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ANGELO BRANDUARDI

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Angelo Branduardi biography
ANGELO BRANDUARDI was born in Cuggiono, in the Milan area. Later his family settled in Genoa; there, at the "Niccolò Paganini" music academy, Angelo got his violin certification, and started playing as a soloist with the orchestra of the Academy. At the age of fifteen he moved again, this time to Milan, in order to attend high school, where he was taught by the great poet Franco Fortini. After that, he took up Philosophy at university; during that time he started composing, putting the texts of his favourite authors into music. "Confessioni di un malandrino" by the Russian poet Sergej Esenin, one of his most famous songs, dates indeed from those years.

Still very popular to this day, BRANDUARDI can be considered a progressive artist due to his great love for folk and classical music, which have always been essential sources of inspiration to him. During his long career he has always been very consistent in his style, and never compromised in order to gain commercial success. His eponymous first album, released in 1974, is one of the most appealing for prog fans; but the great success came with "Alla fiera dell'est", recorded for Polydor in 1976. Both the single and the LP were top hits in Italy, and also made the artist very famous in other European countries such as Germany and France, where most of his albums have been issued, often in different versions than the originals, and Branduardi has constantly toured.

Combining traditional folk tunes (often from northern Europe) with classical music, Branduardi, a trained violinist, has created a distinctive style that is still very popular nowadays. Over the years he has worked with many other Italian artists , and his collaboration with Banco del Mutuo Soccorso is noteworthy for prog fans: BRANDUARDI played violin on "Come in un'ultima cena", and translated the lyrics for the English-language version of that album, "As in a last supper". Banco's members also played with him on the live "Concerto" 3-LP box set.

Michael (Micky) and Raffaella (Raff) Berry


Angelo Branduardi official website

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Seine Schoesten HitsSeine Schoesten Hits
Import
Phantasm Imports 2010
Audio CD$9.21
Altro ed AltroveAltro ed Altrove
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EMI 2003
Audio CD$72.05
$19.84 (used)
His greatest hits (Club) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]His greatest hits (Club) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]
Import
Vinyl$7.16 (used)
L'infinitamente PiccoloL'infinitamente Piccolo
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EMI 2000
Audio CD$45.94
$12.79 (used)
La Pulce D'AcquaLa Pulce D'Acqua
Import
Imports 2012
Vinyl$32.45
Studio CollectionStudio Collection
Import
EMI
Audio CD$85.54
$15.98 (used)
Alla Fiera Dell EstAlla Fiera Dell Est
Import
Universal Italy 1985
Audio CD$7.25
$6.98 (used)
Camminando Camminando 2Camminando Camminando 2
Import
EMI Music Italy 2012
Audio CD$9.35
$80.14 (used)
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Angelo BRANDUARDI HIGHDOWN FAIR RARE ITALIAN FOLK ROCK Lp ex/ex US $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 51m
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Angelo Branduardi - Senza Spina [CD New] US $16.67 Buy It Now 6 days
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ANGELO BRANDUARDI discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANGELO BRANDUARDI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 14 ratings
Angelo Branduardi
1974
3.44 | 11 ratings
La Luna
1975
3.15 | 18 ratings
Alla Fiera dell'Est
1976
4.01 | 19 ratings
La pulce d'acqua
1977
3.50 | 4 ratings
A la foire de l'est
1978
2.25 | 4 ratings
La Demoiselle
1979
3.37 | 13 ratings
Cogli la prima mela
1979
3.97 | 7 ratings
Gulliver, La Luna E Altri Disegni
1980
2.67 | 3 ratings
Va ou le vent te mène
1980
3.26 | 7 ratings
Branduardi '81
1981
2.50 | 4 ratings
81
1981
3.93 | 9 ratings
Cercando l'oro
1983
2.95 | 3 ratings
State Buoni Se Potete (Soundtrack)
1983
2.91 | 3 ratings
Momo (Soundtrack)
1986
4.00 | 4 ratings
Branduardi Canta Yeats
1986
2.31 | 4 ratings
Pane e Rose
1988
3.82 | 3 ratings
Secondo Ponzio Pilato (Soundtrack)
1988
2.31 | 4 ratings
Il Ladro
1990
2.69 | 4 ratings
Si Puo' Fare
1993
2.29 | 3 ratings
Domenica e lunedì
1994
3.24 | 6 ratings
Futuro Antico I
1994
2.27 | 7 ratings
Il Dito E La Luna
1998
3.63 | 7 ratings
Futuro Antico II
1999
4.96 | 5 ratings
L'Infinitamente Piccolo
2000
2.63 | 4 ratings
Futuro Antico III
2002
2.18 | 3 ratings
Altro ed altrove
2003
2.63 | 4 ratings
Futuro Antico IV
2007
2.09 | 3 ratings
Futuro Antico V
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Futuro Antico VI - Roma e la Festa di San Giovanni
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Futuro Antico VII - Il Carnevale Romano
2010
3.00 | 2 ratings
Così E' Se Mi Pare
2011

ANGELO BRANDUARDI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 6 ratings
Concerto
1980
2.10 | 2 ratings
Caminando Camminando
1996
3.35 | 3 ratings
Senza Spina
2009

ANGELO BRANDUARDI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ANGELO BRANDUARDI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Musiche da film
1992
2.17 | 3 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
D.O.C (D.O.C. series)
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Album Originali
2009

ANGELO BRANDUARDI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ANGELO BRANDUARDI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alla Fiera dell'Est by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.15 | 18 ratings

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Alla Fiera dell'Est
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars 1975 was the breakout year for Branduardi.He changed his recording house and signs a contract with Polydor in Italy as well as Ariola for the rest of the world.With great motivation he moves on to the recordings of his third studio album ''Alla fiera dell'est'' (1976).Maurizio Fabrizio and Gigi Cappellotto are again among the guest musicians, this time count also Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's Gianni Nocenzi on clarinet and piano.

