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Reale Accademia Di Musica

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Reale Accademia Di Musica Reale Accademia Di Musica album cover
4.06 | 206 ratings | 22 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Favola (3:46)
2. Mattino (9:19)
3. Ognuno Sa (5:19)
4. Padre (8:41)
5. Lavoro In Citta' (5:56)
6. Vertigine (7:11)

Total Time 40:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Henryk Topel Cabanes / lead vocals
- Nicola Agrimi / acoustic & electric guitars
- Pericle Sponzilli / electric guitar
- Federico Troiani / acoustic & electric piano, organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Pierfranco Pavone / bass
- Roberto Senzasono / drums & percussion

- Maurizio Vandelli / acoustic guitar (2), Mellotron (5), producer
- Natale Massara / orchestra conductor (1,2)

Releases information

Artwork: Wanda Spinello

LP Ricordi - SMRL 6105 (1972, Italy)
LP SONY Music ‎- 88883701721 (2013, Italy)

CD Contempo Records - CONTE 001 (1990, Italy)
CD BMG ‎- BVCM-37585 (2005, Japan) Remastered by Koji Tanaka
CD SONY Music ‎- 88875000842 (2014, Europe) Remastered (?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA Reale Accademia Di Musica Music

REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA Reale Accademia Di Musica ratings distribution

(206 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA Reale Accademia Di Musica reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
5 stars Like many Italian bands in the magic 70s, Reale Accademia Di Musica is another excellent and forgotten group. Just one progressive album carried out (this one, two years later they put their last stuff with Italian singer Adriano Monteduro, sadly a poppy work). The first track is sweet and soft, but since second track music begins to change, and it's possible recognize several influences from another Italian bands like Banco (second track) or Le Orme (songs 3 and 5). Nevertheless, in this album we can find one of the most fascinating Italian pieces, the fourth track "Padre": the mellotronic section -if you listen the song in a hard day- can make you cry, literally. At the end, "Vertigine" shows the real RAM splendor again, in a changing-atmospheric-mellotronic track. Even though this one isn't the best came out from Italy, it's still an excellent album, and truly representative of the Peninsular 70's progressive sound.
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Some people may disagree with me but I consider REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA truly a one-shot band since their second album was done much more as a support for a singer (not a band member) and can also barely be considered as progressive. But here within the "Reale Accademia Di Musica", their self-title album, we have an almost perfect example of what Italian Symphonic Prog means. Really astonishing!

It's hard to talk about band's influences once this album was released in 1972 and in fact it seems better to nominate other acts that have been influenced instead - the sad point is that apparently RADM has been forgotten in the dust of time. Apart the skilful musicianship and fine arrangements I'd like to spot the exquisite and unique vocals, a bit different from the more acute vocals generally observed in other Italian progressive bands of the same period.

The friendly and relatively short 'Favola' opens the album nicely; bucolic and pastoral guitars are joined by poignant vocals that spread through the track in its entirety along with a catchy and beautiful middle section - there's magic in the air, and we go avidly to the next song.

'Il mattino' continues with the dream-like vocals, this time accompanied by incredible and unforgettable keyboards. But now the main gift is the solo part: a 5-minute dazzling intermezzo where piano, guitar, drums and bass provide a marvelous communion like shaped outside of the real world. Instruments run in crescendo, leaving hearts in suspension with so many musical magnificence and grandiosity. 'Ognuno sa', the next song, keeps high the atmosphere; an adequate follow-on for the previous marvel.

'Padre' starts with soft mellotron and hard guitars, just to blast into a short rock section introducing a sorrowful singing part. A good song, much more in a classic rock style however with neat progressive touches supplied by the ever-present keyboards. 'Lavoro in cittą' maintains the rock ambience conjugated with spices of avant-garde, blues and romanticism supplied by strange intro choir, crying guitars and harmonious vocals.

'Vertigine' closes the album in a true and enjoyable prog-rock mood. This time, vocals appear more sharpened and incisive, while the band plays explosively. Instruments come and go in an amusing manner, always surprising the hearer - the real essence of the progressive sound. After listening to this ender and if I were there in 1972, I'd be eager for their next release which unfortunately did not happen, at least in the way we like.

After hearing and re-hearing, enjoying and tasting this work, in my opinion there are no doubts left about "Reale Accademia Di Musica": a masterpiece.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is just chock full of great piano, nice laid back vocals, organ, acoustic guitars, violins, mellotron, and solid bass and drums. The remastered mini that I have has decent sound (for 1972) and a nice gatefold with strange artwork. As with PFM the musicianship is very high, the arrangements are handled with great care and there is a nice balance between rock sections and more mellow, contemplative sections. I have read that the lyrics on both of their albums are quite good, though of course I have no way to confirm this personally. The music has a romantic and somewhat wistful sound throughout .

