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New Trolls

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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New Trolls Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls album cover
3.74 | 248 ratings | 28 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls :
1. 1º Tempo: Allegro (2:15)
2. 2º Tempo: Adagio (4:50)
3. 3º Tempo: Cadenza - Andante Con Moto (4:10)
4. 4º Tempo: Shadows (5:30)
5. Nella Sala Vuota, Improvvisazioni Dei New Trolls Registrate In Diretta (20:32)

Total Time: 37:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Vittorio De Scalzi / guitar, flute, vocals
- Nico Di Palo / guitar, lead vocals
- Maurizio Salvi / piano, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes (5)
- Giorgio D'Adamo / bass, backing vocals
- Gianni Belleno / drums, backing vocals

- Luis Enriquez Bacalov / composer, arranger and orchestra conductor (1-4)

Releases information

Original soundtrack to the film "La Vittima Designata" directed by Maurizio Lucidi

LP Cetra ‎- LPX. 8 (1971, Italy)
LP Vinyl Magic ‎- VMLP129 (2008, Italy)

CD Nexus International ‎- K32Y 2056 (1987, Japan)
CD Fonit Cetra ‎- CDM 2034 (1989, Italy) With "Concerto Grosso n. 2" (two albums on one CD)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NEW TROLLS Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls ratings distribution

(248 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

NEW TROLLS Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars NEW TROLLS were a prolific band started in the beat generation of the late 60's and really came alive in the 70's with a number of grand progressive albums... "Concerto Grosso" was one of them. It was one of the first bands to attempt the fusion of classical and rock music and tuned out to be a huge success selling more than 800,000 copies worldwide and influencing other bands like DEEP PURPLE, OSANNA with "Milano Calibro 9", and ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA, with "Contaminazione". "Concerto Grosso" is a rich blend of orchestral tones with Ital-prog flushed throughout. The music is rich and full of excitement with some incredibly gorgeous themes throughout. Another excellent 70's Italian progressive album to discover.

Review by Proghead
5 stars This is actually NEW TROLLS's second album (although their 1970 self-entitled album is supposed to be a compilation album of early singles). The beat and pop sound of Senza Orario Senza Bandiera is totally out the window, going for the early prog rock sound. This album uses classical themes in a rock setting, by having conductor Luis Enriquez Bacalov supply the strings, played in an 18th century style. Nico di Palo was obviously a big HENDRIX fan, so the final movement of the "Concerto Grosso" suite features lots of HENDRIX-like guitar from him. The rest of the suite alternative between classical-like pieces, and JETHRO TULL-like rock pieces (complete with flute). The vocals are in English, but sung surprisingly well! The second half of the album is taking up by a lengthy jam, consisting of Vittorio de Scalzi's organ and electric piano, as well as heavy guitar work from di Palo. But I wished they cut back on the drum solo halfway, and continued with the music, as it sounds like it was too much like the drummer being a big showoff. But regardless of that flaw, this is a great album, recommended if you like Italian prog.
Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Many Progressive Rock fans hail the 1971 album "Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls" as the group's best album and one of the most important Italian Progressive Rock albums. Although I'm not sure I agree with either claim, the album's influence on Italian Progressive Rock groups is undeniable given its popularity at the time and its fusion of rock with classical-style music.

This was not the first attempt at fusing rock and classical styles, but probably the first attempt by an Italian rock group. A concerto grosso is a form of Baroque music normally consisting of four to six movements in which the music is passed between a small group of soloists and the orchestra. Composers who used this style or variations on it include Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

The correct album title is "Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls", but it is sometimes referred to as "Concerto Grosso No. 1" because in 1976 the group tried to repeat the success with the album "Concerto Grosso No. 2".

The album has five tracks, the first four of which form the Concerto Grosso and were composed by Argentinean composer Luis Enriquez Bacalov. Actually the Concerto Grosso really only consists of the first three tracks, as the fourth is a coda rehashing the second movement's theme in the style of JIMI HENDRIX. Bacalov, who lives and works in Italy, is a prolific composer of movie scores (soundtracks), including those for some early Spaghetti Westerns. He was awarded an Oscar for best original dramatic score for the 1994 movie Il Postino. In fact, allegedly his compositions for this album were initially intended for a movie soundtrack.

The first movement, 'Allegro', starts with the faux tuning-up by the orchestra and the tapping of the conductor's baton, introducing a short instrumental piece using the group's modern rock instruments and breathy flute interspaced with predominantly orchestral music reminiscent of Vivaldi. It's pleasant, albeit pretentious, and easy to whistle along to. According to the sleeve notes of the CD I own, the piece has a light, intentionally kitsch, flavour.

The second movement, 'Adagio (Shadows)', is a very relaxing song in English, with a hum-along melody. The phrase "to die, to sleep, maybe to dream", repeated several times, is a nod to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Sounding rather like the soundtrack of a romance à la Love Story, pretty swathes of violin (often accompanied by twangy electric guitar) give the music a classical feel. This is another pleasant track.

