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Corte Dei Miracoli

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Corte Dei Miracoli Corte Dei Miracoli album cover
3.68 | 168 ratings | 29 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. ...E Verrà L'Uomo (7:00)
2. Verso Il sole (6:34)
3. Una Storia Fiabesca (6:52)
4. Il Rituale Notturno (7:12)
5. I Due Amanti (13:40)

Total Time 41:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Graziano Zippo / vocals
- Alessio Feltri / keyboards
- Riccardo Zegna / keyboards
- Gabliele Siri / bass
- Flavio Scogna / drums, percussion

- Vittorio De Scalzi / guitar (1), mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Enrico Aonzio

LP Grog Records ‎- GRL 04 (1976, Italy)
LP AMS ‎- AMS LP 26 (2010, Italy)

CD Seven Seas ‎- KICP 2003 (1990, Japan)
CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM 040 (1994, Italy)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CORTE DEI MIRACOLI Corte Dei Miracoli Music

CORTE DEI MIRACOLI Corte Dei Miracoli ratings distribution

(168 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

CORTE DEI MIRACOLI Corte Dei Miracoli reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
5 stars Amazing album! Emotive, complex and beautiful, plenty of great melodies and originality. It's difficult to find similarities with another bands, maybe BANCO or some ELP, but this sound is unique. From heavier to lighter landscapes, CORTE DEI MIRACOLI presents one of the best instrumental interplay I heard, adding to dual keyboards an energetic singer and the fantastic percussionist work.

The highlight is the last long epic song, "I Due Amanti", about Quasimodo, but this is an album plenty of pearls since the first chord. A must have.

Review by loserboy
5 stars Now this is certainly one of the classics....and yes another 70's gem from Italy. Here would will be overdosed on great keyboards (2 keyboardists), dynamic bass/guiter interplay with great drumming. CORTE DEI MIRACOLI have written here some very memorable tunes with some absolute gorgeous moments. This album has a very strong spacy sound put to some of the most soulful chorus...not unlike LOCANDA DELLE FATE in many ways. Songs are nice and long and considering the age of this puppy, the sound separation is actually quite good. The only let down is that the album ends far too early. Amazing music
Review by Proghead
4 stars Another one-shot Italian prog album (well, at least until the 1990s, when Mellow Records released some live and archival material). Their only album released during their lifetime was released in 1976 on the Grog label (owned by Vittorio de Scalzi of NEW TROLLS). This was a band that featured two keyboardists (Riccardo Zegna, Alessio Feltri), a bassist (Gabriele Siri), a drummer (Flavio Scogna), and vocals (Graziano Zippo), but no guitar. The only guitar you hear is on the opening cut, "...E Verrà L'Uomo", which was provided by Vittorio de Scalzi himself.

This album comes to prove that the Italian prog scene still has some good music to offer in 1976. To me, I think the music sounds a bit like a cross between BANCO (similar duo keyboard format, often in a classical manner) and Le ORME (since vocalist Graziano Zippo has a rather high-pitched voice). Maybe a little ELP thrown in, particularly on "Verso Il Sole". Moog, string synths, piano, electric piano, and Hammond organ are the keyboards you hear. "Una Storia Fiabesca" does get a bit repetitive, but has grown on me. "Il Rituale Notturno" is a rather pleasant number complete with string synths. I like the electronic effects found at the end. "I Due Amanti" finds the band starting off a bit spacy, with the string synths, and electronic effects (presumably played off an EMS synth), before the music sets in. The vocals here seem to be lower-pitched and a bit off-key, making me think it was someone other than Graziano Zippo doing the vocals. I love how the music starts slowing down, simulating the sound of someone turning off their record player. Nice album to have for the Italian prog rock collector.

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This would appear to be an interesting album: a five-piece Italian symphonic Progressive Rock band comprising singer, bassist, percussionist and two keyboard players. However, despite being a fan of Italian Progressive Rock, ultimately I found the album disappointing even though many Prog fans rave about it. There are some nice moments but, overall, to me the album does not compare favourably with many of the Italian albums of the 1970s. Weak vocals are one of the problems. Another is the sometimes-unsubtle use of piano and synthesizer. The music has a jazz-rock feel but there is a bit too much noodling for my liking. I also find Zippo's voice irritating, not to mention the temple blocks (think frenetic tapping on coconuts), which really grate.

