recognition in spite it all; "Madre Mia" is one of them. Firstly, we can notice Aldo TAGLIAPIETRA still has got the skills and the voice to pull off a production like "Il Fiume", showing his devotion to music and individually presenting a fine piece of work.

Most of the tracks in this album are simple and plain, demonstrating that sometimes it's only necessary to follow up a commercial trend and break the waves with the pop rock formula. In my opinion, the compositions standing out for the production are clearly evidenced by Francesco SARTORI's contributions on keyboards and piano, making the cause worthy somehow. We can perceive the efforts to avoid this production from drowning on "Chiesa d'asfalto", "Lungo il Fiume" (the percussion arrangements are outstanding by the way) and "Il Vecchio", where prog rock elements float around constantly, struggling to get the production back on track for brief moments, accomplishing the task satisfactorily. Another issue to be underlined here is the fact that if it weren't for the beautiful instrumental tracks (almost half album is instrumental), it would've turned out to be a train wreck.

Unfortunately, this recording is necessary to complete your LE ORME collection, but you can have it lent by a friend (like I did in the first place, but ended up purchasing it because of the album collection thing), listen to it and then you could come up with your own conclusions. On the other hand, you will be able to appreciate the album in a positive way if you think of TAGLIAPIETRA's guitar performing and SARTORI's heavenly executing on keyboards displayed here. Your call for newly prog rock comers and a reminder for Italian symphonic prog rockers.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars I am a huge fan of Seventies Le Orme, especially the albums Collage (great Hammond work), Felona E Sorona (in my opinion their masterpiece) and Uomo Di Pezza (wonderful Mellotron parts). So I was very pleased when I heard that Le Orme was re-founded with two original members, unfortunately not including keyboard player Toni Pagliuca but he is replaced by two keyboardists.

So how about the new Le Orme sound? Well, I am pleasantly suprised, what a wonderful music! The compositions sound very elaborate and contain lots of emotion and subtle musical ideas. The colouring by the two keyboard players (piano and synthesizers) is very tasteful and adds a lush symphonic sound to the music. The vocals by Aldo (also bass and guitar) are very distinctive with a lot of power and emotion, in the same league as John Wetton and Peter Gabriel in my opinion!

With this album Le Orme showcased to be back after many years, I hope once they will visit Holland!

Review by ZowieZiggy

This is my conclusion at least when listening to this album. Two original members of which the great Aldo Tagliapietra who is still in charge of the lead vocals and Michi Dei Rossi (drums) are joined by two new band members who are holding the keys.

Six years have passed between their last release and this one. There are of course no similarities between them. While "Orme" was a dreadful album, "Il Fiume" is some sort of a return to their roots.

Some beautiful vocals and great melodies are shining from this album. But don't expect anything à la "Uomo Di Pezza". The compositions featured here just fall short when compared to this great album.

"Chiesa D'Asfalto" is probably the poorest song of this release. AOR oriented, it could have been avoided. While the band were seriously influenced by "ELP" during some of their early releases, I would say that this one is more "Genesis" oriented like the uninspired instrumental "Danza Dell'Acqua" or "Dove L'Acqua Si Riposa" (sounding like the intro from "Firth").

Good songs (not even talking of masterpieces) are not that many here. Still, this album is pleasant and some very good songs can be experienced like "Madre Mia", "Grande Acqua" and the beautiful closing number "Il Fiume (Parte Seconda)".

Five out of ten when available. For the time being three stars to salute this average come back.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars I found this very disappointing actually. As a big LE ORME fan I guess I was expecting more. At least "Verita Nascoste" had lots of guitar and plenty of aggressive passages.This album is pleasant and light, but for me not in a good way like "Florian".

"Il Fiume (Parte Prima)" opens with an outburst of sound (the first and last) followed by running water as piano comes in.The water returns after 2 minutes then a nice uptempo melody takes over. "Madre Mia" features sitar, vocals and keys. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes as drums arrive. "Prima Acqua" is an instrumental led by drums and keys in an uptempo melody. "Chiesa D'Asfalto" features vocals and a catchy beat. "Danza Dell'Acqua" is again led by the drums and keys. Synths arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. Not bad but nothing to write home about.

"Lungo Il Fiume" has a good beat (tablas) with vocals. The background vocals that come and go are a nice touch. "Dove I'Acqua Si Riposa" is a short piano track. "Il Vecchio" is pretty good. A fuller sound after a minute as the tempo continues to change. "La Parola" is a very short vocal / synth tune. "Grande Acqua" opens with strummed guitar as vocals then drums join in. "Il Fiumes (Parte Seconda)" has some prominant bass early. It ends with the sounds of waves and sea gulls.

This is the first of a trilogy. What happened to the guitar ? I can only recommend this to collectors and fans only.

