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Ellesmere Les Châteaux De La Loire album cover
3.91 | 71 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Le Narrateur (1:01)
2. La Loire (2:25)
3. Sully-sur-Loire (4:46)
4. Passage (0;27)
5. Meung-sur-Loire (4:08)
6. Blois (3:39)
7. La Loire (thème) (1:08)
8. Chambord (6:10)
9. Chaumont-sur-Loire (8:36)
10. La Loire (encore) (1:26)
11. Au Revoir... (4:26)

Bonus tracks on 2015 CD edition:
12. The Ancient Samovar (7:35)
13. Wintry Afternoon (4:44)

Total Time 48:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Roberto Vitelli / guitars (Takamine Classical, Eko Ranger 12-string, Fender Stratocaster), Fender "Geddy Lee" jazz bass, E-Bow, Moog Taurus III bass pedals, composer, arranger, co-producer

- Luciano Regoli / vocals
- Anthony Phillips / narration
- Fabio Bonuglia / Mellotron M 400 (1-12), MiniMoog Model D & keyboards (3), Strings (12)
- Paolo Carnelli / electric piano (3,6,11), keyboards (12,13), piano (13), co-producer
- John Hackett / flute
- Linda Giuntini / horn (3)
- Giulia Nuti / violin & viola (3,5,9)
- Pietro Horvath / cello (5)
- Danilo Mintrone / string arrangements (9,13)
- Daniele Pomo / drums, percussion
- Dario Esposito / drums (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Luciano Regoli

LP AMS Records ‎- AMS LP 119 (2015, Italy)
CD AMS Records ‎- AMS 259 CD (2015, Italy) With 2 bonus tracks

Digital album

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ELLESMERE Les Châteaux De La Loire ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ELLESMERE Les Châteaux De La Loire reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ellesmere is the enchanting project set up by Taproban guitarist and bassist Roberto Vitelli that seeks to put in musical form the beauty of the castles on the Loire River in France, arguably one of the most visually stimulating tours one could hope to visit. Interestingly enough, French progger Patrick Broguière took up a similar venture, depicting glorious edifices such as Chambord, Chenonceaux, D'Amboise and Blois, albeit in a slightly different style. Here Vitelli strays into Anthony Phillips territory, who happens to be a guest narrator on this album by no sheer coincidence, a pastoral universe mostly directed by 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, as well as occasional bass, electric guitar, E-bow and Moog bass pedals. Guests include John Hackett who provides bucolic flute, Daniele Pomo of Ranestrane on drums, Fabio Bonuglia splashes loads of mellotron on each track as well as Paolo Carnelli on piano and synths. Luciano Regoli (RRR) adds some vocals when needed but he is also a fabulous painter of the artwork presented here. Throw in some strings and other orchestrations and you see the full picture.

The music is highly atmospheric, gentle and sweet background music that has no pretensions other than to deliver sumptuous melodies, played with restrained passion and obvious enjoyment. All the tracks flow majestically, very much the lovely river that provides the inspiration, occasional effects (creaking doors, thunderclaps, galloping horses), making this a very rural adventure, far from the maddening urban sprawl and its distinctive cacophony. There are no real highlight tracks that need development as everything just fits into a general whole, though the narration by Ant Phillips (tracks 1 and 11) is quite precious. Longer tracks "Chambord" and "Chaumont-sur-Loire" are terrific pieces that exalt perfectly the virtues of this special recording. Bonus track "The Ancient Samovar" features Luciano Regoli, singing in English quite perfectly as well as some pizzicato strings that spice the mood charmingly. The second bonus piece ends the album on a "Wintry Afternoon" note, a cool and atmospheric piano ?driven finale to a highly enjoyable adventure, a perfect Sunday morning selection, easy and relaxing on the ears and delightfully melodic and attractive.

The cover artwork is some of the best ever, a solitary hare glancing over at the chateau de Chambord, a stunning vista in real life, let alone in artful form.