The third movement, 'Cadenza - Andante Con Moto', starts with solo violin, again reminiscent of Vivaldi, then turns into movie score music with swathes of violin and twangy guitar, and finally returns to music in the style of Vivaldi. Again the singing is in English and the phrase "to die, to sleep, maybe to dream" crops up several times. The violins and harpsichord are pretty and this is another relaxing, hum-along track.

'Shadows (for Jimi Hendrix)' features Di Palo's guitar playing which is very reminiscent of JIMI HENDRIX, hardly surprising as the track is dedicated to JIMI HENDRIX and Di Palo was very influenced by him. The singing is again in English (with a more noticeable Italian accent this time). The oft-repeated phrase "to die, to sleep, maybe to dream" creeps in over organ, followed by some groovy, breathy flute. There are some good Hendrix-like licks near the end. The track sounds very 1960s-ish.

The fifth and final track is the long one: twenty and a half minutes of alleged improvisation by the group. This is my favourite track on the album, and ironically not part of the concerto grosso. This track is, in my opinion, less pretentious than the rock-classical fusion of the preceding tracks and is no-nonsense, funky Progressive Rock. Fabulous electric organ at the beginning turns into a really groovy, boogie sound - quite DEEP PURPLE-sounding and very satisfying - introducing again some Hendrix-like guitar plus breathy flute. The guitar is great, actually. A short part in the middle of the track sounds like the theme from Mission Impossible! The brief singing is in Italian on this track. There is a hiatus and the music, with distorted organ or electric piano, then takes on a very funky, jazzy style in which the DEEP PURPLE-like organ comes in again with some good distorted guitar. Finally, Belleno performs a drum solo, which goes on too long really, and the group brings the piece to a close.

Well, how to rate this album? Historically it is interesting as it was the first attempt (as far as I am aware) by an Italian group to create a work of rock-classical fusion. It also should be judged in the context of its era, which should bump up its rating really. However, I have to be honest and say that I am not bowled over by it and do not regard the album as the masterpiece that many claim it to be. Nevertheless it is an enjoyable album and fans of Italian Progressive Rock would no doubt find it a worthwhile purchase, although I have my doubts that all fans of Progressive Rock would be as enthusiastic. At the end of the day I do not regard the music as essential or particularly memorable. It's rather variable in my opinion, but does make for easy listening (foreground or background). I would award the album 3.5 stars if such a thing was possible, but I think I'll settle for 3 stars (Good, but not essential).

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ".to die, to sleep, maybe to dream." (William Shakespeare - Hamlet - a. III, sc. I).

These are the most important (English) words on which this magnus opus is based on!

It was 1971 when New Trolls chose to open with a crescendo of baroque strings their Concerto Grosso, composed and orchestrated by the incomparable Luis Enriquez Bacalov, who also worked later (in 1973) on Il Rovescio della Medaglia's Contaminazione. The memorable Vivaldi's compositions are their inspiration here most than Bach ones, in my honest opinion!

Concerto Grosso is an ambitious work that rapidly became one of the most important and influential masterpiece in all the Italian progrock scene! The album title comes from a baroque musical entertainment form, popular around the end of the 18th century. A Concerto Grosso, in particular, was made by three movements and a song: here there's "Allegro", "Adagio", "Andante con Moto" and "Shadows", a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The whole second side (20.30 minutes long) features, literally, an "empty room improvisation", rich of musical contents and ideas, including an interesting drum solo. Baroque music, hard rock "a la Jethro Tull", a jazzy feel and haunting melodies. A dramatic mix and a theatrical strong structure.

It was already written: I had to immediately fallen in love with this 1971 album! All that delightful equilibrium and memorable performance of the band, all that powerful it would be possible for me to dislikes it?

Essential: a must have album in my opinion, a classic work objectively!

Review by andrea
5 stars In 1971 New Trolls met with composer Luis Enrique Bacalov and producer Sergio Bardotti for the soundtrack of the film "La vittima designata" directed by Maurizio Lucidi and starring Tomas Milian. The plot was settled between Milan and Venice and featured the scene of a murder in Venice... So the idea of a soundtrack inspired by Vivaldi and featuring the strength of a rock band interacting with an orchestra seemed a good idea for the musical comment of the scenes on the screen. Then, from cinema to vinyl the step was short. New Trolls line up features here Vittorio De Scalzi (guitar, keyboards, electric piano, flute, vocals), Nico Di Palo (guitar, vocals), Giorgio D'Adamo (bass), Gianni Belleno (drums, vocals) and Maurizio Salvi (keyboards, organ) while the orchestra was directed by the Maestro Bacalov himself. This album is usually regarded as a masterpiece of Italian progressive-rock and it's historically important because it was the first experiment of this kind in Italy, moreover it was quite successful and it opened the way for other works in the same style.

