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Corde Oblique

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Corde Oblique A Hail of Bitter Almonds album cover
4.50 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 60% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Hail of Bitter Almonds (2:08)
2. Together Alone (4:15)
3. Arpe Di Vento (4:58)
4. Paestum (5:06)
5. La Madre Che Non C'è (2:47)
6. Slide (2:53)
7. Le Pietre Di Napoli (5:00)
8. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (4:20)
9. Crypta Neapolitana (2:15)
10. Gioia Di Vivere (3:47)
11. Red Little Wine (4:14)
12. The Man of Wood (4:08)
13. Le Piccole Cose (2:37)
14. Pietra Bianca (3:48)
15. Su un Dipinto Di Giovanni Bellini (3:22)

Total time: 55:36


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Riccardo Prencipe / classic and acoustic guitars
- Alfredo Notarloberti / violin
- Alessio Sica / drums
- Umberto Lepore / bass, fretless bass, double bass
- Floriana Cangiano / vocals (1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 15)
- Claudia Sorvillo / vocals (8), backing vocals (12)
- Caterina Pontrandolfo / vocals (5, 9, 13)
- Annalisa Madonna / vocals (4)
- Sergio Panarella / vocals (2, 12), piano (2)
- Luigi Rubino / piano
- Francesco Manna / cajon, bodhran,daf, tar, riq, tar with brush, jingles, tambourine, caxixi, sheker, tombak, darbouka, udu drum, zagat, bells
- Franco Perreca / clarinet, flute (14)

- Walter Maioli and Luce Maioli / cithara, pan flute, tympanon (6)
- Duncan Patterson / Irish mandolin (10)
- Donatello Pisanello / diatonic organ (14)
- Spyros Giasafakis / spoken word (9)

Releases information

CD Prikosnovénie PRIK 149 (2011) Italy

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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CORDE OBLIQUE A Hail of Bitter Almonds ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(60%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CORDE OBLIQUE A Hail of Bitter Almonds reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
5 stars Riccardo Prencipe and his hand-picked and plucked entourage succeed even better this time around in producing the truly modern equivalent of middle ages troubadour music Italian style. The improvement is principally in the wholeness of this entity, as songs and courtly dances merge into one like predestined partners.

Prencipe's dedication to classical and acoustic guitar ensures the decidedly unplugged aspect of "Almonds", but the deliberately ancient sounding melodies soar atop stellar production that miraculously preserves their fragility. The title cut and opener initially appears as little more than throwaway until the 3rd or 4th listen when the urgency of Floriana Cangiano's voice and and the piano rolls of Luigi Rubino portend the coming delights. "Together Alone" is one of only 2 tracks sung in the masculine, by Sergio Panarella, although he has plenty of help. Here is the song which won't leave my head for hours if not days, an utter delight of transcendent romance with an unfailing chorus and Spanish styled guitar fills. From here the remaining beauties come as no surprise, although many listens are required for full osmosis. "Paestum" is in two parts, the first somewhat poppy, the second a tongue dropping wordless delight. "La madre che non c'e" follows a similar pattern, but with an instrumental first half and more sublime vocals and violin on the home stretch. "Slide" is one of only a couple of instrumentals and is also among the tunes that can't help recalling ERIS PLUVIA.

You might ask if there is any edge here at all. Well, not much in the conventional sense, but the reworking of RADIOHEAD's "Jigsaw Falling into Place" is quite a revelation, and probably the closest to raucous. "Crypta Neapolitana" is quite spooky as implies its title, and where CORDE OBLIQUE earns some of its dark wave credentials. "Goia di vivere" is more subdued than might be expected given its translation as "joy of living". Conversely, even the saddest themes here are somehow uplifting. One of my favourites is "The Man of Wood", the other tune sung by Panarello, coincidentally both being among the few on the disk sung in English. Here is approach is phonetically based, but the emphatic afterthoughts in his style work wonders in creating a solemn masterpiece. Halfway through is a shift to a somewhat more indie rock anthem, naturally understated. "Piccolo rose" is a sweet ballad that accomplishes much in barely two and half minutes in terms of solidifying the atmospheres aimed for and achieved.

If the last couple of tracks slow down the momentum a tad, I do have to point out that the vocal style in "Pietra Bianca" owes a debt of gratitude to the CRANBERRIES Dolores O'Riordan. At the same time, while less blatant, the group clearly benefits from past excercises by both versions of RENAISSANCE, CLANNAD, and KATE BUSH, while references to OLOFERNE are not out of place.

My initial intent was to award another easy 4 stars, but there is nothing here that, taken in the context of its surroundings, detracts in the least from a perfect work, even if the first half dozen listens might suggest otherwise. From that point on, these bitter almonds leave a sweet aftertaste to the palate starved for grace.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
4 stars A Hail of Bitter Almonds brings RICCARDO PRENCIPE's neo-medieval music project more fully into the prog world. The Post Rock sound and format similar to ANATHEMA is present here. Also, this album has by far the greatest diversity in terms of tempos and musical stylings yet used on a Corde Oblique album. It seems that Riccardo has taken Corde Oblique from the realm of neo-classical, into neo medieval classical, then neo medieval folk, and now prog folk rock with a very consistent medieval folk tinge throughout. Once again drawing from the vocal talents of a stable of superb singers--this time four female and two male--helps A Hail of Bitter Almonds yield some truly memorable songs--though, IMHO, not quite as consistent as its gorgeous predecessor, The Stones of Naples. Still, the highs and diversity of styles and dynamics of this album makes A Hail of Bitter Almonds another gem--and more proggy.

Favorite songs: "A Hail of Bitter Almonds" (2:07) (10/10); "Le pietre di Napoli" (4:59) (9/10); "The Man of Wood" (4:08), and; "Gioia di Vivere" (3:50) (8/10).

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