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Corte Dei Miracoli

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Corte Dei Miracoli Dimensione Onirica album cover
2.94 | 27 ratings | 6 reviews | 0% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dimensione Onirica (Part 1) (3:58)
2. Eterna Ricerca (7:45)
3. Volando Nel Sole (10:07)
4. Il Volto Sconosciuto Della Terra (7:07)
5. Riflessione (7:25)
6. Dimensione Onirica (Part 2) (10:15)
7. Breve Esistenza (8:53)
8. Corte O Morte (8:06)
9. Quasimodo (13:34)

Total Time: 77:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Alessandro Della Rocca / guitar
- Alessio Feltri / Hammond, Fender Rodes, Davoli synth
- Michele Carlone / piano, Solina, lead vocals
- Mario Alessi / bass
- Flavio Scogna / drums

Releases information

Demo recordings from 1973/74

Artwork: Alessio Feltri

CD Mellow Records ‎- MMP 104 (1992, Italy)

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CORTE DEI MIRACOLI Dimensione Onirica ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (52%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

CORTE DEI MIRACOLI Dimensione Onirica reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a collection of early Corte dei Miracoli demos recorded during rehearsal sessions a couple of years before the band managed to record their proper debut (and only) album. The line-up is also different, including a lead guitar player and a different second keyboardist (besides ex-Giro Strano Alessio Feltri) who also handled the lead singer duties. The sound quality is quite poor, to be honest, and it is such a pity, since this factor doesn't allow the listener to be accurately aware of the degree of power provided by the solid rhythm section, nor of the (supposed) interplay between both keyboardsmen - the organ is so prevailing in this rough mix, that it absorbs any potential room for the clear presence of the piano and synth parts performed by Feltri's fellow keyboardsman. Although, it is no wonder that the Hammond organ is so dominant in the overall instrumentation: its solos are more numerous than those played on electric guitar. After all, Feltri founded this band and wrote all this early material. On the other hand, the most important things, which are the music itself and the performances, stand out as very good assets: the compositions are ambitious and well crafted, while the performances appear to be well assembled and energetic (as much as the ear can grasp). Corte's early style is still very influenced by Il Giro Strano, which had disbanded one year before: the quintet sounds quite aggressive in many sections of this repertoire, and there's also some jazz oriented jamming here and there (mostly led by Hammond organ) - finally, the Nice-like track 'Dimensione Onirica Parte 2' is a new version of a Giro Strano number. But it is also clear that this new band is determined to pursue a distinct, dense symphonic direction: the presence of lots of Baroque and Romantic inspired cadences in most of the melodic lines shows evident signs of a serious intention to create a more focused prog style. This is obvious in tracks such as 'Volando nel Sole', 'Il Volto Sconosciuto della Terra' and 'Quasimodo' (all of them, soon to be included in the band's official album with different titles and more polished arrangements) and the majestic 'Corte o Morte', which sadly didn't survive this Corte era. This album would have been more essential than it actually is had the sound quality been better and had this line-up been more successful at creating a cohesive musical structure: but all in all, the repertoire is very good, and so are the performances. And as a relic, it is an accurate vehicle for a better understanding of what Corte dei Miracoli was all about.
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

This posthumous release is another iffy item from Moroni's Mallow label, but as is usually the case, there are many pros and a bit fewer cons to it. This archives demo tape is quite impressive and rather, but as with any demo tapes, there are many poor recorded moments, which does make me cringe and make them a bit iffy upon releasing them. But overall the music is much worth being heard, even if it bears few resemblances to CDM's only official historical release. Before their self-titled album's release in 76, CDM was a group since 73 under a fairly different line-up, with only keyboardist Feltri and drummer Scogna in the line-up. These (poor) demo-tapes were recorded in the winter 73/74 and the music sounded quite different as there was no jazz-rock inflections.

What we have here is a double-keyboard quintet developing a classically-influenced prog, that had some ELP-Nice-Banco influences mixed with Hammond-driven hard prog ala Murphy Blend or Virus. Compared to their CDM's eponymous album, the singing is much less disturbing (as Zippo is not yet in the group), the guitar parts are much more numerous and there are no irritating percussions (those temple blocs). Clearly this demo album demonstrate and helps understanding the band's schizophrenia in CDM's album) as here Feltri is the only composer and he is the one pulling the band in a classical territory and the jazz tendencies are the result of incorporating Zegna into the group. Three of the tracks (and not the least, either) here will be present (but fairly altered) on their sole historical album, the rest mysteriously disappearing from sight until Moroni's unearthing.

These demo tapes are a little long, and this would not be a problem had the sound been better (sometimes it borders the unacceptable), but listening to the whole thing at once is somewhat arduous, partly for sound reasons, partly for classical borrowings and derivative passages of other bands, and also because over the length of the album, you are bombarded with the same sonic spectrum. For collectors only, even if it does shed some lights on the historic album, all to often considered (abusively) a masterpiece.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I am often circumspect with tapes coming out the vaults. Most of time it leads to weak experience for two reasons:

1. The sound that is available on the majority is a poor quality, and are more related with boot sounds

2. The songs that have been re-discovered are usually no masterpieces

But with the apparition of the CD industry, it was a good idea money wise to resurrect both the official and the not-so official catalogue of thousands of bands. This has often lead the fans perplexed and money less.