"Favola" begins the album with simplicity and beauty, a short vocal piece with gorgeous acoustic guitar and strings. Things then pick up much more in "Il Mattino" which has some sections that cook with driving percussion and organ, and softer vocal sections with piano, acoustic guitar, and violin. Very impressive track. "Ognuno Sa" for some reason reminds me of a Beatle melody and features good bass and sunny piano. This song is a little bit pop rock but still enjoyable. "Padre" brings forth a slightly heavier sound with the electric guitar. "Lavoro In Citta" has some sections that bring to mind "Meddle" era Floyd with some dreamy Gilmour-ish guitar flourishes. "Vertigine" closes the album with a harder edged vocal and more rocking than we've heard so far. But even during their rockier numbers they find pauses of calm.

While not one of the genre's greatest albums it has many nice moments and is recommended to RPI fans, especially those who prefer the genre's more traditional side.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars At a time when Le Orme and Banco were just hitting their stride, "Reale Accademia di Musica" produced a self titled album that openly competed with the more household names of the Italian scene, but it was sadly ignored at the time. Today's fans have discovered this fine work that blends the raucous and the romantic as only this genre can.

I can't say how influential the album was, but certainly the rollicking pianos of "Mattino", the acoustic textures, and again, impressive piano accompaniment, of "Ognuno Sa", and the percussive organ flourishes of "Vertigine" have been oft expanded upon in subsequent decades. Names like METAMORFOSI, GERMINALE, and FOGLIE DI VETRO all come to mind. This is not to say that REDM were totally original - they themselves picked up on the earlier works of their countrymen as well as DEEP PURPLE and the nascent proto prog scene, if that makes any sense, like GRACIOUS! The aforementioned closing track reminds me a lot of Rick Wakeman's workouts on the live version of STRAWBS' "Where is this Dream of Your Youth", and is psych in a way that only 1972 could produce so well.

A few of the more vocal oriented tracks are somewhat less interesting, such as "Favole" and "Padre", which drags on a bit in an uncomfortably bluesy meets BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST sort of way. In fact, the guitarist reminds me quite a bit of John Lees circa "Once Again". But "Lavoro in Citta" contains several masterfully integrated vocal themes and harmonies, including a reverent melody and gentle lead guitars in the later parts. The album is full of surprises, most of them pleasant.

Especially recommended to enthusiasts of Rock Progressivo Italiano, this should nonetheless appeal to most who enjoy good symphonic prog of any stripe. After a few listens you will be thanking the academy.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1972 was in many ways a golden year for the Italian Symphonic Rock movement, with titles such as Storia Di Un Minuto and Per Un Amico from PFM, Bancos's debut plus Darwin! and Le Orme's Uomo Di Pezza. Bands and albums that are familiar if not by nature, surely by name to many proggers out there, all seen as perhaps the most representative of their particular sub-genre.

But 1972 is also the year that spawned Reale Accademia Di Musica's self-titled first album, after being successful on the Italian festival scene under this name and I Fholks for a while. Perhaps that makes this album even more interesting in the discussion of pioneering efforts of this movement.

What this album presents the listener is predominantly a very lush symphonic landscape, with soaring Mellotron strings and various keys together with an earthier blues-rock touch in a mellow Atomic Rooster and Deep Purple area. Don't expect to hear clear influences from those bands, it's just to categorise parts of the sound in something with substance. Not always an easy task, believe me. It's heavy on piano, based around the piano on some tracks - acoustic and electric - and in my eyes that's always a good sign, adding delicacy and poignancy like no other similar instrument, and it really is the albums big bonus.

It's no surprise that many reviews mention the similarity to PFM, or more precisely the earlier PFM, with regards to the sweet romantic melodies and becoming melancholy. Vocals are very pleasing, never really grasping for either emotional highs or lows, which has different prospects for different people. But where PFM aims for more grandeur on Storia Di Un Minuto (which I consider closest to RADM), this is in many ways a more down-to-earth AND a more spacey album (and also stripped from the clearer classical influences of PFM). Instead of choosing one, why don't take both and place it on top of the omnipresent symphonic properties? The down-to-earth part is pretty self-evident, with the blues-rockier approach on both structure and instruments (especially the guitarist presents some rather familiar licks) that can be found on songs like Vertigine and Padre. Ognuno Sa also has a slight boogie-feeling to it, contributed almost exclusively by the piano. The spacious bits and pieces are a little harder to explain. But on Favola and Il Mattiono and then scattered around the other songs are quite lengthy parts with a clear and crisp not to say dreamy and distant, quality to them. These are what thrill me the most; exciting, enticing and inviting in a strangely beautiful way.