On the first side the band interact with the orchestra blending prog-rock influences (for instance the flute in "Jethro Tull style" and the distorted guitar) and classical music passages with balance and good taste. The first movement is the lively instrumental "Allegro". On the second movement, the slow and passionate "Adagio" well balanced vocals soar in an evocative way. "Wishing you to be so near to me... Waiting for the sun to shine again / Finding that it's gone too far away / To die, to sleep, maybe to dream...". The short lyrics were inspired by the poetry of Shakespeare... To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; or in that sleep of death what dreams may come (Hamlet, Act III - scene I). The third movement, "Cadenza - Andante con moto" is a beautiful melancholic piece, to sleep and to dream... The fourth movement, "Shadows", is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. It's a reprise of the "Adagio" where the band with electric guitar and flute in the forefront seem to look for Jimi's shadow in the dark and struggle to find it...

On side two there is a long track where the members of the band showcase all their musicianship, "Nella sala vuota, improvvisazioni dei New Trolls registrate in diretta": it is almost completely instrumental (in the middle there are just some vocals in Italian, a short reprise of a single previously released "Il sole nascerà") and though the title means "improvisation in an empty room" it is very far from being just a boring free improvisation sounding more like a medley of different pieces put together. According to Vittorio De Scalzi, this is not just a filler and the aim of the band was to reproduce in studio the same energy that they were able to express live on stage during their concerts . Well, the result is definitively not bad at all!

On the re-release on CD of this album you'll find also its sequel, "Concerto grosso n. 2". Indeed, after their first split up and the separate experiences of the members with Ibis and New Trolls Atomic System, in 1976 New Trolls reunited with e renewed line up and tried to repeat the success of "Concerto Grosso per I New Trolls". Luis Enrique Bacalov composed the music of the first three tracks and the band interpreted them interacting with an orchestra. Perhaps you can't find here the originality of the album released in 1971 (on the third movement every now and then there are slightly reminiscences of Mike Oldfield's Tubolar Bells) but the pieces are well structured and well performed. On the second and third movement there are some remarkable harmony vocals and the romantic lyrics are sung in English... "She's many miles away from me / She's wasting nights away from me / But every sing and every tear and every lie and every fear / Are always calling back my love keeping back my love"... An amazing example of contamination between classical music and progressive rock?

It's a pity that the other tracks of the album seem to go in another musical direction... Just some nice pop songs (the dreamy "Quiet Seas", sung in English and "Bella come mai"), some West Coast echoes ("Vent'anni" reminds me slightly of CSN&Y, with amazing harmony vocals built up around a remarkable acoustic guitar work, while "Let It Be Me" is the cover of a song made famous by the Everly Brothers) and a not completely convincing vocal experiment ("Le Roi Soleil" where the words of the bleak nonsense lyrics are nothing more than sounds while the music reminds slightly of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody").

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars NEW TROLLS were the first Italian band to combine Rock music with Classical music, so yes this is a very influential album. I've never been a big fan of orchestral music but this is well done for the most part.

The first song "Allegro" is a short song that opens with orchestral sounds before the violin comes in and is contrasted with a TULL-like flute led section. Guitar comes in and then more orchestral strings. "Adagio (Shadows)" opens with violin and an acoustic guitar? The guitar comes in taking the violins place playing the same melody. The vocals repeat this Shakespear line "to die, to sleep, maybe to dream" throughout this song. I must admit the background vocals aren't very good and I wish the main vocals were in Italian. We also have the orchestral strings playing with this awesome guitar melody along side it. Themes are repeated.

"Cadenza-Andante Con Moto" opens with a violin solo that is eventually joined by the whole band, a beautiful instrumental. "Shadows" is a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, and so Hendrix-like guitar solos and melodies are the main features of this song, although why do they repeat that Shakespear line over and over again like on the earlier track. Some flute on this one around 2 1/2 minutes that goes on and on. The last song is an over 20 minute improv where each member gets to show their talents, drum solos, organ solos, guitar solos, a chance for the band to jam.

Good album but I do think it pales when sitting beside the RPI classics.

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Being one of the oldest "rock" groups from Italy, The New trolls embarked on a very ambitious project, an attempt to merge heavy progressive rock with classical symphonic music with the help of conductor Luis Bacalov. The group had decided to move on to more serious music after their concept debut album, and in the process replaced their keyboard player with the long-standing Maurizio Salvi who will see Bacalov helping out on the keys as well. The album cover represents a somber purple baroque theatre, which is appropriate to the music.