This is some very good acoustic Progressive Folk record by Branduardi mixed with traditional singer/songwriter tunes, always led by Angelo's soft guitar touch, while the musicianship is always surrounded by dreamy, smooth folky orchestrations.His voice remains among the top 5 Italian singers ever: Sensitive, melancholic and crystalline.''Alla fiera dell'est'' seems like an easy-going Folk album, but things are much more different than this.The instrumental breaks contain excellent orchestrations filled with string and wind sections, often close to Chamber Music, while the arrangements are more demanding than they sound with constant light interplays between the acoustic and Classical instrumentation, reminding a bit of MANEIGE or fellow Italian natives ZEIT.The atmospheres are great as always and I cannot imagine what would happen if Branduardi was gritty enough to add a bit of electric instrumentation among this delicate acoustic material.

This is not a Progressive Rock record by any means, but ''Alla fiera dell'est'' contains certainly some demanding and trully progressive arrangements for an Acoustic Folk album, which will please all fans of Folk music (count the proggers in) as well as lovers of fantastic and dreamy musical journeys.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Senza Spina by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Live, 2009
3.35 | 3 ratings

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Senza Spina
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars With this album I finish the reviews of Angelo Branduardi, at least until he will release a new album.

"Senza Spina" is the literal translation of "Unplugged", but we have to keep in mind that the best things released by Branduardi are almost acoustic, so in terms of sounds the difference between this album and his early works is not that big.

The first three songs are previously unreleased and this seems to be a major's idea to help the sales of a live album. The kind of commercial operation that in general I don't like, like putting an unreleased song into a compilation to have it bought by the hard fans.

"Il Denaro Dei Nani" (Dwarves Money) is nothing special if you are already familiar with Branduardi, specially if compared with "La Tempesta" (The Storm) that's an excellent song about mariners and ships, more in line with Renaissance's "At The Harbour" but less dramatic, than to the Harum's Salty Dog.

The last of the new songs "Cara Rimani" (Dear, Stay) is surely not the best song released by Branduardi but it's not too distant from his standards. Nothing more to say about it.

Now let's start with something really good. "La Lune" (The Moon) is the French version of his very first success. As he did many years before on "Concerto", this live version has a long instrumental intro just tied up to the song. After the percussion part a second intro, more in line with the original song, brings to the Branduardi's vocals. It takes 3 minutes before the song becomes recognizable. Nothing to say about the song that's one of my favorite Branduardi's things. The French lyrics doesn't sound bad. Branduardi's French is surely better than his English.

Another classic song from the past "Tanti Anni Fa" (Many years ago) is faster than the original with more guitar and a hint of finger picking. I prefer the original, sorry.

"Gulliver" is another classic. It was not included in the first release of "La Luna" but was reprinted later in a second edition of the album. This version looses the folk flavor of the original. Both Branduardi and Blackmore's Night have taken the idea from a trditional song. Listen to "All For One".

The album proceeds with "Sous Le Tilles" (Under the Lime Tree), another classic. The main difference with the original is the French.

"Il Cappello A Sonagli" (The bells hat) is almost identical to the original.

Luckily there a jump. the 80s of Branduardi are almost forgotten. And he goes directly to four songs taken from his masterpiece "Branduardi Canta Yeats".

The closer is "L'enfant Clandestin" (Lullaby in Italian) taken from one of his three movie soundtracks. This song was aung in the original version by an actress not very tuned which was giving a dramatic accent to it.

The famous traditional song "O Sole Mio", sung even by Elvis Presley is most useless thing that could be found on this album. Feel free to skip it. It's probably because I'm italian, but his attempts to use the accent of Naples sounds a bit ridiculous.

Not a bad album, but it's not a good starting point for Branduardi's discography. If you want to start with this artist go for the first four studio albums. This is good but absolutely non essential.

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 Così E' Se Mi Pare by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Così E' Se Mi Pare
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars My feelings about this album are quite controversial: it's probably the most "celtic influenced" album released by Branduardi during his whole career. Also his violin sounds like a fiddle. The fact that Angelo is back to play violin on an album is surely a good thing as this is his main instrument and he's a very skilled violinist.

"Gira La Testa" is a ballad full of violin with an Irish flavor. I don't know what's this "San Gemolo Celebration" of the title but the lyrics don't have anything religious. It's a love song good for a celebration even if more in Ireland than in Italy. I'm surprised by the fact that Angelo's voice is not changed during all those years.

His vocals have the same tone of the beginnings and this is even more evident in the second track "Barbriallen" (aka the song of Barbara Allen) which is a traditional British (likely Scottish) ballad with origins in the XVII century, but is well known throughout Europe Italy included. I've also found on youtube a demo recorded by Simon and Garfunkel whose main difference is the tempo that's more country-oriented, but the song is almost the same. It's a very sad story of love ad death.