So, what can we expect form these lost tapes?

The problem identified in my point Nr. 1, definitely. To sell this type of work which such a poor quality is a shame. On the other end, there are some very interesting tracks as well, and it would have been a pity not be able to listen to such a beauty as Eterna Ricerca.

Since only two members from the official release from '76 are featured, the lead vocals are left to the duties of Michele Carlone, and to be honest, his smooth timbre sounds marvellously well with this delicate music. Extensively organ oriented (two players share the bill) and somewhat ELP-ish during a good chunk, the delicate second part is a real enlighten for the ears.

There are even some moments during which the Heep is instantly recognized on this album. The heavy and frenetic organ intro of Volando Nel Sole is such a moment. The frenzy is also contagious to Alessandro Della Rocca who is playing a furious guitar solo (this won't be often the case). But as for the previous song, while the voice of Michele enters the scene, a sublime and melodic part is invading your ears. It is a memorable moment.

The rest of the song is a keyboards bravery which ends up into some sort of experimental closing that could have been avoided. The band will later convert it in a much shorter format in the form of Verso Il Sole on their CDM album.

This release should suit any ELP fans who might be curious of an Italian version of their beloved which on top also features some guitar breaks to add diversity to the music (Il Volto Sconosciuto Della Terra which will be titled E Verrą L' Uomo on their later release).

Still, there are here and there some flaws mainly due to its length (but this is another problem of this album). I guess that all the material of the band is featured on here, and Riflessione is nicely melodic but repetitive.

Most songs are on the long end on this work. Dimensione Onirica is divided into two parts (there was no real need for this). It is one of the very few tracks which has a certain jazz feeling (they will be much more influenced by this musical style in their official release). But it is really on the symphonic end of the scope, don't be worry. It is fully in style with the other good tracks here.

Another characteristic of these recordings, is that they are integrating some short classical input (but I'm not into classical to tell you which ones). This can only reinforce the ELP filiation of course. It is not too bad an idea actually, since they use this artifice with moderation.

The only minus point of this long track (over fourteen minutes in total), is that the band felt it necessary to include a drum solo in this studio recording (just like The Nice did with their Ars Longa Vita Brevis suite). The Nice and ELP: do you follow me?

At this time of the recording (which lasts for fifty minutes already) it starts to work a bit on my nerves. Some more variety would have been welcome, but the band is going with the same sort of borrowed music (Breve Esistenza). Fortunately the harmonious finale (which is close to Impressioni Di Settembre from PFM) saves the bill.

Corte O Morte could also easily have been skipped. It is a full jam-oriented track. When you add the poor boot quality recording with a non-existing song writing, an inevitable feeling of boredom is rising dramatically. Press next.

The closing number Quasimodo is a an early version of I Due Amanti which was also the closing track of their official album released in '76. CDM reverts again to better ideas. This song was one of the best of Corte Dei Miracoli and there is no reason to change my mind about this great piece of music.

If there would be one day someone willing to have a remastering of this work, then we would face a four star album. As such, three stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another very strong and well known italian band,CORTE DEI MIRACOLI were formed in the city of Savona in early 70's and released just one official album in 1976 that carries the name of the band as a title.Before this release the band had recorded some material around 1973.These lost forgotten tapes were collected by Mellow records and released as the second unofficial album of the band in 1992,despite being recorded some years earlier than their debut,under the title ''Dimensione onirica''.

This album contains some unreleased tracks of the early period of the band with a fully symphonic sound as well as some tracks from ''Corte dei miracoli'',but with different titles and in a more rough and less refined form.Unfortunately the first thing to notice is the terrible production.Despite the thrilling efforts and remastering of Mellow records,the sound of the release is very bad.Due to this fact the arrangements have lost much from their grandiosity,strength and dynamics.Thr recording is very poor and very much evident mainly through the sound of keyboards and drums.Imagine a result of a rather live recording in an amateur studio with very cheap equipment to appreciate the general sound of this effort.