The dark, spooky start of '.E Verrà L'Uomo' sounds promising but the track mellows to a melodic but somewhat insipid song (although it improves midway). 'Verso Il Sole' has a very jazzy feel to it. There are some nice parts, but the temple blocks drive me nuts. 'Una Storia Fiabesca' again suffers from overuse of synthesizer and temple blocks. 'Il Rituale Notturno' is not bad, although some of it sounds like the soundtrack of a James Bond movie (the scene where Bond walks onto a moonlit veranda and looks out over a palm-fringed lagoon!), even down to the horn-sounding synthesizer. The end of the track is odd, though. The 12-minute 'I Due Amanti' is the best track in my opinion: the structure and melody are good, the sounds pleasant (apart from those damn temple blocks!) and the piano and other keyboards more effective, although this track also suffers from a weak ending.

The album is not something I personally would buy. If such a thing were possible I'd rate it at 2.5 stars but I'll go with 2 stars (Collectors/fans only). I'm probably being hard on it, but I can think of many Italian Progressive Rock albums from the 1970s that I would listen to before this one.

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars By turns sweepingly symphonic and almost funky-jazzy, CORTE DEI MIRACOLI is another in a seemingly endless supply of classic Italian prog bands that gave us one or two unique albums before disbanding. The focus here is heavily on keyboards, so those who feel that one keyboardist is too many won't be happy to hear that there are two sharing the space. Luckily, the tastefulness and relative restraint (for prog, anyway) of the players and sounds make this less of an Emerson-meets-Wakeman situation than one might expect.

One can immediately hear that this is classic stuff; every second is wrapped in that glorious saturation and compression that only 70's recordings can give us. Thankfully, the production quality is also pretty good; each instrument is distinct and relatively detailed. If I wanted to nitpick, I'd say the drums were mixed a little low (but, conversely, the percussion- such as the notorious temple blocks- is mixed little too high). I would have preferred a little more guitar, as only the first track has that perfect mixture, but the keyboards cover such wide tonal spectrum that one can quickly forgive the lack of six strings. Over the course of any given track we're treated to a veritable encyclopedia of classic keyboards: lovely acoustic pianos, beautifully nasty electric keyboards (I particularly liked the grungy Clavinets and filtered harpsichords), bubbling and buzzing analog synths and flowing washes of string synths. I'm a little surprised there weren't more organs (apart from the excellent solo on "E Vera L'Uomo"), but I suppose there are plenty of other prog albums to turn to if the Hammond sound is your thing. On vocals, Zippo is boyishly competent, though I tend to like a little more grittiness to offset the generally operatic Italian vocal style. Zippo's style is much more similar to BANCO (I kept thinking of "Dopo... Niente E' Piu' Lo Stesso") than, for instance, to anything by LOCANDA DELLA FATE- which for many people is probably just as well.