TNT's first movement Allegro is a fairly common call and response between the group and the orchestra, and while not being disastrous as Deep Purple's experiment; this writer is anything but impressed by this uninventive blending. The following Adagio is more interesting, with both De Scalzi and Di Palo singing, but the strings section's overly romantic underlines are very cheesy, sounding like a decade later these terrible Rondo Veniziano records heard in supermarkets. The third movement Cadenza - Andante Con Moto is a better movement where indeed the two sections are working in the same direction, even if I can't help but thinking that a mellotron could've easily replaced the orchestra at lesser costs! There is definite Jethro Tull feel to the "concerto" due to a flute. But the A-side's apex is Shadows (for Jimi Hendrix) where De Scalzo and Di Palo's guitars are giving their all to pay decent tribute and the singer's vocals are much reminiscent of Vanilla Fudge, but this track hasn't much to do with the orchestra.

The flipside is filled by a sidelong-improvised "jam" recorded live in the studio. Nella Sala Vuota starts out on a long organ intro before the rest of the group enters like madmen with flute, searing guitars, wild drum-banging, then the whole things calms almost to a stop before starting in unison, giving Mad-Flauting Caravan-esque feel to the track before Uriah Fudge vocals take over, later segueing into a Santana passage, then leading into the obligatory and inevitable drum solo (grrrr!!! I hate those!) How many long jams have been ruined by those elongated drum breaks (and this one is a long [%*!#]er too!!), but the good thing about it is that it is almost at the end, so you can skip it, as well since the last 40 seconds are just the closing notes.

A very over-rated album, and certainly nothing original (or groundbreaking), Concerto Grosso 1 is probably the most over-estimated album of the peninsula, even if it has most of the ingredients to please 70's prog fans. And to think that this same group would indulge in second Concerto (albeit after popular demand) is flabbergasting, but not necessarily in a positive way.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars New Trolls are considered one of the great Italian groups but personally they do very little for me. They use English vocals which is very unfortunate and frankly their whole sound is one attempt after another to mimic their English heroes. On this album in different places they sound like Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix...they sound like everybody but an essential Italian genre band. Good artists of course but it you want that why not listen to the original? Concert Grosso has some fine moments early on. When the violins first take off they are breathtaking and I really enjoyed that. But as the album moves on the piece becomes more predictable and in the latter moments it descends into a bunch of hard rock bravado that is more annoying than interesting to me. I'll give them 2 ½ stars for their chops and for the nice violin early on but that is as much as I can muster. Not essential by any stretch. You can hear a more interesting fusion of classical with pop/rock by going backwards 3 years and listening to the Moodies in '67. That was interesting, this is tedious and forgettable. My advice to newbies would be to skip the Trolls and find the good Italian stuff. Hugues is right on the money.
Review by russellk
2 stars The NEW TROLLS were an Italian Symphonic Rock band, and this album is generally considered their crowning achievement. It is certainly part of the heartland of progressive rock, a sprawling fusion of chamber music and rock instruments, and it is tempting to rate it highly to show one has heard a more obscure album from prog rock's golden period. Marks one out as discerning, don't you know.

The problem is, this album just isn't all that good. The idea of creating a rock concerto by blending a band with an orchestra paled soon after THE MOODY BLUES and DEEP PURPLE did it, and this album adds nothing to the genre. If anything, it is my least favourite of all the rock symphony efforts. All the decent music is performed by the orchestra: the band just noodles pointlessly, offering little more than the illusion of progressive rock.

The Concerto Grosso is in four movements, though the fourth is an excuse for a HENDRIX-style guitar solo. The first three movements are moderately interesting, but pale against both genuine orchestral compositions and good progressive rock. The fifth track is a twenty minute jam designed to showcase the musicians' dubious talents. If I'm going to invest twenty minutes listening to music I want a little more tune and structure and a little less dead-end, self-indulgent noise.

So. Not a great concerto, certainly not great prog rock and a pale shadow of the great jazz improvs of the period. The parts where they try to sound like JETHRO TULL are quite good, though just a little too derivative even for my tolerant ears. Scarily, the band were encouraged enough by this album's reception to do a second Concerto Grosso a few years later.

There is some magnificent Italian progressive music out there. Honestly, I don't think this album is worthy of comparison to the greats of the genre.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
4 stars I always thought that Per Un Amico would be first Italian Symphonic review, but I've been absolutely captivated by Concerto Grosso per I.

I've always thought that Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Center of the Earth was the perfect synthesis of bombast, classical influence and rock. I was wrong. Concerto Grosso per I features better symphonic parts, rock that rocks harder and better, and nearly as much bombasticity. (Did I just invent a new word?) Anyhow, this vinyl (which I luckily ran across a few months ago) is infused with the very spirit of prog, from the soaring string sections to the blazing guitar riffs. And, in the true spirit of Journey to the Center of the Earth, I'm not wild about the vocal performances. :)

Anyhow, if you like your prog over the top, with plenty of sweet symphonic sounds and some great guitar work (they pay homage to Hendrix in this album) this is what you want. I've always considered Wakeman's Journey to the Center of the Earth as definitive of what I expect out of prog, and this comes very close to that indeed, lacking only the captivating story and the excitement that Rick generates at the beginning and end of his magnum opus.