The it comes a very unusual thing. Branduardi is used to reinterpret and arrange medieval or traditional songs, but this is one of the few covers, I think the first after the Donovan's cover on the Yeats' album. "Il Lungo Addio"(The Long Goodbye) is nothing else than Elvis Costello's "The Scarlet Tide" arranged like a song from the Renaissance with "pizzicato" strings and piano plus a bit of classical guitar.

With "Una Vigile Stella" (A Wakeful Star) Branduardi is back to the dreamy fairytales of the first albums. Also this song has a strong British flavor. It makes me think to Pentangle and thinking better, it's quite similar to the Clannad's "So Early In The Spring". The arrangement is progressive enough anyway. A very good song of a kind which seemed disappeared from Angelo's chords many years before.

Now the surprise: a cover of Pogues' "Fairytales of New York", almost identical to the original and translated into a very raw language (Italian can be very very raw) that appears very inappropriate with Angelo and his music. Also I don't think anybody was needing another cover of this song which in Italian doesn't sound much well. This album is short enough without having to skip one track.

"La Ballata Del Tempo E Dello Spazio" (The Ballad Of Space And Time) is a sort of hymn to the spacetime and it's not written by Branduardi, another unusual thing. The song is written by his long time guitarist Maurizio Fabrizio with the lyrics written by Walter Tortoreto who's a teacher and musical critic specialized in music and poetry of the 13th Century. I don't know what to think of this song. The lyrics are surely more relevant than the baroque music.

It's a partial return to the origins, out of the Futuro Antico series, and probably the first true Branduardi's album after "L'Infinitamente Piccolo", at least for half of it. A bit more than 3 stars, not enough to rate it with four, specially for Sean McGowan's unhappy translation..

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 Futuro Antico VII - Il Carnevale Romano by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Futuro Antico VII - Il Carnevale Romano
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is currently the last album of the Futuro Antico series. As the predecessors is mainly a collection of songs from the 15th and 16th Centuries played by the Ensemble Scintille Di Musica, directed by Francesca Torelli to whom Branduardi lends the vocals and his name.

Using Branduardi's name is not just a commercial operation. Forget bad episodes like Nick Mason lending his name to Carla Bley or Mike Oldfield doing the same with Pekka Pohjola. This is effectively the musical environment where Angelo Branduardi is from and it's the late medieval mood of his first songs which has made him famous even to the mainstream public.

What is very good in this album are the instrumentals. Not because of any Angelo's fault. His voice sounds very appropriate and the lyrics are not in Roman dialect so his "northern" accent is not a problem as it was on the previous release. It's only that the songs are not as good as the instrumentals.

The album's highlight is "Corrente". It's a slow melancholic instrumental of the kind that Mr Blackmore seems loving so much. The other instrumentals are mainly music for popular celebrations and dances. In general the slower tracks are those with more "feelings" inside. The "Ciaccona" is another example.

Few quotes about the lyrics: "Il Tedesco" (The German) is just an hymn to wine, something like "Thanks God for Wine, I drink, you drink we all are happy..." Not exactly those words but this is the sense. "Pan De Miglio" is a sexual double sense based on "hot bread". "Scaramella" is a Roman mask, like Arlequin in Venice or Punch in Naples. Then "Sentomi La Formicula" (I Feel An Ant) is another sexual joke about an ant walking from a leg to above. The two most interesting lyrics are the last two: "Son Fortuna Onnipotente" is about (good) Fate. The director Francesca Torelli sings with her good soprano voice on this one. Finally "Buon Maestre Rubechine" is a lesson of music which ends telling how to tune the strings of the lute.

A special mention for the closer "IL Trionfo Di Bacco E Arianna" which has a modern arrangement and is a very great song which mentions "Lorenzo De' Medici" with the chorus "Chi Vuol Esser Lieto Sia...". A song which would deserve to stay in a Branduardi's greatest hits.

A collection of ancient music, then. Forget things like "progressive" and "rock" but consider that this is probably where our music is from. Non essential but good enough if you have some time and curiosity to spend on it.

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 Concerto by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Live, 1980
3.16 | 6 ratings

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Concerto
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars It was a triple vinyl. When a friend of mine, very fan of Branduardi purchased it, he was very excited and he immediately put on the first of the three albums. I should have been present at one of the gigs when it was recorded. I hitch-hicked all the day from Tuscany to Rome to be in Villa Pamphili on time, but when I arrived the concert was canceled for heavy rain and I had to find a way to get back home....of course I was very young.

When later that friends put the disc on, I didn't like it. The instrumental intros to almost all the songs appeared just "tied on" to make them sound a bit more rock or pop. I gave up listening to it at all and I went back on it only years later when I rediscovered some interest in Branduardi. It happened after meeting him in an airport. About 30 years were passed since the last time I saw him in a concert, and his expression was still the same. There should be something "true" in that man....

So I picked up the double CD and this is what I think today:

Let's first say that in the lineup we have people from the top of the RPI, almost the complete BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, just to mention some.

A hint: the songs on this albums are sometimes different from the studio original versions. For comments specific to the tracks I remind you to the reviews of the studio albums. The songs have been recorded during the whole tour, anyway, so that some are translated into English.

The intro to "L'uomo e la Nuvola" is long and very different from the song. This is what I mean for "tied on". It takes to minutes before it becomes barely recognizable. Not that it's bad, surely it's more prog than folk and I think I've been to harsh actually. It's tied on but not so disconnected. A three minutes song here is about 12 minutes long (9 of intro). This is one of the reasons why this album is so long.