ELP fans should have very little trouble adapting (as long as they're willing to tolerate more prominent jazz flavors and less pyrotechnic virtuosity), and it goes without saying that fans of Italian prog should seriously consider adding this album to their collection. I can't rave unreservedly about this album; for one thing, there seems to be a hollow gulf in between the jazzy jamming and the more sweeping, classically-inspired symphonic sections. The transitions are smooth, but the feel is somewhat schizophrenic, as if the creators were struggling to go in two different directions (maybe each keyboardist had a different favorite style?). This is definitely not unheard-of in the prog world- for example, several of my favorite KING CRIMSON albums had that same split personality- but it does mean that some passages will be more to your taste than others. If possible, 'try before you buy' and you'll know pretty quickly if CORTE is something you'll enjoy.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a couple of years of struggling and some major line-up changes, finally Corte dei Miracoli got to record their eponymous debut album (their only one, indeed). With two keyboardists on board and no guitarist, it was Feltri's and Zegna's shared responsibility to create a sense of energy with their assorted instruments (pianos, organ, synthesizers, clavinet) while maintaining the keyboardsman's usual role (orchestrations, layers, adorning effects). And yes, they achieve this goal proficiently and convincingly: besides a guitar lead delivered by a guest from New Trolls on the opening motif of track 1 - an amazing one, by the way -, the fact is that this emblematic 6-string rock item is not missed at all in Corte's overall sound. The sense of energy is certainly mandatory for this band, since their style is overtly based on a somber romanticism, which means that emotion has to burst out and be conveyed in practically every melodic line, every ounce of the keyboard orchestrations, and of course, by a passionate lead vocalist. The latter role is properly fulfilled by Graziano Zippo, who handles his tenor timber with such an intense approach that at times his voice seems to be going headlong toward the very limits of restraint: but he does so as part of the game, keeping on par with the intensity created by the instrumentation delivered by the keyboards. The rhythm section is solid, carrying the songs' foundation with fluency, while adopting a jazzy manner: the use of complementary percussive implements allows drummer Scogna enhance the jazz factor. This same jazz factor is picked up mostly by Zegna, while his partner Feltri (who had been pretty much into jazz rock during his Giro Strano days) seems to prefer the most overtly symphonic side of prog - his playing is influenced by Emerson and Vicenzi brothers, to a certain degree. Even though it is fair to state that Corte dei Miracoli create a unique sound, some similarities can be found to BMS and Apoteosi: the latter also delivered a melodic prog with a somber inclination, so it could be said that they somewhat predated what Corte dei Miracoli ultimately managed to deliver with a major depth. The opening track '. E Verrà l'Uomo' sets things clear right from the outset, in terms of overall style and individual qualities: it is basically a pompous prog ballad with a psychedelic prelude and an up-tempo jazz-rock interlude. The romantic tendencies are further explored in 'Una Storia Fabiesca' and 'Il Rituale Notturno', and so are the adornments that come in to create tension and variety. Before these manifestations of emotional density, the jazzy 'Verso il Sole' displays a more uplifting spirit, incorporating some funky-based jamming on organ and piano, while the wood blocks create a weird yet effective counterpart to the solid drumming patterns. The gem of the album is the 12- minute suite 'I Due Amanti', which condenses all the musical facets covered all throughout the previous repertoire and takes up the resulting amalgam to its most epic expression. I love this album, and I think my personal reaction shows in this review, but I notice a minor flaw in some parts of it: I feel like some of the motifs incepted in tracks 3 & 4 could have been delivered further in order to make each final result more impressive than they actually turned out to be. Anyway, this album as a whole is a truly excellent musical work, so to my eyes it deserves no less than a 4 star rating.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One word came out right away after I listened to this album for the first time: symphonic! Yes, not only that the album is very symphonic but also I can taste the music is overall melodic with nice choruses and keyboard-based composition. One might say that this band is heavily influenced by bands like ELP, PFM, Genesis, Banco. But for sure, with all elements of influences from its predecessors, this album demonstrates the unique sound of CORTE DEI MIRACOLI. Despite the rough polished on production department this album still delivers the beauty of prog music through diverse styles and frequent tempo changes. The use of Italian language has even made the music is very strong in nuance. The rough mixing / production has even made the music is richer in terms of representing available recording technology at the time of album release in 1976.

"E Vera L'Uomo" (7:00) starts wonderfully with keyboard sounds followed with a music with powerful bassline and drumwork in the vein of early King Crimson. Keyboard plays dominant role in bringing the musical journey. The music turns quiet to welcome the lead singer Graziano Zippo voice. It's a very symphonic song with some long sustain keyboard work. "Verso Il sole" (6:34) opens a bit complex with a great combination of drum keyboard and powerful n melodic vocal line. Really cool - especially during choruses and interlude with long sustain keyboard notes. I can smell the Keith Emerson's style inserted right here during interlude. It's a great interlude. The piano solo has even made the texture much better! "Una Storia Fiabesca" (6:52) is a song that starts mellow and it flows with nice keyboard passages that sometime remind me to Procol Harum. The combination of vocal and piano has resulted a good musical harmony.