I'd say three tracks affect me more than the rest: Favola, Il Mattino and Padre. With a sensitive, hypnotizing guitar in that indescribable Mediterranean style, Favola is a mellow and relaxing tune, with a dreamy interlude from the keys in the middle. Comforting, and yet deeply sinister, it evokes a mildly unpleasant uncertainty I find irresistible.

Il Mattino is the killer track here, beginning with another crisp and soothing display, this time lead by a melodic piano. And then it just explodes. Distinct build-up from bass and drums with an escalating tone from the keys, it soon turns into a fest of crescendo after crescendo, a tsunami of musical energy with the piano riding on its top. Unstoppable as it might seem, it suddenly.just stops, falling back into a reprise of the dreamy first part. A powerful example of how important structure is when making music of any kind.

Repeating a theme from the keys over and over again, a slow, yearning and slightly darker build up from the rest of the instruments launches Padre. Guitar-driven and tense, it has a certain Dazed and Confused vibe to it from time to time and leaves a lot of space for keys-induced atmosphere and plenty of emotions. A song that just works on many levels.

Pleasant, lush and melodic and not particularly challenging are the keywords for yet another Italian success. If not for the band, at least for us listeners.

Heartily recommended. 4 stars.


Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The wonderful Italian genre has left us so many great albums from the early seventies. Unfortunately, at the time it was very difficult to get these works outside from Italy, and the young prog lover I was back then could only cope with some English versions of great albums (PFM and alike).

It is with a lot of nostalgia that I discovered this album. And actually, it is better late than never.

If ever you would like to listen to brilliant vocals, this record is for you. If ever you would like to listen to some skilled piano parts: this album is for you. If ever you would like to listen to some great and little known band: I can only recommend this album.

Il Mattino, the second track from this album is an absolute jewel: it is an upbeat track which pays a great tribute to each band members but piano is the highlight. The fantastic bass/drum are just incredible as well. This is a huge number which combines heavy parts with the most symphonic ones. These do belong to the closing part and those very soft vocals from the excellent Henryk are a superb complement to this fantastic track.

At the time of Ognuno Sa, I just wondered if the forefront piano was a production problem or if it was really intentional to have it featured so loud in each track. Just too much IMHHO.

My favourite song from this album is Padre. It starts as a heavy rock song but after this instrumental intro, a sublime vocal section just overshadows this song (and probably the album). It is so magnificent and persuasive. In terms of vocals it reminds me of the great Franceso DiGiacomo as a point of comparison.

This track is simply a masterpiece: a wonderful symbiosis between the lead vocalist and his band. The bombastic guitar play is not alien to this feeling. A highlight. In terms of great guitar, I highly recommend Lavoro in Citta as well. It is another romantic song which synthesizes the music form this band very accurately although it ends up in an awkward and jazzy mood.

The darkest and heaviest song is the great closing Vertigine. Huge organ wall of sound and powerful vocals are such a perfect introduction; but the whole song is built on strong instrumentals. Even if I feel that the band is mostly improvising in here. Still, it remains a fine composition.

I have been more impressed with several other Italian bands, but this album remains a good way to investigate more into the genre. RADM is not an essential band, but it surely deserves your attention.

Seven out of ten for this album, rounded up to four stars.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Basically this is a primitive Italian pop album.

REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA (Real Academy of Music...good band name!) was one of early Italian as-it-is-said progressive rock bands. Not always with a strong attachment to their skill of play, they pushed Henryk's voice in front of themselves and made a beautiful music style with Federico's romantic keyboard. This self-titled first album, produced by Maurizio Vandelli, was exactly a crystal of five talented men I wanna say. (Anyway, on the inner sleeve a boar is playing violin but no member played violino... :-P )

Back to the review of this brilliant gem. From the beginning (Favola), quiet, warm, and lovely harpsichord flow and slow & smooth bass attacks could make us peaceful. Henryk's vocal is not very good but floating in the sky and our minds and blowing like a breeze. Country or folk flavour we can love much. On the contrary, sad piano sound leads the second track Il Mattino to the heaven...with Italian atmosphere in the voice. In the middle part, string section weeps and passes away...especially piano sound is well-oriental, not simply oriental but hot southern sound I always feel. 'Eavy rhythm section follows after that...but the core of this song is absolutely the mixture of sad piano and sad voice... Hum, there's such a light and gentle song Ognuno Sa. Light percussion and bass are our pleasure. Comfortable. Well, the B-side first track Padre can always remind me Alphataurus...(!) Of course, not completely same. :-) Melancholic voice and keyboard are very amazing. Oh, yea, that is, B-side is a dark one I find now! Lavoro In Citta' has a vivid and jazzy keyboard solo and voice as a spell casted by Henryk, with heavy rock sound. Without myself I always say this is the first heavy prog! But wait, the next stage has so kind and calm ballad sounds...but with heavy guitar and bass sounds. Their various facts are in the song. So impressive. Vertigine is a vertigo surely. Heavy heavy keyboard solo with 'doom-doom :-)' bass and drums. Voice is also on vertigo...and could let us dizzy-dizzy. This song is the most heavy and dizzying one in the album. Plenty of atmosphere are around us. The last stage! Let's dizzy, friends! Tap tap...