"Tanti Anni Fa" has a country arrangement. Unfortunately Angelo was entering in the 80s when he attempted some failing experiments with country-blues, guesting Jorma Kaukkonen on one of his worst albums. This is how a song shouldn't be massacred.

"The Stag" was one of the most representative songs of Branduardi. The people claps at the first notes and the arrangement includes some Bouzuki. This transforms what originally was a sort of Andes song into a Greek/Mediterranean one. Only the pan flute preserves the original ambient.

"Under The Lime Tree" has an arrangement more rich than the original in terms of instruments, but it's almost the same song.

Now the classic: "Alla Fiera Dell'Est". The most famous Branduardi's song, the one which made of him a pop star has some added instrumental parts. Those interludes are poorer than the original violin solo, or maybe I loved so much the orginal violin solo that I can't stand with this version. After the claps comes a tarantella played by traditional instruments, then a repetitive violin starts an instrumental crescendo...and we are back to the song. Maybe on stage it worked well but I really prefer the studio version. I remember him playing a long violin solo a couple of year before, really better than this.

"Se Tu Sei Cielo" is not bad. This version is probably better than the studio one.

What comes after is Branduardi's masterpiece. "Confessioni di un Malandrino", from his first album is still today the best thing he has ever written. As usual, he plays classical guitar and vocals alone with a second guitar in the back. The lyrics are a poetry of the Russian poet Esenin. The one he wrote as farewell with his own blood before committing suicide.

After that song, "Il Gufo E Il Pavone" seems insipid.

"La Pulce D'Acqua", title track of one of his most successful albums is quite identical to the studio version.

"Lady" comes from the early albums and differs from the original only for the English lyrics.

It's singular that after some Italian songs translated into English we have a traditional British translated into Italian. "Gli Alberi Sono Alti" is "The Trees They Do Grow High". I know versions from Pentangle, Kay McCarthy amd am instrumental version of Blackmore's Night.

"Old Man And Butterflies" is arranged funky. It looses all the emotional and dreamy flavor of the original. Well played but I think the wrong arrangement for this song, and the first CD is gone.

The second CD is opened by "Il Signore Di Baux". It's a good start for this second part f the concert which contains the songs which are most connected to the medieval music with an arrangement that's the most prog thing of the whole live. A great performance, IMO.

Now a song that has a particular meaning for me and is massacred by a sort of Hawaiian arrangement, not only the slide guitar doesn't have anything to do with it. I can't understand what the drummer is doing on this song. The song is good even with this arrangement.

The addition of a piano intro to "Donna Mia" is not bad. Not all the arrangements of this album are bad. The piano on the original was more classically oriented.

"Re Di Speranza" has an intro useful just to give room to the instrumentist. Those excursions into country/blues/funk are a symptom of the bad that will come in the 80s. A song killed by a completely inappropriate arrangement. What did they have in mind? Of course this rhythm works well live, but this is not what I was looking for hitch-hiking under the rain.

Another title track for another successful album. "Cogli La Prima Mela" is one of those songs that Mr Blackmore would be happy to play and this time the added intro is medieval and really not bad. It doesn't have anything to do with the song but it's a good piece of medieval music with a second, Middle-Eastern, movement. More than an intro it's a proper instrumental. Since when the song starts it's quite close to the original.

"La Luna", is another title track, of the album that I prefer from the early ones. The guitar intro after seashore noises in the initial passages reminds me to "In The Court Of Crimson King", but just for few passages. Regardless KC, this intro is very good even if, as for most of the intros of this live, it doesn't have anything to do with the song. It's just tied on. The second part of the intro is based on the song's melody, then it proceeds for 6 minutes as an intrumental track, so that a 3 minutes song is extended to 10. Maybe a bit too much but not bad.

"The Song Of Eternal Numbers" (aka La Serie Dei Numeri) is conformant enough to the original and is one of the highlights from "Alla Fiera Dell'Est".

Now another classic with a singular story. Both Branduardi and Blackmore have taken inspiration from the same medieval song. None of the two has copied the other. Both have copied from the history. The subject of the song is Death, so the dark instrumental intro doesn't sound bad and is also one of the most prog moments of the album. You have to wait about 4 minutes before getting into "Ballo in Fa Diesis Minore".

"The Lady And The Falconer" is another good song opened by Branduardi's solo voice.

Finally Angelo introduces the whole crew before closing the gig with "Il Poeta Di Corte", another of his most famous songs. Unfortunately the tempo is too fast respect to the original. Good to close a live, but this song would have deserved a better treatment.

This double CD is a good introduction to Branduardi's early albums, but even with excellent elements on stage, it doesn't add much to the song, and sometimes the live versions destroy the originals. It's a pity. I have seen Branduardi on stage several times before, and he wasn't used to arrange his songs so heavily. I have the impression that he has actually been forced by his label, so even if full of good songs and excellent musicianship I'm really generous in giving it 3 stars.

Any of the first 4 studio albums of Branduardi is light years better than this live.

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 Futuro Antico VI - Roma e la Festa di San Giovanni by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Futuro Antico VI - Roma e la Festa di San Giovanni
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars The "Futuro Antico" series continues with the first of the two albums dedicated to Rome.

We are at the court of the Popes between 16th and 17th centuries. The "Festa" of "San Giovanni"(St John) is an event still celebrated in St.John in Lateran square in Rome each 24th of May, and it's exactly in that place in 2009 that this project was presented for the first time.

Let's ignore the bad accent. Speaking with roman accent is very uneasy for non-romans and Branduardi's accent is not credible. However, the historical and musical research have found some very interesting forgotten songs.