"Il Rituale Notturno" (7:12) starts mellow during intro part but the song moves into more complex with higher notes exploring the rapid fire piano work and vocals. The piano solo is truly excellent, combined and augmented with keyboard sounds. The piano solo itself is worth listening because it's not only melodic, it shows how complex the arrangement is. "I Due Amanti" (13:40) concludes this album with wonderful opening: a punctuated Hammond organ work followed with dazzling drum by Flavio Scogna and keyboard work that contributes the symphonic nuance of this song. Some segments during intro part - right before the vocal line - reminds me to the nuance of "Repent Walpurgis" by Procol Harum. The rest is a truly excellent melodic symphonic prog music.

It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. You should not miss the album. Recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Yesterday the topic "What's your favorite Italian prog?" started in the Forum, there is a huge and enthousiastic response from the collaborators! This fine gem from the one-shot five piece band Corte Dei Miracoli is not mentioned until now in that topic. Their music sounds very pleasant and melodic featuring a lush keyboard sound from two keyboard players: powerful Hammond organ, delicate synthesizer flights, wonderful soaring string- ensemble and jazzy piano, including the distinctive sound from the Fender Rhodes electric piano. The Italian vocals are strong and the rhythm-section does well. If you like ELP (organ and synthesizer sound), Banco or Le Orme (both keyboard oriented and strong Italian vocals), I'm sure this CD will please you.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This Italian progressive rock music should be a sure value for any amateur of the genre. The lead vocals sung in Italian are EXCELLENT. This record definitely has a soul: the Italian pride, emotion & spirit are truly palpable from the beginning to the end. An interesting characteristic is the mix of densely floating keyboards with vintage keyboards making melodies. A strong point that needs a certain listen is the fact that the bass always makes a pleasant melody. The tracks are quite varied, and the music has similitudes with bands like Banco (the finale of the "E verra l'uomo" track), Goblin & Il Volo (the "E verra l'uomo" track), Triumvirat (the "Una storia fiabesca" track), ELP (the Verso il sole" & "E verra l'uomo" tracks), and The Nice (the "Verso il sole" track). The clavinet part on "E verra l'uomo" is EXCELLENT. There are some complex & fast percussions of the tam-tam family, like on the "Verso il sole" track. There are some nostalgic piano with sustained notes sounding like the John Tout's piano (Renaissance), for instance on the tracks "I due amanti" and "Una stoia fiabesca". The faster piano parts are more jazzy and sound a bit like on some ELP's or Mandalaband's tracks. The many wooden percussions arrangements, for instance on "Una storia fiabesca", are impressive, reminding the Rush's "The trees" track. The drums are often VERY fast, restless and complex. The very progressive & emotional track "Il rituale notturno" is VERY fresh, catchy and pleasant for the ears.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ...and so Italy persisted in searching other new bands that were able to re-capture the magic of the fabulous prog's first hour. The Italian mid-seventies are very interesting for any good prog lover for there are ones of the most prodigious prog bands ever and almost all have in common the fact they were one-shot bands: 1975 was the year of Maxophone and Apoteosi, 1976 of Celeste and Corte dei Miracoli, 1977 of Locanda delle Fate and Riccardo Zappa (who is not a band at all but an artist who graced us with his many solo albums...).

Of those bands Corte dei Miracoli and Locanda delle Fate seem to be very similar at first look. Both for that peculiar double-keyboards composition of the the line-up. Notwithstanding very different for that's the first looks more toward the ELP's experience while the second to Genesis's delicious sound. Electric guitar on Corte dei Miracoli is only on the first track "... E Verrà l'Uomo" (...And Then Man Will Come, 7,00 mns), as the precious contribution of Vittorio De Scalzi (New Trolls and New Trolls Atomic System, a mastermind of italian progressive sound) as a guest musician. And how exciting is the intro of that opener! The arrangements are all well elaborated in the usual italian mellow flavour which, you know, does not mean lack of complexity! It's an inceasing alternating between faster and slower parts, even if not up to pure virtuosism. Vocals provided by Graziano Zippo are an interesting mix between Le Orme (Aldo Tagliapietra) and Banco (Francesco Di Giacomo), the most related italian classic bands.

The ambitious project of the boys from Liguria (the region of Genua) seems to show us that the band's members knew perfectly where they were trying to focus their skills: on a genre near to fall, under the irresistible pressure of labels and commercial discography. In the few liner's notes on this Vinyl Magic reissue, they explain the meaning of the choice of name "Court of Miracles": it was the term used by Victor Hugo in "Notre Dame de Paris" to describe that group of marginalized people, talentuous but ingenuous...