I consider this terrific album can't be given a absolute RPI definition but is the beginning of RPI. How do you think?

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Often listed among the greatest bands of Italian progressive rock,this quintet emerged from the ashes of the excellent beat group ''I Folkhs''.This rome-based band played in numerous famous festivals to split in early 70's,having released only a single,while drummer Ruggero Stefani quit (to join ''L'uovo di Colombo''),later followed by guitarist Pericle Sponxilli.The two were replaced by Roberto Senzasono and Nicola Agrimi to create the first and last REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA line-up.The band recorded a self-titled LP,which were released by Ricordi Label.

''Reale acceademia di musica'' is a good release in soft symphonic prog style,much centered around the piano and keyboards of Federico Troiani.Reminding a lot of the mellow parts of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO and even the smoother parts of E.L.P.'s debut,the six compositions contain a lot of sung parts with calm vocals surrounded by the relaxed keyboard sounds and the changing guitar parts,ranging from pastoral acoustic passages to driving electric lines.The piano and the organ parts are very good,creating a classical atmosphere close to a less grandiose KEITH EMERSON's style and there are also some decent mellotron strings around to add an extra dark atmosphere.The overall result is close to other Italian prog acts like CELESTE,ERRATA CORRIGE or IL VOLO and anyone after this style of prog will have a great time with this one.I wouldn't call it a classic by any means,but it's nevertheless a good example of early-70's Italian symph prog.Recommended!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I've been trying to hunt this one down for some time and I finally got my hands on a copy. This is beautiful and romantic Italian Prog from 1972.

"Favola" opens with acoustic guitar as bass and reserved vocals join in. It's so uplifting and moving 2 1/2 minutes in as we get some orchestral sounds and mellotron then back to the main melody. "Il Mattino" is the longest track at almost 9 1/2 minutes.The vocals here remind me of the singer from the band BAUER. Piano and those fragile vocals lead the way early. Beautiful. It picks up some with piano before 3 minutes as the vocals stop. Drums 4 1/2 minutes in as the sound gets fuller including some organ. Great sound ! The guitar lets it rip after 6 minutes. A calm before 7 1/2 minutes as the vocals return. Nice. Violin 9 minutes in to end it.

"Ognuno Sa" is led by drums, organ, vocals and piano. I like it. Check out the piano/organ melody to end it. "Padre" and "Vertigine" are my two favourites.The former begins with a darker and heavier sound then what we've heard so far. The guitar starts to solo 2 minutes in. A calm then reserved vocals arrive before 3 minutes. Floating organ dominates after 5 minutes. The guitar is back 6 1/2 minutes in as the drums pound away. A calm with vocals before 8 minutes. "Lavoro In Citta" opens with piano melodies as drums then vocals join in. It settles into a dreamy soundscape after 2 minutes with mellotron. Nice. The tempo picks up late with guitar joining in. "Vertigine" is heavy right away with some powerful organ runs. Vocals join in. A calm 2 minutes in.The guitar starts to solo a minute later. Percussion 4 1/2 minutes in as the organ continues. So cool. The guitar is back !

This just connects with me in so many ways, to the point that it's holding me captive and it won't let go.

Review by andrea
4 stars Reale Accademia di Musica were formed in Rome in the early seventies and rose from the ashes of another band called Fholks. In 1972 they released a very interesting eponymous debut album with a line up featuring Henryk "Enrique" Topel Cabanes (vocals), Federico Troiani (keyboards, vocals), Pierfranco Pavone (bass), Roberto Senzasono (drums, percussion) and Pericle Sponzilli (guitar) who left the band soon after the recording sessions replaced by Nicola Agrimi. The album was produced by Maurizio Vandelli and the overall sound features pleasant melodies and pastoral acoustic passages. This work doesn't shine for its originality and lyrics sometimes are a little bit naive but it's well played and recorded and I'm sure that Italianprog lovers will love it.

The opener "Favola" (Fairy tale) is soft and dreamy. Delicate pastoral melodies depict an enchanted world of songs and fairy tales where time calmly "weaves its story"...