"Prologo - Le Streghe"(Prologue - The Witches) is the story of a man who falls in love with a witch. It starts as a poetry, then it's only voice and dulcimer. The lyrics are very nice. "If all the witches are like you, I'm no longer afraid, I want to see them". But it ends with an advice: "If you see women walking alone by night don't touch them. When the fox walks alone by night brings the wolf to the trap".

"Coro De Demoni" (Demons' Choir) is an orchestral instrumental. Try to imagine Blackmore's Night playing ancient instruments. This is the difference: it's not reprising and arranging medieval or renaissance music. It's playing it as it was supposedly played at these times.

"Forestieri Alla Ventura" (Strangers To The Fortune) sounds like a jester's or tumbler's song and probably it is as the author is anonymous.

"Gagliarda V" (Galliard V) is a one minute instrumental to which the strings add a very baroque flavor.

It's followed by "Preludio"(Prelude) that's a baroque guitar solo. For lovers of classical guitar.

"Cinta di Rose" (Surrounded by Roses) is a a hymn to beauty and Nature.

"Passacaglia Della Vita" (Passacaglia Of Life) Passacaglia is a genre of composition, slow and sad. "You cheat yourself thinking that the years won't end. We all have to die, life is a dream". So it's more about death than about life. Good for a funeral but the melody is very good.

"Balletto delle Virtu'" (Ballet of Virtues) balances the funeral darkness of the previous song. It's a minuet, not very happy, but very far from the previous deadly song.

"Segui Dolente Core" (Follow Painful Heart) Is a song about a painful love. A non corresponded lover sings about his endless pain. Viola, guitar and voice for a sweet and sour song.

"La vecchia" (The old Woman) is a funny song about a very old woman who is more than 90 years old and sings happy. She doesn't care of her age and lives her life happily. It sounds like a jester's song and has a rhythm very similar to an Irish ballad.

"Corrente V Gagliarda I" is not a single song: Interpret it like "Corrente number 5" followed by "Gagliarda number 1": two instrumentals tied together by the author, the German Kapsperger who was a virtuous of the theorbo.

"Affacciati Uno Poco"(Face A Bit) is a serenade with a strong baroque flavor. A pop song of the 16th Century.

"Tre Sorelle"(Three Sisters) is one of the most interesting songs: Krautrock from Renaissance? I'm joking of course, but this song sounds incredibly modern.

"Damigella" (Young Lady) is another popular song. The Lady of the song is not properly a princess. She is asked to "pour her wine and let her dew fall". It was probably dedicated to a real person.

"L'ultimo Di De Maggio"(The Last Day Of May) announces the end of the album. St. John is celebrated on the 24th so we are one week after. Branduardi is the speaking voice (as in the first song), and the poetry is another story of painful love. On this song Francesca Torelli shows an excellent voice other than being an excellent guitarist and the orchestra director. How can some people be so talented?

However that's not the last song. The album is closed by a "Tarantella". Despite the most known tarantella, this one has a slow tempo and is an excellent instrumental featuring spinet and flute, two instruments very often used during the Renaissance in Rome and Naples. It's only after about 3 minutes that the percussion and the tambourines make it recognizable as a standard tarantella. A complex song made of at least three different sections.

So what to say of this album? As all the "Futuro Antico" collection it hasn't anything prog. It's ancient popular or classical music rediscovered and reinterpreted with the same ancient instruments. Who likes prog-folk with its roots in the past, like the mentioned Blackmore's Night, or even Pentangle, early Clannad or Malicorne will probably like also this.

A very interesting collection from a "cultural" point of view. A non-essential album for the prog world.

An average rating.

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 Futuro Antico V by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.09 | 3 ratings

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Futuro Antico V
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

2 stars As all the albums of the "Futuro Antico" series, this is a compilation of classical music. In this case we start in Venice in 17th Century.

More than a Branduardi album, this should be considered as a collaboration between him and the orchestra "Ensemble Scintille di Musica" directed by Francesca Torelli.

The tracks are grouped by "arguments", so there are 4 distinct "movements" but this is not so evident in the music so let's ignore it.

The first track is an instrumental of Carlo Pallavicino (1640-1688) Organist in Venice and "Kapellmeister" (Chapel Master) in Dresden, then back to Italy. His music is conformantg to the actual standards in terms of melody and rhythms. A typical product of his times.

Going one century back with a song by Michele Pesenti (1470-1524 about) is a natural place where Branduardi can put his voice. Also the fact that the song was composed by a lutist creates a strong connection with Angelo's natural musical environment.

Another song of the 15th Century from Farncesco Varoter (death 1502) for lute and classical guitar. It's a song about the vanity of life from the point of view of a corpse....for who likes this kind of Medievefal folk. Think to Pentangle or Stephen Grossman.

Bartolomeo Tromboncino (1470-1535 about) is an interesting character. He was a criminal who also murdered his wife and had problems wherever he went but was very able in getting the favors of the powerful men so he finished at the court of Lucrezia Borgia. Musically his genre was the predecessor of madrigals and he later became a madrigalist. Tromboncino is not his real name. He got this nick because he was a trombonist. Who is familiar with the early Branduardi could think that this is an original Branduardi's modern composition if it wasn't for the archaic Italian lyrics.

Benedetto Ferrari (1597-1681) is deeply in Renaissance. He was famous as theorbo player. This is one of the less "easy" songs of this collection and respect to the previous songs it seems to be less suitable for Angelo's voice.