4 Sancerre greetings

Review by andrea
4 stars Ellesmere is mainly the brainchild of Roberto Vitelli, bass and guitar player from the Roman prog band Taproban. In 2014 he gathered around him some prestigious guest musicians to play his compositions and in 2015 released an interesting debut album on AMS Records. It's entitled Les Ch'teaux de la Loire and it's a charming work where acoustic, pastoral atmospheres prevail. The line up features Roberto Vitelli (Takamine 6 strings classic, Eko Ranger 12 strings, Fender "Geddy Lee" jazz bass, Fender Stratocaster, E-Bow, Moog Taurus III), John Hackett (flute), Anthony Phillips (narrative vocals), Daniele Pomo (drums, percussions), Luciano Regoli (vocals), Giulia Nuti (violin, viola), Pietro Horvath (cello), Linda Giuntini (horn), Fabio Bonuglia (Mellotron M 400, Moog Model D, keyboards), Paolo Carnelli (electric piano, keyboards, acoustic piano), Danilo Mintrone (strings arrangement) and Dario Esposito (drums).

The main course of the album is the title track, a wonderful, dreamy thirty-eight minute suite divided into eleven parts. It was inspired to Roberto Vitelli by a holiday he spent in France and starts with the narrative vocals provided by former Genesis member Anthony Phillips who reads some verses taken from Lines Written On Visiting The Ch'teaux On The Loire, a poem by Alfred Austin. Just close your eyes and let the music flow and show you some pondering pictures of the vast panorama of the past... In fact, the Loire Valley is studded with over a thousand ch'teaux, each with distinct architectural characteristics covering a wide range of variations, from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods. Some sections of the suite are dedicated to some specific castles, amazing monuments of heart and mind such as Sully-sur-Loire, Meung-sur-Loire, Blois, Chambord and Chaumont-sur-Loire while the other sections mark the passages from one place to another as thoughts and feelings get mixed in an intermittent dream, cradled by the river waters. No need for words: except the narrative vocals that open and close the suite there are no lyrics and even the beautiful voice of Luciano Regoli is used here just as an instrument to add colours and emotions. By the way, Luciano Regoli (singer from Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, Samadhi, DGM) is also a talented painter and took charge of the wonderful art cover that probably depicts the atmosphere of this album better than all my words...

The last two pieces are credited as bonus tracks but they are not fillers at all. The mysterious, dark "The Ancient Samovar" tells in music and words about the almost magic power of an ancient samovar, a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia as well as in other countries. Thanks to the thaumaturgic properties of its tea you can relax even in a silent, troubled night, waiting for the sun with a renewed feeling of hope... The closer "Wintry Afternoon" is a beautiful, melancholic instrumental track with the notes of an acoustic piano in the forefront the the sound of the wind in the background.

On the whole, a very good album!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Beautiful pastoral music in the vein of the 21st Century releases of Andrew Marshall's WILLOWGLASS and early BIG BIG TRAIN--recent artists who were also inspired by the ANTHONY PHILLIPS-like instrument palette. In my opinion, the music is quite fitting and elevated enough to do justice to the subject matter it is trying to honor, the chateaux of France's famed Loire Valley. All songs are acoustic guitar based with layers of support from Mellotrons, strings, "period"-sounding keyboards, hand percussives, wordless singing, and woodwinds. Obviously, the music is up to the master's own standards as the one and only Anthony Phillips adds his vocal talents to set the album's overall mood with the recitation of an Alfred Austin poem as the Suite's opener and closer. The two bonus tracks, the lyrically accompanied "The Ancient Samovar" and the gorgeous piano-based "Wintry Afternoon" are as fitting to the album's overall feel as is its central "Chateaux Suite." Like the works of Mssrs. Marshall, Spawnton & Poole, this music is quite gorgeous, relaxing, and undemanding. Definitely a worthy addition to any prog lover's music collection--and especially to those who enjoy the contemplative and reverential side of human nature.
Review by friso
4 stars On the debut of Ellesmere from Italy (a project of Roberto Vitelli) we hear a chamber type of symphonic folk. Or progressive rock without the rock thing. It reminds me of groups like Celeste (also Italian), the classical tracks of Focus and more recently of the Jordsjo sideproject Eldsmark (which I can also highly recommend). The music also reminded me of the lighter parts of Karfagen's 'Echoes From Within Dragon Island' record. You'll hear warm Spanisch guitars, mellotrons, flutes, sounds of nature and some gentle percussion. What I like about progressive rock is its musical story telling and its ability to cast distinct atmospheres in your living room. This record does that very well in a gentle and pleasant way. The concept of that French castle, the beautiful artwork and the well written & coherent symphonic folk match perfectly. The album has some encore's of its main themes and might have well been a single piece. The quality of the vinyl is great and the production sound is also more than average for a small production like this.

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