4 stars all the way. And it's taking a lot of restraint not to bump this up to 5.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Kicking off the album with a thematically correct orchestral tuning and a few moments of silence before the whole concept unfolds, New Trolls go by the book of orchestra-rock band fusions like this. And although it is all too obvious what this is all about, I must say I am both curious and eager to hear if all the ambition in those few seconds really is going to pay off on Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls.

Allegro - the first of five movements - actually breathes a lot of life into the album right from the start. Grandiose violins, with sharp and dramatically rising and falling bursts pave the way for their counterparts of aggressive flute and angular noodling from the guitar. Reminiscent of RPI's more frothing bands, it isn't unique or supreme in any way, but the alternations between the band and the orchestral arrangements ultimately gives this piece a slight edge, swirling in a pompous, busy and sometimes even convulsive manner. It's not original in structure, but I like the boost of energy it provides.

What follows is - logically - the second movement. Adagio. I'm sure the band considered this an excellent way to add instant dynamics and width to their joint operations effort - the complete opposite to the refreshing Allegro. Serving its purpose, the sugary sweetness and onslaught of string romanticism unfortunately brings the side-effect of lost momentum, causing damage that frankly never is repaired during what's left of Concerto Grosso. Not bad as what it is - an accesible, ingratiating tune that aims to stir up emotions in a mostly superficial way. I miss the profundity I've come to expect from Italian progressive rock. Tempo Cadenza Andante Con Moto is more of that overdone sweetness, thankfully without the vocals this time and slightly more interesting musically, adding some contemplative quality and imagery (mostly attributed to the strings, violins and to some extent keys, as the rest of the band really feels a little out of place - standard drumming, droning bass and a general indifference, a feeling of "we're-just-rockifying-this-piece" that doesn't leave much of a lasting impression).

The Jimi Hendrix influence is certainly evident on Shadows, a soft but efficient bluesy rock song that sometimes move around the territory of early Jethro Tull (that influence pops up now and then on the album). Actually some of the most enjoyable minutes on the album, but strangely out of place considering the overall concept of the album. The solo guitar tribute wrapping up the concerto ends that part of the album in a strange, uncalled for and to these ears rather unpleasant way.

So.what's left? Apparently 20+ minutes of improvisations from the band, this time without orchestral backing/lead, depending on how you want to see it. Still very rooted in the heavy blues rock of Deep Purple and repeating relatively simple riffs over and over with little or no variation, this is more a loosely held-together chain of numerous ideas for individual songs than anything else. There are some nice parts from the keys and surprises from the individual instrumentalists, but they are naturally spread thin during 20 minutes. Throwing in approximately 7 minutes of solo drumming (and not of the percussive firework type) is also a strange decision, and for me a filling of time more than anything else.

As a previous reviewer noted: much of Concerto Grosso is little more than the illusion of progressive rock. I think that's true to a certain point, but would rather call it a blueprint for much of what can be found in RPI. The rough outlines are all there; the fusion of styles and the will to go further. Stylistic likeness, but lacking in sophistication and coherence. Concerto Grosso is a colourful get-together of sounds, no doubt, but also a mess with a lot of loose ends. As such, I really don't think it shows how great this kind of music can be, unfortunately highlighting the wrong side of the famous coin. Perhaps embryonic, but far from great.

2 stars.


Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A nice bit of neo-classical music with reference to Jimi Hendrix

For people living in the Americas the thought of a symphonic rock sub-category based entirely off of Italian Musicians can seem a little bit threatening to start. Not to mention that in this new millennium the albums by these artists are almost impossible to find. The New Trolls emerged onto the scene in the late 60s and are likely one of the most ignored bands in the world considering that they've had a long and prolific career which just about no one outside of Europe has heard of. Granted, that's a big market, but for American prog lovers who are more accustomed to the UK scene this band, and indeed this subgenre, is well worth checking out. Concerto Grosso Per I is the third album from these Italian Prog rockers and they really seem to hit the market well here. The music presented is a terrific blend of classic progressive rock, hard rock and neo-classical that makes for a very interesting listen. While this kind of music normally would make the listener want to sit in a big leather chair in front of a fireplace and smoke a corn-cob pipe (aka - be snooty) the music fails to become pretentious throughout the course of the album, making for a very enjoyable and approachable listen. The album is mostly instrumental throughout it's two compositions, but splashes of well placed vocals are used for good measure.

The album is composed mainly of two segments. The first half is a suite comprised of 4 parts, and the second half is a 20-minute instrumental improvisation of massive proportions. While the second half is certainly the most tempting on the track list, it's not the standout of the album. The first half of the album is really the one that should get most of the attention. 1° Tempo: Allegro opens the album in a pomp and lush environment, mixing blissful violins with distorted guitars to make a blend of refined and raw which is really pleasing for the 2-minutes this section of the song has to unfold. The rest of the song is fantastic as well, slower and calmer parts mix in with the heavier other sections such as the wonderful 4° Tempo: Shadows (Per Jimi Hendrix) which may not be the most ''normal'' Jimi Hendrix tribute, but his influence is notable anyways.