So that's why of the longest track titled "I Due Amanti" (The Two Lovers, 13,40 mns)...this is not but the story of Quasimodo and Esmeralda!

P.S. The general rating of this album should be above the four stars!

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars A little Italian classic.

An album I would qualify as fluid, given the texture and the layered keyboard lines, the overall sound has a "gel" like feel to it that can envelope you. There's a substantial amount of groove and the vocalist gives a very nice performance in his native Italian.

Style is reminiscent of a toned down ELP (as far as music goes, their is little in terms of eccentricity) The album is extremely melodious, and the musicianship throughout is on point and professional. The biggest item missing is the lack of anything standing out above the crowd. While all the tracks are certainly quite good and enjoyable to listen to, they either fail to capture some of the deepest of human emotions that give us goosebumps.

This is more jazzy than some other symphonic releases, and overall leans more towards a collector's item for Italian Prog Nuts than a staple of prog. If you enjoy pleasant music with beautiful melodies and drawn out symphonic compositions, however, this will certainly be a wonderful addition to your collection.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars On this self titled second album, we are bombarded by organ/synth and temple block workouts, leaning to the fusion side of symphonic, punctuated with impressive expressions by vocalist Graziano Zippo. When he sings, the tides part and it is clear he is meant to be the center of attention. Certainly when he is to the fore I find myself noticing the proceedings a lot more, and favourably too, whereas otherwise I tend to drift in and out. After half a dozen listens they should seep in a little more, so even though nothing here is really bad, none is uniformly good either, and it seems to lack both immediate impact and future growth prospects. 2.5 stars, rounded down.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lush keyboard ruled Italian album

Corte dei Miracoli is a popular Italian prog powerhouse in the style of the more traditionally respected giants like Banco but with some jazzy influence as well. They are heavy on the keyboards with just a bit of guitar provided by a guest performer. While this album was released after the Italian peak it is one of those albums that had staying power, like Celeste or Locande delle Fate, because of the level of quality and good buzz from fans. The dual keyboards provide a wide range of different sounds and textures that will thrill keyboard fanatics, the arrangements are very solid. The drummer is also very good and particularly adept at playing fills that really add to the drama and atmospheres that the keys are putting out there. Occasionally he sounds like a lead musician here. Vocals are quite good in my opinion, certainly not the best I've ever heard but also not deserving of the scorn you will see written in some quarters. Production and sound quality are really great-often I must admit that while I love Italian music the sound can be less stellar than bigger English groups who had more studio time and assistance. But Corte clearly had a decent producer and engineer because this one sounds fine.

There are many highpoints for me: the beginning of "E Verra L'uomo" is one of the most memorable in Italprog history. Another great moment is half way through "Verso il Sole" when the piano comes in all bright and crisp, offering some great counterpoint to the synths and some very lively playing. I really enjoy the sense of melody and brightness that this album possesses but it has a couple flaws. There is a cheesy moment here and there. And the lack of guitar is like taking a color away from a painter, they manage to do very well without and yet occasionally the sound can have some sameness to it. I still like this album a lot and recommend it to keyboard prog fans without hesitation, and consider it nearly essential to Italian fans. 3 ½ stars.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A beauty from the 70s Italian scene easily missed, Corte dei Miracoli were the eager rhythms of Gabriele Siri and Flavio Scogna supporting a voice and the luscious twin synths of Alesseo Feltri and Riccardo Zegna. The album is somewhere between Greenslade at their most musical and the score to a James Bond film but CdM gave their brand of sleek, carefully built music plenty of heart and soul, attaining a near-perfect blend of what the Italians did best. Some commercialism peeks out now and then - maybe the distant sounds of a Ligurian radio station - but not nearly enough to take the teeth out. A sly electric piano briefly speaks before '...E Verra L'Uomo' ruptures open with some very cool play between the two keyboards. Fine singing from Graziano Zippo leads this thrilling jam evoking brethren Banco as well as Wakeman, ELP and even the firejazz of Mahavishnu. 'Verso il Sole' is gorgeous art-pop, almost opera, the four hands of Feltri & Zegna not going to waste, a marvelous track full of relaxed jazz tailored together with space age neoclassical. The reflective sadness of 'Una Storia Fiabesca' picks up by the middle and finishes heroically, more trenchcoats and intrigue in 'Il Rituale Notturno' as it puts us on a foot chase through the streets of Naples with a few moments to rest between the dangers, and 13-minute 'I Due Amanti' is an anthem of classic era symphonic rock at its most generous; many changes, grinding organs and dueling synths, and grand visions of magical lands. For those with a weakness for all that is good about Italian Symphonic Prog.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Corte Di Miracoli is not a well-known band. They played some Italian symph with a jazzy taste. I have to admit that this is not the combination I prefer.