Then comes the long and complex "Mattino" (Morning) which is about the end of a happy childhood when dreams are blown away by the cold reality. Music starts softly, lead by piano and vocals... "Open your eyes / Mind that your childhood is over / And you have no time to dream anymore... The simplicity of ingenuity will burn like a candle...". After a piano interlude the music becomes tense and rhythm takes off for a beautiful instrumental ride through reality. When music calms down again it's time for a new awareness... "Now you are a man / And as a man you have money, a job, dignity and a woman who warms you but... / Even heaven can't give you back the happiness of childhood...".

"Ognuno sa" (Everybody knows) is a melodic ballad inviting you to live like a thoughtless child, dreaming of endless roads towards the blue sky... "Life is a flower that you can pick up if you want, when you want it / Because it's the only gift that you can have for nothing in exchange / And if you want you can give it to the people who love you, to the ones who are with you...".

On the next track, "Padre" (Father), the atmosphere is definitively more troubled and heavier. It's a complex piece featuring intense instrumental passages and heartfelt vocals. Lyrics are about the generational gap... "Father, you ask me what I think / You ask me where I want to go, how will it end... You never think to your way of living, walking in circles and killing your dreams...".

"Lavoro in cittą" (Work in the city) is a beautiful track in three parts. After a short piano intro music drives you in a nightmare. Lyrics depict an ill world where machines have taken over and freedom is the bed where you sleep in. Fritz Lang's film "Metropolis" images come to mind... "The radio can't sing / It shouts that my civility is dying by now / Around me there are faces of people scared like me...". The atmosphere of fear and alienation melts in a dreamy invocation for a peaceful and simpler life, full of magic songs and sounds... "Everything is divine, you know / Just if you want it / And if you want it, it will be so...". The third part is a lively and jazzy instrumental finale.

Last track "Vertigine" (Dizziness) concludes the album with a full tank of dark and heavy energy. Electric guitar riffs and organ patterns underline gloomy lyrics. Long rivers are carrying clouds of gas and a threatening shadow is approaching... "You door is close but you know that you can't stop it / It's coming here, it's coming here!".

An excellent addition to your Italianprog collection!

Review by Warthur
5 stars The debut album by Reale Accademia di Musica is a tour de force of Italian prog from the celebrated RPI boom of 1972. It distinguishes itself from other albums from the Italian scene of the time in its diversity of influence and sound. As far as influence goes, the band show a broader range of influences than typical RPI bands - as well as the usual Genesis and Jethro Tull references, and the less frequent nod to Van der Graaf Generator, I can hear the influence of Procol Harum and Rare Bird on the group's sound. When it comes to sound, the album begins in a very gentle, soft, pastoral place, and over the course of its songs gets louder and heavier until it concludes with wild guitar solos and virtuoso keyboard playing worthy of ELP or Deep Purple. Truly an exceptional album from a truly exceptional period in progressive rock.
Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An essential example of seventies Italian symphonic prog is this wonderful debut from Reale Accaemia Di Musica, released in 1972, as great a year for Italian prog as it is also considered for the UK. It's the only album listed under the band's name to feature this line up and as such can be considered a one off release, other line ups bearing little resemblance on a musical level to what's happening here, though I can't speak for La Cometa released in 2010, an unreleased album from 1974 which I'll hopefully get round to hearing one day.

Six tracks of beautifully crafted symphonic prog, not overly complex though played with great feeling and flair. There's a melancholic vibe often present, even on some of the more bombastic moments, no doubt increased by Henryk Topel Cabanes' plaintive vocal delivery. It's an album for keyboard lovers with piano featuring heavily as well as some enjoyable organ work and Procol Harum is sometimes brought to mind. There are many mellow moments - it's halfway through the second track before we hear the rhythm section but it does have its share of powerful bits and reaches a climax of sorts with closing piece Vertigine, the albums most adventurous song including a stunning organ workout.

While this may not be one of the most adventurous Italian prog albums of the period, and there were plenty that were, it nevertheless has many admirers with its sense of melody and melancholic charm and while not the stuff masterpieces are made of is still pretty essential listening for RPI fans.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Emerging from the remnants of band I Fholks that supported two very big names in Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, Reale Accademia di Musica released a sole gentle beauty of a work with their self-titled album in 1972. A mix of easy to approach tunes encased more dynamic and adventurous progressive instrumentation and instrumental passages throughout the six pieces on offer here, with plenty of early Pink Floyd influences, a strong presence of exquisite piano and fleeting moments of the classical drama many vintage Italian prog albums are known for. While there may have been more ambitious albums to originate from Italy in the Seventies, there is plenty of superb playing, superior vocals and tasteful instrumental diversions on this forty minute album that makes it really rather special.