"Gioco La Cossa..." has an anonymous author. Apparently it's between the 15th and 16th centuries. it has the rhythm of the 16th but the melody is quite medieval. It's an excellent instrumental for who likes the genre. I don't know if Angelo plays anything on this track.

17th Century now. Pietro Andrea ZIani (1616 - 1684) was organist and priests and is mostly known for his contribution in exporting the opera to Austria. This composition is just a minuet very "standard" for Venice in that century. Not very impressive.

A short anonymous with lyrics in Venician preceeds a very nice classical guitar piece. I was quite sure that it's played by Angelo who is mainly a violinist but also an excellent guitarist, but Branduardi is credited only for the vocals, so it's likely Francesca Torelly who plays. The author was a lutist born in Milan in the middle of 15th Century. This is almost all that we know about him. This very good instrumental was probably a dance. For lovers of classical guitar.

Baldassarre Donato (1525-1603) is the author of this which is one of the best compositions of this collection. "Progressive" respect to his times.

Next there's a madrigal of Vincenzo Bellaver (1540-1587), not the best album's thing in my opinion.

A big classical guitar played like a harp? Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger born from German parents in Venice (1580-1651) has been a very prolific composer, especially for "Chitarrone", a sort of big guitar with 14 unpaired strings.

Francesco Varoter was probably "Francesco D'Ana", organist also known as Franciscus Venetus who lived between 15th and 16th century. This excellent "Chi Vi Dara' Piu' Luce" has been composed around the year 1505.

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643) is probably the most well known madrigals composer. His "Laudate Dominum" is of course a madrigal which combines the polyphony typical of the Renaissance music with the "continuous bass" of the baroque. Later he became one of the first opera composers. The use of trumpet on part of this track is an unusual element.

Alessandro Grandi (1586 - 1630) was Monteverdi's assistant and his music is early baroque. This is a good love song just a bit too bass for Angelo's vocal pitch. He was a victim of the plague.

Another Monteverdi's madrigal. As madrigals have always been the principal source of inspiration for Angelo Branduardi, this song is not too distant from the early Branduardi's "modern" works, specially in his early albums.

A cymbal-based short instrumental from Varoter follows. It's only because of my proggy ears, but listening to this track I'm expecting to see Ian Anderson coming out suddenly.

Vincenzo Calestani (1589 - about 1617) is another madrigalist. This track is slow and sad. Very atmospheric.

Cipriano De Rore (1515 - 1565) was a Fleming composer. This madrigal is sung by a soprano and the French-Fleming school influence is clear. This song has I think a lot of contact points with prog. (well, effectively it's vice-versa).

"Damigella Tutta Bella" is the most famous song of "Vincenzo Calenzani". If I didn't know, I could have easily thought that it was a Branduardi's song. Mr Blackmore surely knows it as well.

As the opener, also the closer is by Carlo Pallavicino. Just 1 minute and half of Venetian baroque.

Please forgive me if I have taken the opportunity of this album to make a bit of "history", but I think that knowing some about the composer helps in better appreciating the composition. What does this album have to do with prog? Very few effectively. Apart of some songs which have parts that can be found in the music of Branduardi, Blackmore's Night, Pentangle and Malicorne, this is an album of classical music. I go for two stars only for this reason.

If this wasn't a prog site it would have been a 3 stars album.

So good, non-essential, but most of all, not prog.

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 Musiche da film by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1992
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Musiche da film
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by rupert

— First review of this album —
3 stars A collection of Branduardi's 3 soundtrack-albums, 4 tracks from "Secondo Ponzio Pilato" ( 1988, Titletrack, La Canzone de Deserto, Salome & La Strage ) have been sandwiched between 7 Tracks of "State Buoni se Potete" ( 1983 ), and the most ( 9 tracks ) of "Momo" ( 1986 ), which was a success in Germany, at least ( both, the movie and its soundtrack ).

The music on the disc varies between classical themes and folklore, so exactly what you can expect of Branduardi, but most of the stuff is instrumental - and rather slow. If you're looking for more proggy moments than on Angelo's regular output you probably will be disappointed, although the soundtrack-pace has allowed him to experiment a little more, if you're looking for ear-wigs like "Cogli la prima mela" you might be disappointed even more - although "Vanita di Vanita" has become an enduring classic and, together with the marvellous instrumental "Tema di Leonetta", the dreamy "La Canzone di Momo" and the medieval instrumental "Tema dell Villagio", it's worth the price of admission alone.

With several listens you may find that "La Canzone de Deserto" is another highlight, with its inspiration audibly coming from the Irish traditional "She moved through the fair", but Branduardi is taking it elsewhere and inventing the guitar-riff to "Amazzonia" ( a track that later appeared on "Il Ladro" ). This is a very sensitive song solely performed by Branduardi alone - and it's a grower. "Momo e Cassiopea" delivers the most beautiful arrangement to the re-occurring instrumental theme of "La Grande Giostra", as several melodies get varied on the different soundtracks, but, all in all, listening to the disc as a whole, it's somehow featuring too much of samey stuff and I start wishing for more "normal songs" that feature the voice of the artist, maybe an inclusion of the vocal-version of "Tema di Leonetta" ( that got released later on a "Lovesongs"-sampler ) would have helped... it's a bit tedious all in all, in spite of the good performances.

A personal 3.5 stars, with good will, makes 3 stars for PA cause this album is essential only for fans - but if the Original Soundtracks don't get a proper re-release then it should be this one for the collectors, at least.