But I can cope pretty well with the good E Verrà L' Uomo that opens the album nicely. The fine and symphonic vocal parts combine nicely some more jazz-oriented instrumental sections. Some sounds which are reminiscent of ELP can also be noticed. Same comment about Verso Il Sole except that Graziano Zippo doesn't sound so good in this jazz number.

I am more at ease while I listen to Una Storia Fiabesca. The Italian symph ingredients are all there, and it is mainly due to the dual keyboard players who add more depth to the music. Vocals are also more melodic than during the previous song. It is a highlight from this work.

The pleasure goes on with the emotional Il Rituale Notturno. It is symphonic during the first and sung part of the track, and turns as a jazz one when the instrumentals start (somewhat similar to what could be experienced in the opening song). Since I don't speak Italian, I can't tell of which Nightly Ritual they speak about...It is another fine song by all means.

My favourite one is the closing number: I Due Amanti which holds references to Notre-Dame De Paris. A fine moment to be honest: there are plenty of theme changes, keyboards interplay are excellent and the percussion work is impressive.

You should be aware that this album holds serious jazz influences before you listen to this it. A good album anyway. On the edge of the four stars rating (seven out of ten). Three stars.

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars If the city of Genoa was (one of) the Chistopher Columbus origin, it certainly missed the rush of early 70's first wave prog bands, but it certainly didn't miss the second batch/wave, with Picchio Dal Pozzo, Celeste (two of my faves) and the over-rated Corte De Miracoli Presenting a dual keyboard attack and no guitar (except on the opening track), CDM is a fairly unbalanced quintet, but this was rather more common in the second part of the 70's. Nevertheless this plays a negative role in the band's sound reinforced with the singer's lack of depth and limited capacities (and I don't like much his voice either ;o))).. Coming with a cosmic fantasy gatefold artwork, the album was released in 76

Starting on an almost-Zeuhlian piece Verra L'Uomo (due in part to the electric piano, but alsothe bass and the rare guitar), but by the time the vocals enter the track, it's all but a distant memory, although the music does return to the genre outside of the sung passages. Actually , it seems rather clear that the singer couldn't cope with the track's mainline so they had to adapt it clumsily.The following Verso Il Sole doesn't suffer this schizophrenic personality and presents an excellent piano and percussion exchange in its middle section, but the track returns to the opening motif. Storia Fiabesca hovers around the same musical realm as what we've just been exposed so far (the Zeuhlian passages not included here).

The flipside opens on the Rituale Notturno, but again the nature of the synth's sounds and the singer's voice are slowly grating my patience away and the grotesque succession of keyboards passages and their collage in the track's middle section is really weak, if not laughable on the Spinal tap genre. Needless to say that the slow passage just after is a complete cliché as well and it finishes in a completely ridiculous manner. Good riddance and arrivaderci!! The closing "epic" is a better level, even if you'll find grosso modo the same flaws than on the rest of the album. Not that much more credible and by the time the track comes to its hilarious and tacky breakdown, we're really glad the album's over. No doubt we'll be waiting another millennium before giving this album another shot.