Opener `Favola' is a humble and pleasing acoustic introduction with a warm vocal, soft horns and even a few gentle Mellotron wisps. There's such a placid, laid-back quality to it, and it's very easy to instantly enjoy. Sombre moods bookend the nine minute `Il Mattino'. Moments of dark classical piano that move from melancholic to pretty, strident and restrained are jolted with up-tempo energetic eruptions of whirring Hammond organ, wild guitar, murmuring bass, a weary vocal and eerie keyboard shimmerings. There's even just a quick tease of some little P.F.M-styled prancing gallops! `Ognuno Sa' closes the first side, an accessible acoustic acid-folk vocal piece in the style of the toasty and lazy early Pink Floyd meanderings, highlighted by numerous lead piano solo spots throughout.

After a dramatic build, side B's `Padre' brings a gutsier, brooding quality, with mournful organ, thoughtful bass ruminations and a darker reflective vocal. The second half holds a Pink Floyd-like dreaminess, with lengthy droning passages and a gorgeous slow-burn electric guitar solo that flies straight to the heavens in the middle. `Lavoro In Citta's features a downbeat introduction with slinking dirty bass and a deeper vocal, bristling with danger before lifting on serene Mellotron wings into heavenly skies with warm group vocals and an emotional bluesy guitar soloing, all in six minutes. The sprightly jazzy grooves in the final minute is an unexpected and welcome addition as well!

Then we reach the final piece `Vertigine, full of panning psychedelic Rick Wright-styled organ ambience, chugging thick bass and wild acid rock guitar fire with just a little bit of classical regal pomp, but it's mostly dominated by an absolute orgy of snarling and ghoulish Hammond organ with a heaviness not found anywhere else on the LP. In some ways it sounds like it belongs on a different album altogether, but this daring closer has that extra added spice of danger and debauchery that all the best vintage RPI albums have, and it hints at just how many directions the band could have headed in on further albums.

But sadly Reale Accademia di Musica would split very soon after this sole album (although an unreleased follow-up `La Cometa, as well as a version of the group supporting singer- songwriter Adriano Monteduro for a co-credited album, both in 1974, are stories for another time!). It only means this contemplative, mostly mellow but frequently thrilling work stands alone. The upfront, dazzling variety of the constantly present piano is worth investigating the album for alone, but there's also an eclectic variety of sounds both unpredictable and laid- back that makes it perhaps one of loveliest, most stirring and unique vintage Italian progressive-related works.

There may be many higher profile bands and artists throughout the Seventies RPI era to warrant your attention first, but if you take the time to listen to `Reale Accademia di Musica' in a quiet and undistracting environment, a truly magical musical experience is waiting to be discovered.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A more folk-oriented progressive rock endeavor from these artists from Rome. Great first effort.

1. "Favola" (3:46) pretty folk-instrument song with a lazy, lead vocal from Spaniard Henryk Topel Cabanes. (8.25/10)

2. "Mattino" (9:19) cleverly effected piano is the dominant instrument of the first four minutes of this one. There is singing over the gentle opening minute or two before piano takes over, then there is heavier, more in-your-face rock section starting in the fifth minute. Very nice driving piano chord play in the sixth minute within which electric guitar, piano and organ share the solo duties. At 7:15 things shut down for a new, more delicate section (sans drums and bass) with acoustic guitars, piano and voice dominating. (17/20)

3. "Ognuno Sa" (5:19) opens sounding like a BEATLES or GEORGE HARRISON song despite (or because of?) the treated vocal. Very much a straightforward slow rock song that could have come off of any Clapton, Harrison, or Harry Nilsson album. (7.5/10)

4. "Padre" (8:41) opens with cool organ arpeggio which is soon joined by bass and guitar introducing themselves and the well-spaced syncopated chord progression that is going to follow. After two minutes we have the song's foundation well established and engaging our brain just as the band starts to introduce and support solos--first a nice rock electric guitar solo--but then everything quiets down save for a constant organ in the background over which Henryk sings. Two tracks of bluesy electric guitar interject emphasis points occasionally within the vocal section. The singing is adequate, suitably emotional, but never super-convincing. As a matter of fact, I find myself underwhelmed by Henryk's work throughout the course of this album. Toward the end of the seventh minute the music kind swells and a very nice doubled-up electric guitar solo ensues. The final minute returns to the slow bluesy spacious format for the singer to finish his story. (17/20)

5. "Lavoro In Citta'" (5:56) has a very different feel and sound from the other songs--especially in the singing department. Still piano-based, this bluesy song is founded on the traditional bass-drums- and piano combo (the guitars are quite quiet). Very nice, engaging chord sequence in the middle half of the song with a nice multi-voiced chorus and professional caliber guitar solo. The final section sees another blues-based up-tempo section which plays out in an instrumental jam. (8.75/10)

6. "Vertigine" (7:11) sounds and feels as if ELP and BLUE OYSTER CULT had a baby. Nice musicianship and passion. (13.5/15)

Total Time: 40:12

Four stars; an excellent blues-based representative of the early 1970s Rock Progressive Italiano phenom.