The second half of the album may not be quite as breathtaking as the first half, but it's well worth the listen in any case. Nella Salla Vuota is a long and interesting instrumental improvisation full of everything from those heavy distorted guitars down to a drawn out percussion-jam-session with a rhythm reminiscent of what Yes would one day do in The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun). Some non-lyrical vocals come into the mix now and again to build the atmosphere, and everything just clicks overall. Many improvisational tracks have been done in the history of our fair genre, but not many of them work quite this well.

For an interesting use of neo-classical prog that's good on the ears, The New Trolls receive a 4 out of 5 for this effort. While the album may not be quite in everyone's style, its eclectic nature certainly makes for a ''something for everyone'' feel, and with repeated listens it certainly reveals more and more of its charms. Highly recommended.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars...

Among the most succesful bands of Italian rock in general,NEW TROLLS were formed in mid-60's in Genova,fronted by the figure of guitarist Vittorio DeScalzi.They even supported ''The Rolling Stones'' in some gigs,before releasing their first single ''Sensazioni'' in 1967,followed by the debut ''Senza orario,senza bandiera'' in 1968,a mostly beat/pop album with a lot of good singles.A collection of their early material was their sophomore effort simply named ''New Trolls'' in 1970.It was about the same time when original keyboardist Mauro Chiarugi left to be replaced by Maurizio Salvi.1971 sees the band completing their ambitious classical-inspired work ''Concerto grosso per i New Trolls'',one of the finest and earliest paradigms of Italian prog rock,featuring compositions of Argentinian composer Luis Bacalov.

Side A of the album contains four tracks of absolutely fascinating,depressing and melancholic classical music blended with rock instrumentation.There are various stunning strings around coming from cellos or violins with a delicate sound surrounded by excellent harpsichord and JETHRO TULL-like flute attacks.Of course Scalzi is often present delivering HENDRIX-inspired guitar hooks,while the vocal work seems like coming more out of a 60's band than a prog rock one.Side B contains only one song of 20-min. length,from which I expected much more thinking of side A.Actually it sounds like an inspired jamming between the members of NEW TROLLS and until the 15th minute the band offers again some heavy flute parts mixed with the screaming organ of Salvi and the fuzzy guitars of Scalzi.There is unfortunately a long drum solo by Gianni Belleno,which I find totally useless, and it closes the epic in a rather pointless way,but again this track has also its decent moments...Apart from the uneven epic of the album,it can't be denied that ''Concerto grosso per i New Trolls'' stands among the most important albums of the Italian rock scene and thus,it must be heard by a lot more music fans than it has ever reached.Strongly recommended,especially to fans of E.L.P.,JETHRO TULL,THE NICE,THE MOODY BLUES or BEGGAR'S OPERA.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars When heavy prog meets classic.

When Tull meets classic.

When classic meets Italian prog.

Pick up one of your choice and be sure not to be far away from the content of this album.

I have never been over enthusiastic about the mix of an orchestra and rock artists (being prog or not). No that this one is bad but in general, the orchestra tends to have more of a leading role, which I don't like too much ("Cadenza"). On the other hand, the overture is quite interesting and should please any Tull fan thanks to a very similar flute play ("Allegro").

The same approach applies to "Shadows". After a mellow sung part, the tracks moves on towards a more rock angle and finishes with an homage to the guitar master: Jimi Hendrix. This track although not brilliant is another good moment from this album.

Hopes for great stuff reside in the epic "Improvvisazioni Registrate in Diretta" which means that this track is "an improvisation recorded live". No more, no less. This leads to a quite chaotic but fine intro. Some parts are again very much Tull esque which is of course not to annoy me. But the filiation is probably too obvious, hence derivative.

Another influence is the Heep during some vocalized parts. Again, I quite like these moments but what's the originality?

The good point is that the orchestra is not featured and that we have a full blown (heavy) prog song being played. Excellent organ work and drumming is quite effective as well. Still, I fully share the opinion of some fellow reviewers who believe that a six minutes drum solo on a studio album is probably not the most interesting way to promote your music.

My rating is more conservative than lots of five stars I've seen for this album. Three stars. A good album but nothing too innovative nor spectacular as far as I'm concerned.

Review by Menswear
3 stars Wow and not so wow.

First half: just awesome. For a Rovescio della Megdalia fan like me, it's a great start. Beautiful violin arrangements and juicy guitar riffs. I thought to myself: 'What a start!'

Second half: oh lord, what happened? 20 minutes, surely not like the first half. The problem is that they dropped the concerto concept and replaced it by a lower Jethro Tull concept. And what's the gag with this drum solo? It's not even that good! There's nothing more annoying than a drummer who thinks he's Joe Morello, but wants to share so bad it's 'talent'. Results: annoying, useless if it's over 2 minutes. In fact, it's too loud and no melodic's not a concerto anymore!