Review by andrea
5 stars Once left behind the pop temptations of the eighties and after an intense live activity with a renewed line up featuring Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, sitar), Michi Dei Rossi (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, gamelan), Michele Bon (organ, keyboards, synthesizers, vocals) and Francesco Sartori (piano, keyboards), in 1996 Le Orme came back to progressive with a brand new studio album, "Il fiume" (The river), a long suite inspired by Indian culture and spirituality where the river is conceived as a metaphor of life. The release of the album was a kind of challenge since in Italy progressive was not popular in the early nineties as it was in the past and it was hard for the band to find a label giving them credit. Eventually the album was released on the independent label Tring and distributed through a bookshops chain. For sure it wasn't a commercial operation nor a pathetic and nostalgic effort to run after success. The overall sound is up to date and the band did not try to copy their past masterworks. The result is absolutely good and this is one of my favourite albums of the nineties.

The opener "Il fiume ? parte prima (Raga Bagheshri)" (The river ? first part) is an instrumental inspired by a traditional Indian melody in two parts. The music starts softly, then takes off in a crescendo where Michele Bon's guitar emulator takes the lead.

The delicate "Madre mia" (Oh my dear mother) features Aldo Tagliapietra on vocals and sitar while classical dreamy piano passages provide an evocative musical landscape... "The river rises from a generous mother, a pure and sweat spring / Among solitaire and silent mountains meeting with God... Mother, my dear mother, sweat and clear water / I still feel the taste of your freedom...".

Next comes the instrumental "Prima acqua" (First water) that starts with a lively marching beat and a steady pace, then soaring melodic lines lead to the aggressive and claustrophobic "Chiesa d'asfalto" (Church of asphalt) that describes the effects of modern city-life and the troubles that it can provoke. Someone screams under an unhealthy sky... "Look at this city and at its skyscrapers investigating the world / It looks as an advertisement of the paradise we lost / That's the big city which mirrors itself on the water of the river / Church of asphalt, of mud and concrete / Golden lover that wears you out...".

"Danza dell'acqua" (Dance of the water) is a beautiful instrumental that leads to the tense "Lungo il fiume" (Along the river) where lead vocals are shared between Michele Bon and Aldo Tagliapietra... "Along the river, one life one battle / Along the river, conscience strips off / Along the river, waiting for an emotion / Along the river, the fear to be alone... Feeling one more time the violence of the dark / Waking up thousands thoughts among voices, sounds and noises / Stealing the wings of the wind... To fly along the river...".

"Dove l'acqua si riposa" (Where water take a rest) is a short piano solo interlude that leads to the evocative "Il vecchio" (The old man). Lyrics tell about a meeting with an old and wise man who lives on the river banks... "Who are you, who are you / You, who can see throughout my eyes, You, who can perceive my naivety throughout my words / I would like to become like you / A solitary mountain embracing God...".

Next comes "La parola" (The word), a short reflection about time... "The future is a cloud / The past is desert sand that the wind carried away / As free water, the present is a great raging river / And you have... to live it!". I

"Grande acqua" (Great water) is an interesting ballad featuring acoustic guitar. Lyrics are about the ineluctable flowing away of existence... "Towards the sea, with joy and fear / I breath the condemn of love... Time is my home... This magic one day will come to an end / There will be nothing but reality... Into the sea won't be alone / We will hold tight other hands / Everybody knows that nothing will change / This endless run will continue...".

The instrumental finale "Il fiume ? parte seconda (Raga Bagheshri)" (The river ? second part) closes the circle leading you to the starting point for another spin...

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars During their 1970s heyday, LE ORME was known to include a mellow, romantic, more acoustic based song as the second track, which contrasted well with a typically bombastic intro piece. If you ever wondered what a LE ORME album would sound like if it was more devoted to this style, then "Il Fiume" provides the answer, and I think it's the one you asked for.

This comeback album spotlights the powerful yet sensitive, almost classical voice of Aldo Tagliapietro and the riparian symbolism of the lyrical themes while leaving opportunities for the instrumentalists to shine. No better is this captured than on the sitar-enhanced "Madre Mia' and the fluid "Prima D'Acqua" respectively. The group's melodic instincts are fully expressed throughout, with other highlights of note being "Lungo Il Fiume", "Il Vecchio" and "Grande Acqua". These combine placid and more demonstrative passages effortlessly. For instrumental fireworks, it doesn't get better than the main theme, repeated several times but most forcefully on the closer, the final of the two title tracks. I had actually heard this as the intro to Le Orme's brilliant Progfest 1997 performance. "Chiesa D'Asfalto" is the only cut that is really in the vein of straightforward rock, and an inferior model at that.

For those who enjoy their RPI tilted towards lush ballads without loss of that "larger than life" significance, I recommend a float down this river with no particular destination in mind,

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The departure of Tony Pagliuca was a major shock for Le Orme,still the remaining members Aldo Tagliapietra and Michi Dei Rossi found the strength to reform the band with Michele Bon on keyboards and Francesco Sartori on piano.The excellent sales of the 1993 release of the band's history ''Antologia 1970-1980'' and the requests of the fans for a Le Orme comeback pushed the quartet on several live shows.1995 sees the re-issue of the 1982 ''Venerdi'' album as ''Biancaneve'' but also the presentation of a new suite entitled ''Il fiume''.The next year the suite was published both on CD and LP formats by Tring.