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 Domenica e lunedì by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.29 | 3 ratings

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Domenica e lunedì
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by rupert

3 stars "Domenica e Lunedi" is the album with which Angelo Branduardi returned as a mature artist, relying on ( nearly* ) everything he had built on along the years, and, in many ways, it was a real return to form. On the other hand, this album had been distinctively his most commercial effort to date, more than once it saw him crossing the border from folky singer/songwriter-ship to Italo Pop, especially with the beginning, the title track and "Fou de Love". But, my friends, he didn't sacrifice his identity for it, he simply developed further and, in the end, was supposed to arrive there from the beginning... melting the different styles ( including Americana - but this time: thumbs up for the arrangements, they are lush instead of dire and the slide guitar/dobro appears where it's actually fitting only ! ) into one, even if it were commercial pressures that may have asked him to do so.

*What's absent on the album is the strong classical flavour of previous works like "Il Signore di Baux", "Il Libro" or "Natale" ( only at the very end of the album you'll get a glimpse of it ). I think that Branduardi drew a line between "regular albums" and his forthcoming "Futuro Antico"-Project by then, saving those influences for the latter, while the folklore-touch did still play an important role on albums like this - making sure that after all it's still Branduardi you're listening to !

This is a very fine album with beautiful melodies and a happy, reflective instead of a sombre mood most of the time. The songs - other than on its predecessor - are mainly of superior quality, and given that "La Donna della Sera" ( for once my ears start complaining about "clanging drums" again here ) and "Tenera Nemica" are the weakest tracks on board - the both of them would have made outstanding tracks on "Si puo Fare" - the fan ought to be more than satisfied.

Maurizio Fabrizio was back. But, don't be mistaken, it's not his guitar delivering those outstanding moments in "I Santi" - it's Pedro Javier Gonzales ! But for sure Fabrizio helped to make this album a coherent and convincing affair - he's a brilliant arranger, you know. "I santi" is just what you expect of ( and wanna hear from ) Branduardi if you're a fan. Another classic, as is the light-weight, joyous chant of "Le dodici Lune". How long did we have to wait to get stuff like that from this man again ? Songs in which his violin really starts to shine and the overall feel is uplifting ? Songs in which the melodies enchant you and make you feel good ? Well, let's not forget "Barbablu" on "Pane e Rose" or the title-track of "Si puo Fare". But for years we had been held short of joyous tracks like this coming one after another on ONE album of the man.

The soaring, atmospheric ballads are back again, too. "Giovanna d'Arco", "Il Trionfo di Bacco e Arianna", "C'e una sala in Paradiso"... wonderful, I can't choose which one of them is best, light as a feather and full of rich harmony ( and those little extras in the arrangements that make you wanna go back and give them another spin ). I think that this kind of relaxed soundscapes was what Branduardi had been up for with "Indiani" on the previous album. But while he sadly failed on that - here he succeeded in every respect. The great and sensitive musicianship of the whole ensemble coming through with every note - so I have to give them an extra-mention. Fabulous performances throughout from everyone !

The closing track, "Un Angelo del Cielo", is the piano ballad. Again I'd like to make a comparism to "Si puo Fare", where "Prima di Ripartire" made at least a good ending. This one, with Branduardi daring to give it a chamber string-chart as an instrumental coda, is outshining it by all means.

The melodies were back, and the whole album is a warm and pleasant listen throughout, cohesive and versatile but never leaving the pace of radio-friendly mainstream sounds. And that's the only thing that's keeping it from a 4-star-rating: never more obvious than here Branduardi gave us sheer POP even with the rather traditional tracks - and if you don't like a song such as "Breakfast in America" f.e. because it's no prog at all, how can you ever like stuff like "Le Dodici Lune" ? If you don't have a soft spot for Italo Pop how can you fall for "Fou de Love" ? I'm telling you, the both of them plus "I Santi" are my favourites here, although there may be songs of more merit for the average prog-fan. And the average prog-fan won't be so very happy I suppose.

But as a long-term-fan of the artist you're supposed to be utterly happy with "Domenica e Lunedi", lending it a 5 star-rating for Branduardi having regained his bearings - which would surely be one star too much compared to "Gulliver, La Luna..." or "Canta Yeats", in spite of its quality, cause it's not as essential as those. It's a perfect album for those who don't mind the strong commercial appeal and attitude with which it was produced. But it's as far from "Progressive Rock music" as James Last is.

It's a contemporary classic in Branduardi's catalogue. That's why I can't give it more than 3 stars on P.A. !

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 Si Puo' Fare by BRANDUARDI, ANGELO album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.69 | 4 ratings

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Si Puo' Fare
Angelo Branduardi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by rupert

2 stars Having heard the title track only, "Si puo fare" raised high hopes inside the fan - had "our" beloved Angelo finally returned to form ? The song itself - vintage Branduardi, a joyous track combining an irresistible ear-wig-melody with a strong folklore-flavour, supposed to be a hit and a classic, a fanfare of new found confidence in the wake of rebirth. That's what I was hoping for, although I quite like "Il Ladro" and "Pane e Rose". With Jorma Kaukonen there was an extraordinary guitar-player in the line-up ( and, additionally - as if there was a third one needed - a man named Massimo Luca ) - and, from the old team, Gigi Cappellotto had returned.