Review by zeuhl1
3 stars Rising from the ashes of popular 60's band I Fholks, two better known second tier RPI bands sprang: L'Uovo Di Colombo and Reale Accademia Di Musica . R.A.M. released their low key eponymous album in 1972.

Opening song Favola sounds like some of the lower energy acoustic material from Nursery Cryme or Trespass, melancholic and very low key piano, acoustic guitar and light mellotron. Il Matino starts to build some steam from a similar slow beginning and starts to get somewhere leading to a spirited romp that must have been a concert barn burner. Electric guitar tries to grab it and take it further, but is generally buried too low in a slightly murky mix. Soon the song returns to a langorous piano/acoustic guitar/vocal with strings to fade out. Bits of an Italian version of Barclay James Harvest are reference points on side one. Oguno Sa starts with a promising and catchy riff, but slips away in favor of an anonymous early 70's pop song that could have come from any number of UK or American radio friendly acts of the era. So far, the excitement level is pretty low barring a good chunk of Il Mattino.

Side two (Padre) begins with a more traditional RPI organ and guitar figure that adds mid tempo drums and starts to build before settling into a slow organ blues (think some of the slower things on Badger's first album). An organ chorale interlude will remind some of a Pink Floyd Echoes/Saucerful of Secrets vibe. Lavoro in Citta starts with promising piano/bass/drums and the first focused use of vocals on the album. (Henryk Topel Cabanes is a talented vocalist that doesn't seem to be running on full power on most of the album.) The song then slides into a lazy mellotron and slow tempo drum and vocal section that could be interpreted by some as 'easy listening'. Sprightly piano riffs then resurrect the mood, and just as the guitar begins to bring that early Floyd vibe in, the song fades out.

The only song that will really please most RPI fans is the closer Vertigine, which opens as if right in the middle of a fairly energetic VDGG song. Topel's restrained vocals don't work as well here, and he pushes himself a bit more than usual but doesn't really cut loose and let it rip. A lower key section brings it back, but drummer Roberto Senzasono keeps slinging quiet bursts underneath instead of his normal simple backbeat, letting one know that they will be back quickly. Heavy organ and guitar dance with bass (with a tad too much reverb) in a burst of real jamming, sounding somewhat like the better rockier moments on Nursery Cryme. And suddenly, it's over. This is a maddening hint of what they are capable of and makes one wish they had a second album to develop further on. Three okay songs out of six is a bit disappointing, and some good ideas never get the development or couldn't organically develop into stronger pieces.

A guest orchestra on two songs doesn't get in the way, and guest mellotron by producer Maurizio Vandelli is unobtrusive (odd since keyboardist Troaiano is listed as also playing mellotron)

Frustrating for the minimal flashes of brilliance quickly getting run over by quieter introspective parts that don't always go anywhere. I don't mind RPI albums that don't have in your face rock flourishes and enjoy pastoral classical RPI when it is rich and complex. R.A.M. really lacks both ends on this: not much heavy, and too low in energy lacking complex arrangements in the quieter bits.

Laid back 1970-1 Pink Floyd mixes with 1970-1 era acoustic Genesis.

Fans of heavy guitar in RPI will find little here, as the guitar seems intentionally mixed low. Fans of early David Gilmour might want to check this out though. Interesting but not essential.

2.5-2.75 stars

Great album cover and decent vinyl repressing on Sony Legacy, as some of the Sony stuff tends to stifle the mix. (their Museo Rosenbach comes to mind) Full disclosure: I've tried really hard to like this album due the general overwhelming support it gets across the board. I even played it twice more after writing this review to see if there was something in thereI was missing. Alas, I couldn't find it.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Forged from the somewhat successful 60s beat / folk band I Fholks, REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA was the result of four of the members carrying on together and joining the ranks of the then current prog craze sweeping Europe in the early 70s. I Fholks had the opportunity to open up for both Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix in 1968 Rome but for whatever reason only released one single and called it quits in 1971. Of the five members of I Fholks, drummer Ruggero Stefani went off to join L'Uovo di Colombo while the other four members: Henryk [Enrique] Topel Cabanes (vocals), Federico Troiani (keyboards), Pierfranco "Piero" Pavone (bass) and Pericle Sponzilli (guitar) formed REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA. Joined by newcomer drummer Roberto Senzasono and keyboardist Federico Troiani, the band released its debut in 1972, the year when the world of prog was arguably at its very peak and therefore the band's album went virtually unnoticed given that many bands were jumping on the prog bandwagon and vying to be heard with bands like PFM and Banco garnering the most attention.