The new album sees Le Orme at last after so many years in a progressive mood.This is actually an 11-track connected composition,resulting 36 minutes of romantic modern Italian Progressive Rock with a smooth but really challenging atmosphere,which few bands could create.Filled with ethereal piano interludes, grandiose symphonic flourishes through Bon's work on synthesizers and organ and Tagliapietra's voice in full form,''Il fiume'' flirts with Le Orme's far past,when they were creating some very personal Symphonic Rock arrangements,having however a more fresh sound,even Neo Prog-ish at moments.Sartori's work on piano is absolutely fascinating, dreamy and sensitive,not unlike his ancestor on this spot Tony Pagliuca, offering moments of Classical intensity and his light interplays with Bon's organ are definitely among the album's highlight.Tagliapetra's smooth bass and sensational acoustic passages will remind for one more time the band's early fascinating years.The album steps again on the lighter side of prog,sounding like a combination of Le Orme's pure Classical-influenced releases of late-70's and their style met during the ''Collage'' days.

A really surprising comeback for the Italian legends,an almost essential release of light keyboard/piano-driven Italian Prog with a fresh symphonic sound and some great compisitions to be discovered, which only lacks a bit in nerve and dynamics.Definitely recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars I first encountered Le Orme's comeback album through the band's 1997 Prog Fest performance (the CD document and not, alas, the actual concert), which included a show-stopping medley of newer material, easily a highlight of the weekend event. The studio version of the same music, released one year earlier, was equally exciting in a welcome, retrograde sort of way, especially when considered alongside the truly awful soft rock the band had been playing over the previous decade.

Rarely has a musical group been in such a hurry to make amends for lost time. Orme's nose-dive from grace in the '80s was precipitous, and their return to form almost fifteen years later was equally sudden (but a more pleasant surprise). This was the sound of a band falling in love with its muse all over again, while retracing its steps to a place that almost looked like home.

The harder RPI edge of classic Orme was deliberately muted. But the album restored much of the romantic grace and melodic appeal of their better efforts from the 1970s, and with a likewise familiar respect for thematic unity. As suggested by its title, the album follows a winding musical river from source to sea, buoyed on the acoustic piano of newcomer Francesco Sartori: the star instrument here, and the perfect vehicle for depicting the ebb and flow of a meandering stream.

Don't expect any whitewater rapids, however. The piano sets a warmer and more relaxed mood than the ubiquitous synths that once tarred the band as the Italian ELP. And Aldo Tagliapietra's renewed fascination with the sitar was used to even gentler effect, in the song "Madre Mia" and elsewhere. My only gripe is with the overloud, artificial boom-thud of Michi Dei Rossi's drum kit, a sign of the times I suppose but totally out of sync with the rest of the album.

In retrospect the abbreviated live set on the Prog Fest disc culled the best material from the studio album, condensing it to a more digestible 16-minute sampler. It also played better without the album's occasional mild touch of boilerplate pomposity, like the additional gospel choir augmenting the song "Grande Acqua" indication of recharged ambition, or of self-conscious Neo-Prog overkill?

Maybe a little rust should have been expected, after so many years in pop music purgatory. In the end the album was a more than respectable three-star achievement, but with four-star implications. If Le Orme could find redemption in their bygone Progressive Rock past, there's hope for all of us.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Trying to return to the good sources. Le Orme is stripped here pop stage the previous fifteen years, and attempts to return to its wonderful beginnings. Something obvious is that the instrumental quality is intact, like the voice of Tagliapietra. The keyboards take most of the limelight, even ... (read more)

Report this review (#996555) | Posted by sinslice | Friday, July 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Album released in 1996 "Il Fiume". The sound is warmth and elegant, keyboard symphonic rock. Of course graceful vocal is alive and well. The sound is exactly LE ORME. It is a glory period. The story is firmly spelt, and a new vision is presented. A steady performance is an ideal of the old-tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#68850) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is an outstanding album forming a trilogy with Elementi and Infinito. It seems Le Orme have not aged at all when you listen to this superb concept album. Basically, il Fiume means the river or its flows as in the life of a man from birth till death. Also, the analogy is represented by a d ... (read more)

Report this review (#36684) | Posted by rclevesq | Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is great. You can find italian PROG music in 1996 !!! Instrumental songs like "Prima acqua" or "Danza dell' acqua" or "Il fiume (parte seconda)" are excellent. Also "madre mia" or "grande acqua" are beautiful songs more etno-mediterranean than '70 italian prog. Well, i think that this ... (read more)

Report this review (#17919) | Posted by | Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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