CDM was clearly a second wave and second class traveller, one that would've never been groundbreaking and a mediocre genre-consolidator. As a matter of fact and despite some good passages, I'd be tempted to cite CDM's sole historical album as the exact type of band that actually helped the punks and the dub music press drive a nail into prog's coffin, but the nails belonged to CDM and just happened to sit by the coffin along with an abandoned hammer next to it.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Excellent release from this italian band from the 70´s that I had never heard about it until recently. I am amazed by the number of obscure good bands from that country (and also from Japan) that did not go past hte first album (well, in this case until the 90´s when there was the release fo some unissued material from Mellow records). Nevertheless, I was very surprised by the quality of the CD: the songwriting is very good, the playing is superb and the singer, although not really outstanding, is fine anyway,

The production is only average, but the group´s perfomance is brilliant, full of power and conviction that eventually overcome all the recording´s flaws. Their sound is very keyboard driven (there are two keyboards players) and a bit more jazzy than most other italian groups of the period, but only slightly. There are no fillers and the the quality of the whole album, composition-wise, is very high. The vocals are all sung in the native language and fit very well into the music.

If you like italian symphonic prog you can not miss this one. I´m glad I found this little known gem. It is only a pity that this group did not go on to have a longer career. Certainly they had everything to succeed. And this CD is proof of that. 4 stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is one of those albums that has emotion and complexity all rolled into one. Dual keyboards and an excellent rhythm section. Actually the bass player played with IL GIRO STRANO.The vocals are emotional and romantic and I like them a lot. Then add in guest guitarist Vittorio De Scalzo from NEW TROLLS who is a killer guitarist and you have an RPI classic, although coming in a little late as it was released in 1976.

"...E Verra L'uomo" is my favourite. Love that intro that reminds me of BANCO with the dual keyboards and an all out blitz. So impressive. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes as the vocals come in. Nice. The tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in. So good. It settles again as contrasts continue. A moving track. "Verso Il Sole" is led by drums, organ and piano early on. Vocals before a minute. Lots of synths when the vocals stop. Pulsating organ and percussion before 3 minutes as the bass throbs. Piano joins in. Vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes. A nice jazzy section 6 minutes in to the end.

"Una Storia Fiabesca" opens with keys and organ as light drums join in. Vocals before 2 minutes.The instrumental section after 4 1/2 minutes is great. Vocals are back 6 minutes in then we get more instrumental music a minute later. "Il Rituale Notturno" has these almost orchestral-like strings then the song kicks in before a minute. Keyboards after 2 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up in this instrumental section. A calm 4 minutes in then it builds. Vocals follow. "I Due Amante" is the over 13 1/2 minute closer.The percussion, drums and synths sound pretty cool to start. Organ is added. Piano 2 minutes in. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes in. Solo piano after 5 1/2 minutes followed by organ and drums. Another killer instrumental section here that ends before 9 minutes.

This is an easy one to recommend to RPI enthusiasts, it has all the ingredients and the final product is fantastico.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite making it into the top 100 RPI albums (just) here on PA I don't hear the name Corte Dei Miracoli mentioned much. That's a shame as while this eponymous and only album from the band (unless you include the 1992 released Dimenzione Onirica, which was a collection of early demos) is not a classic, it's certainly worthy of investigation to all but those with only a passing interest in the genre.

Corte Dei Miracoli produce a lush symphonic sound with jazz elements thrown in here and there. The music often has a melancholic feel with strong melodies and notable for a dual keyboard line-up with no guitar. The five compositions are to a large extent busy and quite complex, the most obvious reference being Banco, though it has to be said not quite in their league. Nevertheless this is an enjoyable album with a high standard of musicianship and well above average vocal work sung in Italian, naturally, as all great RPI albums with one or two exceptions are.

For those who've exhausted the first division of Italian prog bands and still hungry for more, this 1976 release is one you should get round to sooner or later. As I said earlier, not a classic but still a very good addition to any Italian prog collection. 3 ½ stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The early material of Corte Dei Miracoli, as taped on ''Dimensione Onirica'', gave promises for a great future for the band.Unfortunately, just before the recordings of the debut, keyboardist Michele Carlone left the band and was replaced by Riccardo Zegna, an experienced musician in the Jazz field.Eventually the band's self-titled debut saw the light in 1976 on the small Grog Records label.