Disappointed (but not totally) and still rooting for Rovescio as best blend of classical/ rock ever.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Brilliant is turning into a meaningless word, being that many people use it to describe their favorite musical ensemble from GENESIS to BRITNEY, quality matters very little, most people just apply this adjective to any album they enjoy, that's why this word seems so empty when we are before a masterpiece like Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls, but if there's an album that deserves superlative adjectives is this precious gem.

My first surprise was to find that despite what most people say, this is not a Symphonic album exclusively, because this guys give us Classical Music, Hard Rock, Symphonic Prog, Folk and Psychedelia, all blended with such care that the fusion sounds as the only natural way to perform the eclectic "Rock Progressivo Italiano".

But to understand the album, we must say that a "Concerto Grosso" is a musical form from the Baroque period, which main characteristic is the interplay between several soloists and orchestra through four to six movements, and THE NEW TROLLS have developed it perfectly, because the orchestra (strings) create the general atmosphere of the music while the guitar, flute, organ and vocals, take the place of the soloist by turns, simply outstanding structure.

The album starts with Tempo Allegro, an excellent overture that begins with "contrappunto" between violins and flute, as the piece advances, a distorted guitar takes the role of the flute to apply extra power to the magnificent VIVALDI inspired music.

Tempo Adagio is much more dramatic, the strength relies more in the force of the sentiments evoked by the music itself rather that in fast or loud instruments. Now, the real beauty start with nostalgic vocals enhanced by beautiful strings and some short distorted guitar passages that show us that THE NEW TROLLS are a Rock band. Extremely delicate and delicious music.

Tempo: Cadenza - Andante Con Moto is opened by a virtuoso violin solo again reminiscent of VIVALDI, but when the whole band enters they retake the main theme explored in the previous movement, this time giving more importance to the strings and percussion instead of the guitar or flute, and the heartbreaking choirs are the cherry in the top of the pie....By this point I'm speechless.

Tempo Shadows took me by surprise, because the orchestral arrangements are left behind to create some sort of Bluesy / Psychedelic movement allowing the band to play some sort of soft Rock, really experimental song..

The album ends with the 21 minutes epic Nella Sala Vuota, Improvisazioni dei New Trolls Registrate in Diretta is the turn of THE NEW TROLLS to rock with all they have,. blending blues, Psychedelia, Heavy Rock (URIAH HEEP inspired) and a lot of jamming in one track full of energy and class.

Normally the Prog bands use one of two options when trying to perform Classical oriented Prog, some as the Moody Blues add orchestral intros and codas to Rock or Pop tunes, while icons as WAKEMAN and EMERSON add fragments (or complete works) of well known artists to a Symphonic Prog structure, but this guys go a step further, they have composed a real and original "Concerto Grosso" allowing the band to take the part of the soloists, creating a perfect fusion between Rock and Baroque.

If this is not an "Essential masterpiece of Progressive Rock", this qualification has no sense at all, so without hesitation I will give 5 solid stars to an amazing and ambitious project developed with uncommon skills.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Named after a baroque music format in which a group of soloists trade licks with an orchestra, this doesn't actually include a full orchestra to my ear but does have a string section coming in from time to time to back up the New Trolls. Not that they entirely need it - they prove themselves to be a more than capable prog unit here, taking influences ranging from some decidedly Jimi Hendrix-like guitar (one of the songs here being a tribute to Jimi) to early King Crimson to the sort of sound Jethro Tull best captured on the Living In the Past compilation. (Vittorio De Scalzi has Ian Anderson's "toot then yell" motif down to a fine art.)

Where the Trolls excel is in taking all of these distinct influences and mashing them up into a whole which has a personality of its own. It is no surprise, then, that this release ended up being an important foundational document of the Italian prog scene, coming out at around the same time as Le Orme's Collage did and thus, along with that album, prompting the deluge of Italian prog that would later emerge in 1972.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Avanti il Popolo! La vittoria e nostra! (Progressive rock music has arrived in Italia!) Side one of the New Trolls' 1971 album contains a nice blend of classical instrumentation into a kind of blues-rock operetta JETHRO TULL-style. It is not as well recorded or refined as some other rock-classical blends however I have to laud it for it's daring in being one of the first fairly successful rock conversions of famous themes from classical music (Vivaldi)--and for the gutsy daring of the musicians involved. One side note: As accent-less as Nico Di Palo's English is, I do find it strange that the band chose to sing its lyrics in English.