But oh what a disappointment was waiting for me, cause the other songs... were mostly second-rate, unoriginal, sounding dire rather than joyous or inspired. You can distinctively feel the attempt at creating a more commercial and cohesive collection of songs, with the arrangements being tighter and the experiments driven back, drawing artistic merit from the "roots"-attitude. Whose roots ? Branduardi's ? Then he must have been born in the Blues Delta ! You may think this was an improvement to the predecessors, but I'm telling you here that you're wrong. All that's making the record so cohesive is its blandness. I'm very sorry to say so for a Branduardi-album, cause none of the others are.

"Il Viaggiatore": Country-rock with fiddle - as if they had taken Tim Hardin's "If I were a Carpenter" into a Yankee-Grave, half-heartedly sung by the wrong singer. Argh. You won't get me to like this, not in a million years. Old men going country - but sounding as if they wanted to be merry only, they weren't really. Tried and failed.

"Noi, come fiumi". Slow down the guitar ( or was it the piano ? Sorry, I'm slightly irritated ! ) of "Unchained Melody" and let it twang so you can be sure you're still somewhere near the Mississippi, not forget to give the snare-drum a clanging sound, so you can make Roop ( me myself I ) run as fast as he can. The melody itself got lost on the way, sadly ( or fortunately cause I wouldn't wanna hear it in this arrangement - even if it was good ).This is no Blues, this is no country, it's a ballad without the ballad. Tried and failed.

"Casanova" is slightly better. But I wonder if a woman would fall for him ( Casanova, nowadays ! ) ifever he tried to please her that way. It really must have been hard to find memorable melodies during the making of this album. This one's forgettable because there's nothing new to it, not even the chord-structure is ( you can hear the moments when the intention was: "make it a bit more complex"... and it's those moments itself when the melody gets under wheels instead of evolving into a coherent one ). But you can listen to the arrangement ( with synth-horns ) without pain and at least find traces of the beauty that Branduardi is so capable of, shining through there and then... so it's a plus. A tedious one, though. Tried and not really succeeded.

"Forte" sounds forced but still belongs to the better moments on the album. Clanging drums again, oh yes, it's country-rock, Zachary Richard's accordion included, but this time you can at least feel a bit of fun. Chris Rea may like it but surely would have done better with it cause he knows how to write songs going C/G/D/D all over again. Loooong fade-out with guitar-solo noodling stereotypical licks. Too poor for a single but because there was no better one they've tried and... failed still.

"Indiani" - starts great. Could be a soaring, new agy - track with enchanting atmosphere. "Biko"-Chords. Kaukonen's Guitar clinging in the background. The drums come in and... well, it's becoming an overlong and bland attempt at what it should have been. Long fade. As if something important has reached the end. No, sorry, it's not been. Once more - no real new idea in here, just playing for playing's sake in the hope to somehow make it a good song. The melody ? Lost somehow. The more I listen to it, the more I'm sure that a completely different arrangement would have helped. Speeded up and given a medieval flavour like on Branduardi's old albums, and given Maurizio Fabrizio's classical guitar. Indian drums come to mind but then again - didn't America's native citizens suffer enough ? This way: Tried and failed again.

"Cambia il vento, cambia il tempo" - great guitars at the beginning, lovely melody. Okay song but then the drums come in again and it's becoming just another faceless country-rock-ballad. Branduardi's Violin - no spark, sounding timid and poor, only repeating the simple melody. How beautiful this could have been - let me stop thinking or I'll get angry. Tried and... sadly wasted. But if you're looking for a "highlight" and don't mind the false arrangement: This may be yours. Never mind the looong fade ( short fades would have done ).

"L'Ombra". Hm. Are we ever going to leave the Mississippi ? Kaukonen's guitars are really fine, the blues-harp is as well, but the song itself is so tedious and Branduardi's voice does not really fit to the music. Nice groove, though. Tried and... well, I don't wanna be so harsh, but succeeded only in making me skip in hope for at least one outstanding track that doesn't send me to sleep.

"Devi Trattarla bene". Decent blues. Nice slide-guitar. Nothing original, but best song since the title-track. But it's been hard for me to get here, really, and there's only one more song to come - Angelo ! Angelo ??? Come back to Italy, please ! HOME ! Who needs that dire "green green grass" if his home is the beautiful, sunny and richly vegetative south of Europe ? Though, has to be said, for once... ( not counting the exceptional title-track ): Tried and succeeded.

"Prima di Ripartire". Fine track. Really beautiful piano-ballad with a bluesy feel. A little lullaby for the night. And a wonderful melody to which Branduardi's voice is really fitting well. 2 and a half minutes of undisturbed, inspired listening pleasure, not enough to save the album from falling but: Succeeded. Finally. Time to go to sleep now...

...but before I do let me count together quickly:

"Si puo fare": 4 stars ( 5 for fans )

"Devi tratarla bene": 3.5 stars

"Prima di Ripartire": 4 stars again.

The rest... well, I think it's best to forget about it. The good thing about this album - for me, the most superfluous one in Angelo's output - is that the "return to form" came afterwards, so this was perhaps a "must" for him to do in order to really find his bearings again.

I quite like the American influences on "Il Ladro", but here he was stuck on dry land somewhere in the Blues-Delta and there's nothing exciting about it, not even the feel. 2 stars. No more. Ask me again in 10 years only to hear me say that this time, other than with "Branduardi '81", nothing has changed. I'm pretty sure - except of the fact that with ear-wigs such as the ( splendid ) title-track the fun may decrease from having gotten overplayed !

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