The style of Corte Dei Miracoli seems linked with the Classical/Symphonic Rock stylings of LE ORME and LATTE E MIELE, featuring dual keyboard attacks and a sound split between romantic melodies and bombastic, complicated exercises.With heavy use of organs and moog synthesizers they manage to come up with a very intense, passionate atmosphere full of jazzy dynamics, complex textures and inventive breaks, that often seem hard to follow.Vocals by Graziano Zippo are warm and sensitive, but the majority of the album is dedicated to the impressive solos, the tight instrumental performances, while there are also some short improvised passages thrown in for good measure.Still the arrangements are pretty tight with solid musicianship and a phenomenal coexistence of the jazzy piano paces with the floating Fusion-esque synths and the big symphonic sound of the Hammond organ.The long ''I due amanti'' is a very good example of dramatic, keyboard-based Italian Symphonic Rock.

Corte Dei Miracoli existed until the summer of 1976, when they disbanded.Alessio Feltri and Gabriele Siri were involved to a second unsuccesful incarnation of Il Giro Strano, which lasted for a couple of years, while Zegna continued in the Jazz field, forming Gialma 3.

Among the goodies of Classic Italian Prog, ''Corte Dei Miracoli'' is an album with a bombastic, obscure and professional sound, ready to please all fans of keyboard-led Symphonic/Progressive Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 stars really

Corte Dei Miracoli is another one of those unnoticed symphonic prog bands from Italy in mid '70s with great potential right from the beggining of their short career. Selftitled debut from 1976 is a mixture of Banco, Le Orme, Campo di marte or ELP, with great musicinship but fails to be very original. Never the less some pieces are quite strong like opening ...E Verrà L'Uomo, top notch pieces, plenty of complicated instrumental passages, specially the keyboards are killer. Symphonic prog is all about here, elaborated arrangements, and in places they reach the grandeur of over mentioned bands, melodic lines combined with more complex ones, always give an enjoyble listening in the end. Not a masterpieces, but definetly one of the better albums from Italy in the golden years of prog, nice art work aswell.3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Another hidden Italian gem, albeit not in the highest league with PFM, Le Orme or Banco. The most interesting asset of the band is the warm sound with two keyboards and absence of guitars. There are clear RPI traces, some jazzy elements, great keyboard layers and even unusual approach with percu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2546306) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, May 28, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Corte Dei Miracoli, is one of the best lost in times albums of RPI, it's actually my favourite album of all the sub-genre, since i heard it 4 years ago. Every time that i listen this album i can't evite to feel a great emotion, it's very sad that CORTE DEI MIRACOLI wasn't published another album ... (read more)

Report this review (#1165563) | Posted by Zeuhl Glikowski II | Friday, April 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What an album! This is an extraordinary album, one of the best things that could have been created in the italian prog scene. Corte Dei Miracoli presents us their first album and in an impressive way of playing. The instruments used in here are based on keyboards, bass and drums. The guitar ap ... (read more)

Report this review (#1019773) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Saturday, August 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Italy wasn't lacking "one and done" classics in prog's 70s heyday, and Corte dei Miracoli is one of the most solid entries in a crowded field. The basis of the music is dual keyboards with almost no guitar. Vocals are also a standout, moreso than most Italian bands. The singer's vocal stylings are v ... (read more)

Report this review (#261464) | Posted by Area70 | Monday, January 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From Aldo and Vittorio de Scalzi's Grog Record (I.e. from their Studio G) another Italian gem! Corte Dei Miracoli (from Savona) is the last (but in improper way) the last incarnation of Il Giro strano and published thei only true album in 1976 (that is strange with this high standard) and thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#228578) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Monday, July 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, Italian Prog is a world that I never will discover totally. Corte dei Miracoli is not much different of other Italian bands of the middle 70's but there is something in the athmospheres that they create in every song that makes this album an interesting piece of collection. If I have ... (read more)

Report this review (#74181) | Posted by progadicto | Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars -3.5 stars Corte Dei Miracoli play a heavy mixture of symphonic and swirling jazz. There are some really groovy sections throughout the typical Italian epic sounds, making it a different experience from a lot of other Italian prog. The interplay between the musicians is pretty good, however ... (read more)

Report this review (#38893) | Posted by | Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best italian albuns i have ever heard. It Sounds like a little bit of everything we know from Italy, and, at the same time, very different of any other band. The sound is a little modern, seen that the album is from 76, but it doesn't matter too much. The melodies are absolutely ama ... (read more)

Report this review (#18586) | Posted by | Monday, September 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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