1. "Tempo: Allegro" (2:15) an awesome JETHRO TULL-sounding rock version of classical themes. (9/10)

2. "Tempo: Adagio" (4:50) What gorgeous singing voices Nico and his background singers are! No wonder they were so successful as generators of pop hits after their prog phase. It's too bad the orchestral arrangements are so syrupy (and strings-dominant) here. (8/10) 3. "Tempo: Cadenza - Andante Con Moto" (4:10) plays for the first minute and a half as for all intents and purposes, a violin solo. But then those syrupy strings get involved. Too bad. (Barely a rock song--were it not for the drumming.) Nice use of harpsichord and wordless and worded vocals over the strings and violin in the second half. Disappointing end with orchestral strings leading us out. (8.5/10)

4. "Tempo: Shadows" (5:30) a bluesy rock song in the PROCUL HAREM vein with a show of HENDRIX in the lead electric guitar department. The flute-led instrumental section in third and fourth minutes employs a very Hendrix- like guitar improvisational background (and, later, foreground)--and it works marvellously! Most excellent! it gets a little carried away with the guitar feedback solo in the fifth and sixth minutes, but it is ballsy! and well done. (9.5/10) 5. Nella Sala Vuota, Improvvisazioni Dei New Trolls Registrate In Diretta (20:32) opens as a bluesy Hammond solo for the first two minutes. As the full band join in, the breathy flute-led song begins to sound like the theme song from the original Mission: Impossible television series--as it might be played by The Netherlands' FOCUS around 1972. JETHRO TULL influences also come raging through in the second quarter of the song. After the mid-song break, the music returns in what sounds like a RAY CHARLES instrumental. Nice Hammond work is followed by a loud and dated-sounding electric guitar solo which is then followed by a surprisingly impressive (and surprisingly long) drum solo by Gianni Belleno. (I love the fast panning effect used near its end!) Gianni finally builds back the song base to allow the rest of the band to join in for the last 45 seconds. The highs of the musician's skills on display here outweigh the distractions of poor sonic effects and engineering limitations of the day. (9/10)

Despite it's flaws sonically, and the disappointing cheesiness of the strings inputs, I really like the ballsy confidence shown by these players. Electric guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums are all solid in both their ability to contribute to the whole while all are equally able to show their confident chops in the solo department as well.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 3.5 stars really! a bit neo-classical... Released in 1971, NEW TROLLS's "Concerto Grosso Per I" is the first album that was made by an Italian band and combined Classical music with Rock music; this is one reason why this album has influenced many artists, especially in Italy... The opener " ... (read more)

Report this review (#2220708) | Posted by Itai Diamant | Friday, June 14, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Concerto Grosso is severely overrated and suffers from an inherent design flaw: The second side bears no relationship to the first and breaks up any continuity that could have made music history. The Beatles, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd had all fused popular and classical music by 1971. New ... (read more)

Report this review (#911074) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, February 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 1971 New Trolls realized their third album, which became one of the cornerstone of the genre Progressive, (Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls). The album is divided into two parts, the first with the (Concerto Grosso) which is a fusion of romantic Venetian Baroque Orchestra directed by Luis Ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#840915) | Posted by RisingForce | Saturday, October 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The first track actually works well with its Vivaldian violin solo being effectively contrasted with the rock ensemble with prominent flute (flute seemed to be ubiquitous in prog those days). Next comes a few rather dated sounding tracks which reminds one of Bach and Vivaldi filtered through Enni ... (read more)

Report this review (#258231) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Monday, December 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I started to listen to this album some weeks ago with the view to review it here. That was my aim. What I found was an album I which I find almost impossible to understand. It goes from very aggressive Heavy Prog to pastorial classical music. The contrasts in the music are huge. Absolute huge. ... (read more)

Report this review (#230578) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, August 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 1971 i thought that this album was the best release of the early 70's , well , i was wrong , in fact it is one of the best ,,,, New Trolls albums , one of the best Italian progressive rock for all times , the best lyrics used by a band from outside the line - up , to create ... (read more)

Report this review (#171795) | Posted by trackstoni | Wednesday, May 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Album released in 1971 "Concerto Grosso N.I". Work that assumes that it co-stars with orchestra, and uniting classics and rock was tried and is famous. The approach of NEW TROLLS aims at a thorough, dramatic production. Beautiful string music like Vivaldi unites with the performance of the gro ... (read more)

Report this review (#65915) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, January 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've listened to this record for long time. I have to say that the baroque-oriented composition made by bacalov is really charming even if you have the deja-vu feeling if you have listened to Bach or Vivaldi sometimes. The New Trolls do the smallest part in this record, however they do a great jo ... (read more)

Report this review (#44101) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A grandeur that was Italian art rock ! ----- In the mid-1980s when many Koreans felt a great thirst for a new sphere of music, a spiritual oasis in the desperate desert of political and economic darkness, this album appeared in front of them like a seraph with splendid light casted upon their heads. ... (read more)

Report this review (#19441) | Posted by | Monday, April 5, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is a turning point for the whole italian rock scene. A year before prog exploded both in quantity and quality NT released this gem, inspired by the baroque age concerto grossos. In the A Side the group interplays wonderfully with the orchesta conducted by Luis Enriquez Bacalov (the same o ... (read more)

Report this review (#19438) | Posted by | Thursday, January 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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