Musically the compositions are overall quite strong.''Dimensione onirica'' is a good introduction to the sound of the band psychedelic organ,heavy rock guitars and baroque influences through the way.''Eterna...'' is a great track with a rhythmic first part influenced by THE NICE or even DEEP PURPLE'S Jon Lord and a thrilling second part with superb vocals by Michele Carlone and nice solos by Alessandro Della Rocca.''Volando...'' is a rough version of a later ''Corte dei miracoli'' track and continues from where the first part of ''Eterna...'' stopped.Fully classical influenced,the track delivers great keyboard work in the vein of THE NICE or even ELP for most of the time,ending up with psych/experimental synths.''Il volo...'' is another track later released in ''Corte dei miracoli''.Baroque influences are present again,this time in a more ''italian'' way (think of LE ORME),but the track is mainlt dominated by the great emotional vocal arrangements and voice of Carlone.Amazing song!Carlone delivers one more decent vocal reformance in ''Riflessione'' which sounds like early PFM with good guitar work,dark sounding Hammond organ and a superb ending theme.''Dimensione onirica'' part II is an obvious weakness,it's a lengthy version of the first intro with a meaningless drum solo at the end of the track.''Breve esistenza'' is the closest piece of music to MUSEO ROSENBECH I've heard from an italian band.Beautiful organ,dark sounding guitars,haunting rhythms,a great middle part piano theme and outstanding vocals are composing a magical ISP experience! In ''Corte o morte'' the jazz side of the band comes onto the surface with nice bass/guitar/keyboard interplays,a devent track in the line.''Quasimodo'' closes the album and this track was also included in ''Corte dei miracoli' under another title.This must be considered IMHO the most beautiful and original track of the band.The never ending synths add a different spacey/dreamy atmoshpere to the ISP style of the band,Carlone sings in a more theatrical way with changing moods and the piano themes are strongly emotional.This is the best closer for such a great musical experience!

If it wasn't of the poor production,we would be talking about a gem of Italian symphonic prog here.Unfortunately the arrangements sound less strong and worthy than they really should be.However rthis album could be a really interesting addition for anyone's collection.If you don't mind of the horrible recording,you might consider this album even as a hidden lost treasure!I think the original debut of CORTE DEI MIRACOLI should be rewarde at least with 3 stars despite the problems the poor production might cause to your nerves...

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another treasure unearthed

Some of the coolest RPI obscure gems were albums that never really happened. Lost recordings from bands like Giro Strana and Paradiso a Basso Prezzo were in various stages of completion before some unseen hand of fate stopped their formal release at the time. Thankfully, the wisest Italian archivists Mauro Moroni and Ciro Perrino have been there to save these treasures from being lost forever to time. They have cleaned up the recordings as much as possible and released them on Mellow Records for the fans of obscure RPI. "Dimensione Onirica" is yet another title to fall under this description. The caveat emptor with these recordings is that they generally have lower quality sound and that is again the case here. And as usual, my personal response is "so what?" When one is an RPI fan with a chance to hear rare and beautiful original recordings from the early '70s, you learn how to appreciate music for music rather than fidelity. Given the choice between a 1973 wild opus with muffled sound or the latest piece of perfect sounding insipid cheese-prog, there's no contest folks. And frankly I don't feel the sound is as bad as advertised. If I can hear the melodies and musicians I am able to enjoy it. If I have trouble hearing the basic melody that's another matter. I can hear everything here just fine, it's simply low fidelity.

Formed in 1973 from the remnants of a band named Tramps, Corte dei Miracoli also featured Alessio Feltri, keyboardist of another wonderful and obscure RPI band called Il Giro Strano. Feltri actually wrote all of the material on Dimensione Onirica and it's a real shame that this material was not properly recorded and released as an official project in 1973. For these were essentially demos that sound partially unfinished and sound like the band was working them out in the studio. And still they are captivating to RPI hounds. Far less polished and fancy-pants than the official CdM release of 1976, this album is for those who like things more heavy-prog spiked with psych and jazzy tidbits here and there. It's all here though, 77-minutes of vintage keyboards, busy bass parts, hard rock guitar leads, Italian vocals, and exuberant drumming all served up in the form of long 7-13 minutes jams. It has a gritty and fairly aggressive live sound. Given that most Italian albums of this period were very short, Dimensione is almost like getting a double album. As the material was never edited and arranged for a specific 35 minute release, there is some lack of focus I suppose. But the intent here is not to enjoy a focused concept album. Here you just throw in the towel and enjoy whatever comes at you, enjoy the many paths they travel. Often it can rock pretty hard with bombastic keyboard explosions of a Banco feel, but other times things can get spacey and mellow with piano or clean guitar, then it can shift to heavy guitar rock with bluesy organ runs. Anything goes! The songs are chalk full of that vintage RPI spirit, dramatic, emotional, somehow both bold and fragile. Some truly great potential here and even if we'll never know what could have been, the creative stirrings are nonetheless fascinating to me.

I love these kinds of "underground" RPI albums and thus the rating is as easy one for me. I recommend fans of jamming and less-reserved Italian rock investigate this assuming you can deal with lower quality sound. But if you are a sound purist to any degree, don't even bother. For me, I'll enjoy this album more often than the "real" CdM album.

Latest members reviews

4 stars How I've said in some reviews, I stay a little sad when I think about how many lost pearls simply had disappeared in the 70's for various motives, but, the case of CORTE DEI MIRACOLI "Dimenzione Onirica" be very sad ! I think sincerely... if this record demo had been less "careless" ... c ... (read more)

Report this review (#918558) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, February 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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