Existing somewhere between the pastoral folk sounds of Le Orme and the more symphonic prog rock heft of bands like PFM and Banco, REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA (Royal Academy of Music) delivered a middle of the road approach that offered equal playing time between the softer and energetic aspects of the Italian prog scene. While not exactly the most original sounding band even at this stage which is considered the band's pinnacle moment, nonetheless REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA delivered an outstanding set of six tracks that offered the entire prog enchilada by infusing the operatic vocal led symphonic prog style typical of 1970s Italy with a gloomy melancholy courtesy of sombre piano rolls and oft mopey lyrical deliveries. Like many Italian bands of the era, this was targeted towards the homeland and exclusively performed in the Italian language.

Starting off clumsily with the super pastoral "Favola," the album takes its sweet time in getting started but the second track, the 9-minute plus "Mattino" showcases the band's ability to navigate the complex soundscapes that wend and wind through various movements like the big boys of prog. The album alternates with simpler tracks that bookend the longer more progressive workouts. "Ognuno" reminds of The Beatles in many ways and evokes a 60s sunshine pop vibe with so me great honky tonk-like piano rolls. The near 9-minute "Padre" takes another peek into prog paradise with a dreamy mellotron-rich opening sequence and that classic prog build up that screams epic. While building up a hypnotic groove with keys, guitars and bass, the track adds a vocal line and offers a brooding mellotron accompany a rather lugubrious vocal delivery. After a slow transition the track adds a mysterious choral break and then lets the guitar off its leash. The track only rocks in space rock mode (think Pink Floyd) but is quite effective in its approach to deliver a darker than usual take on the Italian prog scene.

"Lavoro In Cittį" provides the album's heftiest guitar rock riffing and as one of the shorter tracks is more direct without the expansive exploration of the longer tracks but does completely metamorphose into a more pastoral slower paced rocker. The closing "Vertigine" provides the most fast-paced prog track on the album with a dominant feisty organ sound with a quickened pace throughout the track's seven minute run. The accompanying bass, drums and guitar are also more pronounced and set to rock mode than the majority of the album. Considered the best release this volatile band put out, most critics agree that the particular style laid out here is considered more mature and polished than the more dramatic PFM, Banco, Quella Vecchia Locanda or Il Balletto di Bronzo from the same year. While this band wouldn't stick around for too overly long after this brief moment of glory, the album has gained a bigger audience as the ensuing decades has reevaluated it as one of the great Italian prog albums of the era. While not the pinnacle IMHO, still nevertheless an excellent slice of it.

Latest members reviews

3 stars What a beautiful piece! Before I listened to it, for some reason I sensed that I was in for a wonderful album with music full of life and memorable harmonies. This is another album that I would use as an example to prove that the definitive year of progressive rock is 1972. Italian music of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2605716) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I know, I know, I have to use the 5 stars discretionally but for me this one LP s one of those. A hidden gem of the RPI movement that was recorded back in '72 and now more than 40 years later sounds really great and predates records from other Italian bands. Try to find this, It is not imposs ... (read more)

Report this review (#1417953) | Posted by steelyhead | Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Certainly one of the best symphonic albums that came out from Italy on seventies. With an attachment to italian popular music we found many delightful melodies. With a great keyboardist, a guitarrist influenced by D Gilmour and - most of the time - a calm vocal that few times goes to agressive ... (read more)

Report this review (#272988) | Posted by Thiago Hallak | Friday, March 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In spite of still not knowing completely the lyrics of this album, that does not rest merits to the wonderful and striking music, that goes from the beginning to the end of the album, flowing softly and making all the changes to make it rich in textures and emotions being expressed with notes. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#178639) | Posted by progaddict_salvatore | Friday, August 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This one found its way into my hands recently, but it's already formed a nice bond with my ears. Reale Accademia often explore similar territory to that of PFM and sometimes go even "lighter", or more romantic. This one will not be beating you over the head with raw aggression or overt exper ... (read more)

Report this review (#174993) | Posted by jimmy_row | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Reale Accademia di Musica first album is one of the best in the early italian prog. The five band musicians were very talented and the album was produced by Maurizio Vandelli, former of Equipe 84, a famous beat band in Italy. It's a very pleasant mixture of melodic songs and progressive ideas, ... (read more)

Report this review (#99198) | Posted by armapo | Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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